Gas acts, regulations and standards
Operations, infrastructure and installations within the gas industry are governed and regulated by a number of acts, regulations and standards outlined on this page.
Gas Act 1997
The Gas Act 1997 regulates the gas supply industry and makes provisions for safety and technical standards for gas supply, infrastructure, installations and fitting work. The Act:
- promotes efficiency and competition in the gas supply industry
- promotes the establishment and maintenance of a safe and efficient system for distribution and supply of gas
- establishes and enforces proper standards of safety, reliability and quality in the gas supply industry
- establishes and enforces proper safety and technical standards for gas infrastructure and installations
- protects the interests of gas consumers
- provides the authority to introduce temporary gas rationing in the event of a supply shortage.
Gas Regulations 2012
The Gas Regulations 2012 regulate aspects of the gas industry under the Gas Act 1997.
The Regulations cover:
- safety and technical requirements for gas infrastructure, quality of gas supply, obligations of distribution system operators and retailers, as well as the quality of LPG supplied in cylinders
- gas fitting work and installing or commissioning gas appliances
- reporting of gas related accidents
- licensing of gas entities covering areas such as exemptions, licensing fees and license conditions for gas retailers outlining requirements such as pricing information for small customers and matching available gas to aggregated demand
- Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme – the scheme outlines areas such as energy efficiency activities, energy audits, energy efficiency arrangements for retailers and energy efficiency shortfalls
- price regulations and gas entity's powers and duties in terms of carrying out work on public land
- safety, reliability, maintenance and technical management plans and reports.
Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000
The Act establishes:
- requirements for the labelling of energy products to indicate their compliance with applicable safety and performance standards
- requirements for appliances to be certified before sale
- registration requirements for energy products to indicate their compliance with minimum energy performance standards (MEPS)
- labelling requirements for energy products to demonstrate their energy efficiency.
The Act empowers the Technical Regulator to:
- prohibit the sale or use of unsafe energy products
- issue public warning statements about unsafe energy products.
Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Regulations 2012
The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Regulations 2012 outline general administrative requirements including:
- the processes and procedures for applications for certificates required to label or register energy products or in the case of some electrical products, to certify suitability for connection to an electricity transmission or distribution network
- the conditions that apply to certificates, including their use, duration and renewal, transfer, variation, cancellation, registration and requirements for notification of change of name or address or change of agent.
Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Proclamation 2012
The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Proclamation 2012 defines relevant terms and lists:
- the laws of other states compliance that is recognised as satisfying the labelling and registration requirements of the Act (corresponding laws)
- the energy products that are required to be labelled to indicate compliance with safety and performance standards, and the particular standards that apply to them
- the gas products to which certification requirements apply, and the relevant certification bodies
- the electrical and gas products required to be registered to indicate compliance with applicable energy performance standards, and the particular standards that apply to them
- the electrical products required to be labelled to indicate their energy efficiency, and the particular energy efficiency labelling standards that apply to them.
Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995
The Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995 regulates:
- licensing of contractors including classes of licenses, application processes and licensing entitlements
- registration of workers including obligation of workers to be registered, classes of registration and registration entitlements
- suspension of licenses, disciplinary actions, complaints court hearings and contravention of court orders
- investigations, exemptions, body corporate offences, prosecutions and evidentiary procedures.
The Act is administered by Consumer and Business Services.
Australian Standards for gas
Australian Standards under the Gas Act 1997 include:
- gas installation standard AS/NZS 5601
- gas appliances standard AS/NZS 5263 Series
- gas infrastructure standards AS/NZS 4645
- gas supply standard AS 4564 (natural gas)
- commercial propane and butane for heating purposes AS 4670 (LP gas).
Copies of the last updated version of these standards can be purchased in full from official distributors. These Standards can be bought in either electronic or hard copy. A list of the current distributors can be found using Standards Australia's search tool.
Gas installation standard AS/NZS 5601
The gas installation standard was reviewed and published in September 2013.
The main changes concern ventilation requirements for gas appliances, especially in modern high efficiency five and six-star homes. The revised gas installation standard may be purchased from Standards Australia in either electronic or hard copy.
AS/NZ 5601 has two parts:
- Part 1 of the standard contains information for gas installations in premises for both natural gas and LPG. All references to caravan and boat installations have been removed.
- Part 2 of the standard prescribes requirements for the design and installation of LPG installations in caravans, boats, mobile holiday homes and other mobile or floating vehicles for non-propulsive purposes.
Gas appliances standard AS/NZS 5263 Series
AS 3645 is a generic standard that provides the essential requirements for gas equipment.
Gas infrastructure standards AS/NZS 4645
The intent of this standard is to provide for the protection of the general public, the personnel operating gas distribution networks and the environment. The standard is also to ensure reliable operation of gas distribution networks that reticulate gas to consumers.
Gas supply standard AS 4564 (natural gas)
AS 4564 specifies gas quality requirements necessary to ensure the safety of general-purpose natural gas transported and supplied for use in natural gas appliances and equipment and for use as fuel in natural gas vehicles.
Commercial propane and butane for heating purposes AS 4670 (LP gas)
AS 4670 specifies requirements for liquefied petroleum (LP) gas products in the liquid phase as supplied for general domestic and industrial fuel purposes, in bulk and into cylinders.
Gas appliances- Servicing of Type A appliances AS 4575
The aged standard AS 4575, Gas appliances – Servicing of Type A appliances has been fully revised. This standard is not currently called up by the Gas Act 1997 but is recommended by the OTR.
AS 4575 provides gas service practitioners with guidance on the technical servicing and repair requirements for Type A appliances. It covers:
- electrical safety
- appliance inspection
- unsafe appliances/installations
- equipment for performing the work
- general servicing and repairs
- appliance gas type conversions
- gas safety
- testing of appliances for spillage of combustion products.
In addition, it has several informative guides/checklists. Specifically, it includes a normative procedure for spillage testing of open flued appliances to ensure safe appliance operation given the influence of exhaust systems in high-efficiency building constructions.