Aircon discount scheme on ice
A STATE government green scheme enabling families buying high-efficiency airconditioners a discount of up to $1000 has been temporarily suspended after an audit found electrical wiring breaches by installers.
Announced in December, the energy-saving sweetener was designed to reduce the load on the electricity system while also promising to cut household power bills.
An estimated 850 customers took part in the program, receiving discounts of between $200-$1000 totalling around $390,000. However, it can be revealed the scheme was put on hold in mid-September after concerns some installers did not comply with updated electrical wiring rules that came into effect in January.
A Planning Industry and Environment Department spokesman said the decision followed a preliminary audit in June, which uncovered “several instances” of noncompliance by the installers following the update of wiring rules.
Fair Trading NSW was contacted, with the agency advising there were no safety reasons to require urgent remediation or advice to those affected.
Airconditioners installed prior to 1 January 2019 do not need residual current devices, and, if an air conditioner was being replaced with a “like for like” appliance, there was also no requirement for a residual current device, the spokesman said. “Nevertheless, the NSW Government takes compliance issues very seriously,” he said.
“The department immediately suspended the roll out to deal with the issue and develop a plan to remedy the noncompliance for existing installations.
“The Department is preparing an inspection and rectification process to ensure existing participants of the program are given the opportunity to have their air conditioner brought up to the new standard.”
The program would remain on hold until the issue was addressed, he said.