Independent safety testing of VEET products

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INFORMATION BULLETIN – COMPLIANCE WITH ELECTRICITY SAFETY
ACT AND INDEPENDENT TESTING OF LIGHTING PRODUCTS
Version 1.0 – 18 December 2013
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme is a Victorian Government initiative promoted
as the Energy Saver Incentive.
Contents
1
Overview....................................................................................................................................................... 1
2
Background .................................................................................................................................................. 2
3
2.1
Why is safety testing necessary? ........................................................................................................ 2
2.2
Legal obligations with respect to safety ............................................................................................... 3
Independent testing program ....................................................................................................................... 4
3.1
If a product is found to be non-compliant ............................................................................................ 4
3.2
If a product is found to be compliant .................................................................................................... 4
4
What you need to do .................................................................................................................................... 5
5
Legal context for this document ................................................................................................................... 5
1
OVERVIEW
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2008 (Regulations) require all prescribed activities to be
undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Safety Act 1998 (Safety Act). This Act is
administered by the Victorian gas and electricity safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV).
As the safety regulator, ESV is responsible for ascertaining whether products which are supplied to
consumers are compliant with the Safety Act. To support ESV in monitoring compliance with the Safety Act,
and to ensure compliance under the VEET Regulations, an ongoing program of independent safety testing of
products listed on the VEET register and supplied by accredited persons (APs) has been established.
In January 2014 the next round of product safety testing will commence. This will be focussed on lighting
products. All APs installing and creating VEECs for products listed on registers for schedule 21 (incandescent
lighting replacement) and schedule 34 (commercial lighting upgrades) of the Regulations may be selected for
participation in this testing program.
Reference: C/13/24593
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2
BACKGROUND
2.1
WHY IS SAFETY TESTING NECESSARY?
The VEET scheme encourages the development of new energy efficiency technologies, and the legislation
provides for a range of emerging technology to be installed as part of prescribed activities. However, due to
the fact that appropriate standards have not been developed for many of these emerging technologies, the
ESC is supporting ESV to assess whether these products are compliant with the provisions of the Safety Act.
Of particular relevance is the safety of emerging lighting technologies. The lighting industry is aware of
potential safety concerns specific to the quality, construction and installation of lighting products that may be
eligible for installation as part of VEET activities.
A bulletin released by the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) notes that there are potential
1
concerns with electrical safety of both LED tubes and T5/T8 fluorescent lamp adaptor assemblies. These
concerns are not limited to the lamp itself but also to modifications carried out to existing luminaires. Recent
enforcement actions indicate that there are instances where the products do not comply with essential safety
requirements, such as protection against electric shock.
There are currently no specific electrical safety standards for these products (T5/T8 adapters and LED tubes)
that could be used to cover all electrical risks. Therefore, designers, manufactures, importers and suppliers
would need to apply requirements from several electrical safety standards and engage in good engineering
design principles to ensure the products are made in a manner that is electrically safe.
APs who supply lamps as part of VEET activities should have appropriate quality assurance processes in
place to ensure that the products they purchase for supply to consumers are safe, and are not being supplied
in contravention of the Safety Act or VEET Regulations. In particular, attention should be paid to whether the
products being supplied on an ongoing basis are of the same construction and quality as the products which
received the relevant safety certification.
The check testing program will provide consumers and APs with confidence that safety standards are being
complied with and that suppliers who fail to meet their responsibilities under the Safety Act are mandated to
comply.
1
Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council, Information Bulletin: Safety of T8 lamp replacements and modified luminaires, Nov 2011
located at http://www.lightingcouncil.com.au/site/news-other.php
Reference: C/13/24593
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2.2
LEGAL OBLIGATIONS WITH RESPECT TO SAFETY
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2008 require all prescribed activities to be undertaken in
accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Safety Act 1998. This Act is administered by the Victorian gas
and electricity safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria.

Section 54 of the Safety Act states that a person must not supply or offer to supply electrical
equipment unless the equipment complies with the minimum standards prescribed for equipment of
that class.

