Electrical installation defects

In the interest of public safety, connections to Ausgrid’s electricity network must comply with all relevant safety standards.

This includes the NSW Electricity Supply Act 1995, the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 and Ausgrid’s Network Standards.

A defect notice may be issued if your electrical installation does not comply with safety standards. This may be due to incorrect or faulty wiring, recent alterations or additions to the connection, or trees or branches growing too close to electrical wires on the property.

Ausgrid has prepared the following questions and answers to help customers with defects notifications.

Defection notifications – Questions and answers

 

What does an installation defect notice mean?

In the interest of public safety, connections to Ausgrid’s electricity network must comply with all relevant safety standards.

This includes the NSW Electricity Supply Act 1995, the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 and Ausgrid’s Network Standards.

Our officers inspect new and existing connections and issue defect notifications to customers and/or electrical contractors detailing faults on a customer’s connection.

 

Why have I been given a notice?

Your electrical installation does not comply with safety standards. This may be due to incorrect or faulty wiring, recent alterations or additions to the connection, or trees or branches growing too close to electrical wires on the property.

 

Why was my home inspected?

Our officers carry out regular inspections across Ausgrid’s electricity network to ensure the safety of customers, the community and our own staff.

 

The work in question was done by electrical contractors or an Accredited Service Provider (ASP). Shouldn’t they be getting the notice?

If the defects relate to work carried out by an electrical contractor or ASP, we will notify both the occupant and the contractor, specifying the fault and the period in which the fault needs to be rectified.

 

Will the electrical contractor be made to repair the fault?

All work relating to electrical connections to Ausgrid’s network must be carried out by licensed electrical contractors or ASP. It is the contractor’s responsibility to address any defects identified by our inspectors.

 

What if they don’t?

Any defects that are not repaired within 21 days after notification may result in electricity supply to the property being disconnected until repairs are completed to safety and service standards.

If your original contractor is unable to carry out the repairs, it is the customer’s responsibility to engage another qualified electrical contractor for the work.

You can then consider taking action against the original contractor and Ausgrid would refer the matter to NSW Fair Trading.  

 

Why should I suffer because of an electrician’s mistake?

Disconnecting supply is a last resort, but we are required by law to ensure all electrical connections comply with relevant safety standards.

This is done in the interests of customers, the local community and our staff.

 

My electrical connection has been the same for years. Why have I been given this notice now?

Defect notifications issued on existing service connections usually relate to trees or branches coming into contact with electrical wires, or alterations or additions to existing connections.

Clearing vegetation around electricity wires should only be carried out by licensed operators.

 

Why am I responsible? It’s Ausgrid’s network, after all.

Ausgrid has responsibility for maintaining and repairing its electricity network in the street.

Residents and businesses are responsible for maintaining safety clearances and connection points for the service mains that extend onto the property. All work from the first point of connection on the property is the customer’s electrical installation and it is your responsibility for ensuring it is safe and properly maintained.

 

I am only renting. How is it my responsibility?

You will have received the Defect Notification because the letter is sent to the property address. If you are a tenant, you should forward the notification to the property owner, or your landlord, as soon as possible and follow up until the matter is resolved.

What if I can’t get the work done in the time you’ve allowed?

It may be possible to negotiate an extension on the period for repairs, depending on the severity of the defect. You should contact Ausgrid’s Field Operations group to discuss your options.

 

What fees apply?

Some repair work may involve disconnecting the property from the electricity network at the point where it connects to the distributor pole. A fee may apply to reconnect to the pole. A Re-inspection Fee helps to cover the cost of arranging for an authorised network representative to inspect the installation to make sure it is safe. If the defect was caused by a contractor, that fee is charged to the contractor.

For more information please refer to page 28 of ES1 Customer Connection Information.