Clarification from EnergySafety regarding RCDs

It is a requirement under the Electricity Regulations 1947 to ensure that when a residential property comes up for sale, rent or lease, the property has to have a minimum of two Residual Current Devices (RCDs) installed, protecting all light and power circuits. The interpretation of this has been that if all circuits are protected and were installed compliant to the Wiring Rules at the time of installation, then this met the requirements of the Electricity Regulations 1947.

It has come to NECA WA's attention, however, that EnergySafety have been conducting audits on rental properties and issuing orders where more than three circuits are protected by one RCD, even though the installation would have complied with Wiring Rules at the time of installation.

NECA WA sought clarification from EnergySafety regarding this matter and received the following response:

  1. When carrying out electrical installation work at any property, the work must be carried out in accordance with the most current version of the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules; and
  2. If you are engaged to check the compliance of an electrical installation at a residential property prior to the property's lease or sale, you must inform the customer of the requirement to ensure RCDs are installed in accordance with the most current version of the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules prior to lease or sale.

NECA WA sought a legal opinion regarding this and the opinion has confirmed EnergySafety's position.

Therefore, if you are conducting compliance checks for residential properties that are for sale, rent or lease, you must ensure that they are compliant with the current version of AS/NZS 3000. This requirement will also apply when conducting compliance checks on existing tenancies.

Please contact NECA Technical if you have any queries regarding this on 1300 6322 8324 or email technical@necawa.asn.au.