The Electrical trades section of the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) monitors and regulates the safety and technical standards of South Australia’s electrical installation industry.

Put simply, it governs electricians, electrical installations and electrical product safety in South Australia.

This page is aimed at electricians who undertake electrical installations, as well as businesses and individuals that work in the electrical trade industry. Members of the public looking for electrical safety advice, have enquiries or wish to submit complaints will also find this page useful.

Here you can find information on compliance, reporting, product approvals, auditing, the Australian Standards as well as how to contact the OTR’s Electrical trades section.

If you’re looking for technical regulation for larger-scale electricity infrastructure, also visit our OTR Infrastructure page.

Expand each of the topic headings below for further information.

Electricians must issue an eCoC to customers after completing any electrical work. These are legal documents, required by law under the Electricity Act 1996.

Only people with an appropriate and registered licence can legally fill out an eCoC and certify work.

The purpose of an eCoC is to:

  • enable self-certification of electrical work,
  • assure the customer that the work is installed, examined and tested to the required Australian Standards,
  • protect the electrician by limiting their liability to the work they have carried out,
  • allow the Office of the Technical Regulator to audit electrical installations for safety and technical compliance.

Prepare, submit, and track your certificates on the eCoC portal

Penalties for not issuing or incorrectly issuing an eCoC include warnings, expiation notices, disciplinary interviews and potential legal action under section 61 of the Electricity Act 1996 with penalties of up to $5000.

All incidents involving electricity that results in electric shock, electrical burns or a prescribed fire must be reported to the OTR Electrical trades section. This must be by the electricity entity, the electrician or the occupier of the premises where the incident occurred.

Prescribed fire means a fire that involves the attendance of an emergency services organisation.

This is legally enforced by the Electricity Act 1996 and the Electricity (General) Regulations 1997.

If the incident occurred in a workplace, you must also report it to Safework SA.

Timeframes

The timeframes allowed will depend on the severity of injuries from the incident:

  • A death must be reported immediately by phone: 1800 558 811
  • Any incident where a person requires medical assistance must be reported within one working day, either by phone or online.
  • All other incidents involving electricity must be reported within 10 working days of the day of the incident, by phone, post or online.

Contact information for reporting

Phone

  • 8226 5518 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm)
  • 1800 558 811 (24/7 - emergencies only)

Email or post

Certain electrical appliances (proclaimed products) must be certified by a recognised Australian approving body before they can be sold, hired or installed in South Australia.

Non-proclaimed products can be voluntarily certified.

Proclaimed products manufactured in, or directly imported into, South Australia must have an approval certificate. The OTR will only issue an approval certificate for a South Australian based business.

Applying for an electrical product safety approval

All new product approval applications must be submitted through the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS).

Proclaimed products are equivalent to Level 3 - Electrical Equipment as specified on the EESS website.

There are application fees associated with creating, modifying and renewing an approval application.

If you’re intending to submit an approval application for the first time with the OTR, please contact us to discuss your application before you proceed.

Once approved

An approval certificate is usually issued for five years.

The product must bear the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) in accordance with the EESS.

For further information

Contact the OTR Electrical section.

Electrical licencing

Workers in the electrical industry must be licenced and registered to legally preform electrical installation work. All electrical work must be certified as compliant, in accordance with electrical acts, regulations and standards.

The Consumer and Business Services is responsible for administering electrical licenses. To obtain a license, an electrician must be qualified and competent to carry out electrician installations.

Training

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an electrician, or if you need to refresh your skills and knowledge, the following registered training organisations (RTO) in South Australia provide nationally recognised training in electricity trades.

  • Adelaide Training and Employment Centre (ATEC)
    For electrical rescue and resuscitation certificates
    Phone: 8240 1233
    Web: www.atec.asn.au
  • PEER VEET
    For rescue, resuscitation, first aid and other industry courses
    Phone: 8348 1200
    Web: www.peer.com.au
  • TAFE SA
    TAFE SA Information Freecall: 1800 882 661
    Mobile users: 8463 6300
    Business infoline: 1300 825 317
    TTY for deaf: 8463 6359
    Web: www.tafesa.edu.au

Industry events

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) and Masters Electricians Australia (MEA) organise annual electrical roadshows, which are supported by the Office of the Technical Regulator. Industry members can attend to find out more about:

  • changes to AS/NZS 3000 (Wiring Rules)
  • issues related to electrical installations
  • the Electricity Act and regulations.

For more information on the above, visit the events pages on the NECA website and the MEA website.

The Electrical trades section of the OTR has the authority to audit electrical installations, electrical workers, and electrical contractors at random or in response to complaints.

This is legally enforced by the Electricity Act 1996 and the Electricity (General) Regulations 2012.

Complaints

If you have a complaint about the safety or technical compliance of an electrical installation, please download, complete and submit the Complaints Pack (PDF, 194.1 KB).

You can also contact the OTR Electrical trades section.