Section 57 of the Safety Act states in part, that:
1. ESV may, by notice published in the Government Gazette, declare that any class, description
or type of electrical equipment is, from a date specified in the notice, prescribed electrical
equipment for the purposes of this Act.
2. A person must not supply or offer to supply electrical equipment prescribed under sub-section
(1) unless the equipment –
a. Is approved by ESV and is marked as prescribed; or
b. Is approved by a prescribed authority or, under the regulations, is deemed to be
approved; or
c.
Is certified with accordance with a prescribed method or prescribed process.
In accordance with section 10(1)(c) of the VEET Regulations, a certificate cannot be created where an AP
knows, or ought to know, that the prescribed activity was not undertaken in accordance with the provisions of
the Electricity Safety Act 1998. If an AP supplies products as part of a VEET prescribed activity, they therefore
ought to know whether the products being supplied comply with the Safety Act.
APs and manufacturers should have robust quality assurance processes in place to ensure that the products
being supplied as part of VEET activities are of the same quality and construction as those originally tested for
compliance with the relevant safety standards. This will assist APs in maintaining compliance with the Safety
Act and VEET Regulations when supplying products to consumers.
The independent safety testing program will provide a mechanism for the ESC to check whether the APs own
quality assurance processes are sufficient to support ongoing compliance with the Safety Act and the
Regulations.
Reference: C/13/24593
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3
INDEPENDENT TESTING PROGRAM
The ESC undertakes ongoing safety testing of products listed on the VEET product register under schedules
21 and 34. The next round of testing will commence in January 2014. For each round of testing, the ESC
selects from its product register a sample of products that it considers to be high risk, based on the volume of
supply, risk associated with the product category and any complaints it has received, among other matters.
As it is a requirement for valid creation of certificates that products comply with the Safety Act, it is AP’s
responsibility to provide the ESC and ESV with access to samples of the selected products, along with any
supporting documentation that may be required to allow ESV to successfully undertake independent safety
testing. Any AP which has supplied the selected product as part of a prescribed activity may be required to
submit samples to ESV for testing.
Following is a simplified outline of the check testing program:
1. ESC selects products for testing and advises the relevant AP
2. The AP provides the ESC or ESV with access to samples of the selected products, and provides all
supporting documentation to ESV
3. ESV implements the independent testing program in collaboration with accredited testing laboratory
4. ESV informs the ESC and supplier of any safety non-compliance
5. Products found to be non-compliant will be subject to ESV’s requirements
6. ESC takes advice from ESV and decides whether the product is to be removed from the ESC register,
and after any safety non-compliance is resolved, when to re-list the product on the register.
3.1
IF A PRODUCT IS FOUND TO BE NON-COMPLIANT
If a product is found to be non-compliant, it will cease to be eligible for installation under the VEET scheme
from the date of discovery of non-compliance. The product status on the VEET product register will be
changed to ‘Withdrawn’. Any subsequent installations will not be eligible for the creation of VEECs. This will
apply until such time as the ESC receives notification from ESV that the supplier has undertaken required
remedial actions and the ESC has received any new test report or certification.
A new product application may be required, including new safety testing by an Australian-based laboratory.
This will depend on the type and extent of the safety non-compliance.
3.2
IF A PRODUCT IS FOUND TO BE COMPLIANT
If a product passes ESV’s safety testing, the product will be maintained on the ESC product register and any
products installed as part of prescribed activities will continue to be eligible for the creation of VEECs.
Reference: C/13/24593
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4
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

The next round of safety testing is set to commence in January 2014.

APs will be required to cooperate with the ESC and ESV in order to facilitate the testing of selected
products. Compliance with the Safety Act is established under the VEET Regulations as a
requirement for the valid creation of certificates and the carrying out of VEET prescribed activities in
general.

APs that supply or install lighting products should ensure that their quality assurance regime supports
their compliance with the requirements of the Safety Act and VEET Regulations. In particular, APs
should ensure that the products being supplied on an ongoing basis are of the same quality and
construction as the original product for which the safety certification was provided.

APs that supply products in contravention of the Safety Act risk a finding that they have created
VEECs in contravention of the VEET Regulations.
5
LEGAL CONTEXT FOR THIS DOCUMENT
This document should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. In the event of inconsistency
between this document and any relevant legislation, the content of the legislation takes precedence.
If you have further queries, please contact VEET Support on (03) 9032 1310 or [email protected]
Reference: C/13/24593
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