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Consolidated gas and electricity consumer safety laws 

Comments closed on 16 December 2016 

What’s happened so far? 

On 3 May 2017, the NSW Parliament passed the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Bill 2017. The Bill consolidates the gas and electrical consumer safety laws into a single Act to provide a more streamlined and consistent approach to the regulation of both energy sources. The proposed Act will have consistent compliance and enforcement provisions, including penalty notices.

The proposed Act will repeal the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004, the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2015 and the Gas Supply (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2012 and make consequential changes to the Gas Supply Act 1996.

The merger and restructure of the legislation will provide one source of regulation for gas and electricity consumer safety that is clear and consistent, easier to read and up to date.

There are many similarities between the consumer safety legislation for the two energy sources

Both the gas and electricity consumer safety laws provide for the safe consumer use of gas and electricity, and prescribe and enforce minimum safety standards for gas and electrical equipment and installations.

The Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation also has responsibility for section 83A of the Gas Supply Act. The majority of the Gas Supply Act deals with the regulation of the supply of gas and is the responsibility of the Minister for Energy and Utilities. Section 83A is a regulation-making power relating to gas consumer safety issues and is being consolidated in the new Act.

What are the proposed key changes?

The Bill is a merger and restructure of current gas and electricity consumer safety laws. Gas consumer safety provisions will be strengthened to equal electricity consumer safety provisions, including the issue of penalty notices. Penalty amounts for gas related offences will be increased. Batteries of certain types that are declared to be high risk battery articles are proposed to be regulated under the new Act. Gas appliances displayed for advertising will be treated as being displayed for sale. A definition for a ‘gas component’ will be included. Authorised officers will be able to investigate and prohibit the unsafe use of gas appliances, electrical articles or gas and electrical installations.

The public consultation draft Bill and a document with the proposed changes are available below.

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Next steps 

Draft regulations for the new Act will now be developed and then released for public consultation together with a Regulatory Impact Statement.

Important documents

  • Gas Supply Act 1996 (the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation has responsibility for section 83A)

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