Friday, February 11th, 2011
Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), welcomed the decision by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) to conduct an audit of both the qualifications of installers and the processes they follow when installing smart meters in Victoria.

This audit follows an electric shock received by a Highett resident apparently following the installation of a smart meter. Energy Safe Victoria is investigating this incident.

NECA Victoria CEO, Mr Philip Green, said should the ESV determine that laws or safety standards have been breached that the electrical industry would expect them to prosecute the offenders.

“Safety is always the paramount consideration for the electrical industry. Energy Safe Victoria has an existing regulatory framework to deal with breaches of standards and legislation and NECA would expect them to investigate reports of breaches,” Mr Green said.

“The incident in Highett is worthy of investigation but it should be noted that this is the only report of an electrical shock in 450,000 smart meter installations”, Mr Green said.

The qualification and training requirements required to install smart meters are stringent.

Only fully licensed electricians, registered line workers and qualified meter technicians are engaged to undertake this work. In addition, these tradespeople are also required to successfully complete a smart meter installation training course and in addition must complete another training course relevant to the particular Victorian Electricity Distributor.

The tradesperson must be assessed as competent in both of these training courses before they can commence installing smart meters.

“NECA is concerned that some of the commentary around this matter undermines public confidence, not just with respect to the smart meter roll out, but also with respect to the broader Victorian electrical industry and in particular electrical contractors.

“While we can always do better, Victoria has an excellent electrical safety record. Electricians and electrical contractors in this state are well trained and the electrical safety regulatory regime is second to none in Australia”, said Mr Green.

“While the audit must be thorough, it’s important that it be conducted as quickly as possible and any necessary changes implemented so that public confidence is restored.

“The negative publicity surrounding the smart meter rollout is starting to sap the morale of installers as some residents are now refusing to allow them to install smart meters at their premises. This is unfair to the installers who are acting appropriately and doing the right thing."


NECA Victoria CEO Mr Philip Green is available for interviews.

Contact Profile

Ian Richardson – President

P: 02 9888 3081


smart meter Energy Safe Victoria government National Electrical and Communications Association NECA



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