Gas heater safety push
The State Government today said it is improving gas heater safety in Victoria by setting a minimum servicing standard for Type A gas appliances such as stoves and cookers, heaters and hot water services.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has opened a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for consultation, which will determine the best approach for setting minimum standards for gas appliance servicing from 1 June 2022.
In Victoria, there is currently no mandated minimum standard for the servicing of gas appliances, particularly gas heaters. The mandated standard would reduce the risk to householders associated with ineffective servicing, including carbon monoxide poisoning.
In 2018, a coronial inquest into the death of Ms Sonia Sofianopoulos recommended that AS 4575 be updated to include a carbon monoxide spillage test. This recommendation was delivered with a 2019 update. The Labor Government wants to ensure these standards are compulsory to put a stop to more preventable deaths.
The move to mandate servicing standards is the latest measure to improve gas appliance safety in Victoria. New standards effectively ban new open flued gas space heaters by ensuring that they are no longer certified from 1 January 2022, and laws introduced last year require safety checks for gas appliances installed in rental properties.
The Government is also investing $335 million towards helping low income and vulnerable households upgrade to new high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. The Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades Program offers a $1,000 rebate to 250,000 households, reducing the upfront cost of purchasing new split systems.
Consultation on the RIS closes 22 March. Victorian households, businesses and industry can provide feedback at engage.vic.gov.au/regulatory-impact-statement-mandate-australian-standard-4575.