Know your rights
The Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) applies to all electrical services normally bought for personal or household use.
So if you have a problem with the electric work done or the materials used, you may have the right to free repairs, a full refund or a reduced price, or to get another electrical worker to do the work.
Also, every electrical appliance or fitting that is sold in New Zealand, whether new or secondhand, must be safe under section 80 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations (external link) .
You can now check an electronic register online to see if your electrician is licensed.
Your electrical worker must be registered and licensed for the work they do
All registered electrical workers must hold a practising licence to carry out prescribed electrical work. Registration and licensing is done by the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB). The Board was set up to promote safety for all New Zealanders by ensuring the competence of electrical and electronic workers.
How to check
However, just because someone is a registered and licensed electrical worker, it does not mean they can do any type of electrical work. So check their licence card.
There are 10 classes of registration for electrical workers and each class is limited to a specific type of work such as:
- electrician – can do all installation work in your home
- electrical service technician – can service your appliances
- electrical inspector – can inspect the work done by electricians.
To find out how to identify a registered and licensed electrical worker, go to Find an electrical worker (external link) on the Electrical Workers Registration Board’s website.
You must be given a copy of the certification document
All electrical work must be tested and certified, whether it’s a repair, replacement or new wiring. You must be given a copy of the certification. This certification assures you that the work has been carried out by an authorised person and that it complies with the safety requirements.
When work is finished, ask for a certification and ensure you are issued with it. Keep this, as it is an important legal document. The type of certification will depend on what type of work was carried out, and may include some or all of these:
- Certificate of Compliance
- Electrical Safety Certificate
- a safety tag for any repaired appliances.
Some work may also require independent inspection.
Getting electrical work done (external link) (Energy Safety website) – to find out more about certification and your rights with sub-standard electrical work.
Misleading statements or behaviour
You also have rights to protect you from misleading statements or behaviour related to products or services made by anyone in trade. You can claim for damages or other remedies under the Fair Trading Act.
For more information about misleading statements, see False and misleading advertising or trading.