Electrical installation auditing

Five types of audits are commonly undertaken:

  1. audits of electrical installations suspected to be non-compliant, as well as reported electrical accidents/incidents
  2. audits of the work of electricians and contractors whose names are selected at random from a database
  3. audits of electricians and contractors for specific reasons such as submission of electrical certificates of compliance, calibration of testing equipment, and training in rescue and resuscitation.
  4. audits of in-house electrical workers who perform electrical work directly and exclusively for their employer
  5. audits of a specific segment of the electrical industry - e.g. solar installations, battery installations, or hazardous area installations etc.

The OTR has a policy to disconnect installations that are found to be unsafe. This is done to ensure the safety of the installation and to ensure unsafe breaches are rectified.

Before the electricity supply can be restored to the installation, an electrical certificate of compliance certified by a licensed electrical worker must be submitted to the OTR. The certificate of compliance is to verify the electrical integrity of the installation.

If the whole installation is disconnected, an electrical contractor will typically be required to test and verify that the whole installation is compliant and safe, using the OTR's testing and verification sheets.

The visual inspection form, the schedule of test results, and a copy of the electrical certificate of compliance must be submitted to the OTR before reconnection to the electricity supply will be permitted.

Breaches of the Electricity Act 1996 (section 61) may incur penalties ranging from $315 per breach to the maximum penalty of $5000.

Anyone performing electrical work is required by law (Section 61(1)(b) of the Electricity Act 1996) to examine and test their work.

Regulation 56(1)(a) of the Electricity (General) Regulations 2012 requires electrical work to be examined and tested in accordance with the requirements of AS/NZS 3000 (Wiring Rules), any standard called up by AS/NZS 3000 (Wiring Rules) and the Network Operator.

The OTR provides a visual inspection and verification form and a schedule of test results for electricians to record the results of their examinations and tests.

Submitting the results of examination and testing to the OTR will soon become mandatory. These will need to be submitted with every Electrical Certificate of Compliance (eCoC) from mid-late 2023.

It is strongly recommended that electrical workers ensure they are up to date with and familiar with the verification requirements of Section 8 of AS/NZS 3000 (Wiring Rules).

The electricity industry in South Australia is governed by a range of acts, regulations, and standards.  These include, but aren’t limited to -

Acts

The Electricity Act 1996 provides a legislative framework to ensure that South Australian consumers have access to safe, reliable, and quality electricity supply, as well as safe electrical installations in a competitive market. The Act:

  • promotes efficiency and competition in the electricity supply industry
  • promotes the establishment and maintenance of safe and efficient systems for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity
  • establishes and enforces appropriate standards of safety, reliability and quality in the South Australian electricity supply industry
  • establishes and enforces appropriate safety and technical standards for electrical installations and electricity infrastructure
  • protects the interests of South Australian consumers

The Electricity Act 1996 provides the Office of the Technical Regulator with the authority to enforce the requirements of the legislation and its associated regulations.

The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000 regulates the sale of selected energy products by:

  • establishing requirements for the labelling of energy products to indicate their compliance with applicable safety and performance standards
  • imposing labelling requirements to demonstrate the certification of energy products (proclaimed products)
  • imposing registration requirements for energy products to indicate their compliance with minimum energy performance standards (MEPS)
  • imposing labelling requirements to demonstrate the energy efficiency of energy products.

The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000 empowers the Office of the Technical Regulator to prohibit the sale or use of unsafe energy products.

Regulations

The Electricity (General) Regulations 2012 outline legal safety and technical requirements for:

  • electrical installations
  • electricity infrastructure
  • work on electrical installations
  • working near power lines
  • clearance from powerlines for buildings and other structures
  • the issuing of electrical certificates of compliance. These are legal documents issued by licensed electrical workers prior to the energisation of work on electrical installations.

For more information see:

Standards

The Australian Standards provide requirements and guidelines to the electricity industry in a variety of areas. From time to time, these Standards are amended to ensure the most up to date and correct information is included.

Australian standard AS/NZS 3000 - Australian Wiring Rules sets out the requirements for electrical installations.

These standards can be purchased from the SAI Global website along with other associated standards.

SAPN Service and Installation rules

The SA Power Networks (formerly ETSA Utilities) Service and Installation Rules can be found on the SA Power Networks website.

Online enquiry

Fill out the online enquiry form to receive a call or email back from the Electrical trades team.

Email

Phone

Electric shock, emergency, or incident reporting

  • 8226 5518 (Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 4.30 pm)
  • 1800 558 811 (24/7 - emergencies only)

Installation safety and wiring rules
Applying for product approvals

  • 8226 5518 (Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 4.30 pm)

Infrastructure (powerlines and vegetation clearance)

  • 8226 5667 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)

Regulatory changes for Smarter Homes

  • 8226 2108 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)

Complaints

Post

Office of the Technical Regulator
Electrical Trades
GPO Box 320
Adelaide SA 5001

eCoCs