Legislation Updates News

AC installation rules changing in SA

As a result of demand response requirements, installation rules for air conditioners functions are set to change in South Australia from July 1, 2023.

From July 1, technicians must not install or connect certain air conditioners unless they comply with the demand response requirements in the Technical Regulator’s new guideline.

Air conditioners covered by these requirements include any of the following that have a cooling capacity of up to 19kW:

  • Single-phase air conditioners
  • Three-phase air conditioners
  • Close-control air conditioners

The requirements do not apply to:

  • Evaporative air conditioners
  • Portable air conditioners
  • Air conditioners that plug into a mains socket/wall socket and don’t need to be installed via hard wiring.

“Installers will have a legal obligation to ensure that certain air conditioners comply with demand response requirements,” says SA’s Office of the Technical Regulator.

“It is critical to note that while these changes legally require certain air conditioners to have demand response capabilities, they do not require consumers to participate in demand response programs. Consumer participation in these programs is voluntary.”

The government has made available a suite of resources:

The compliance list is separated into three categories and has been broadened from what was previously indicated. The Technical Regulator will now be able to register products that are demand response capable, or potentially demand response capable if a separate part or component is added at installation or in the future.

The government says this change is designed to balance its desire to introduce demand response requirements with the need to mitigate any cost-of-living pressures for consumers as a result of these upcoming changes.

“Consumers will now be able to choose whether to purchase a compliant unit that has a separate part or component supplied and added when the air conditioner is installed (a demand-response-capable unit),” says the government, “or one with a part or component not supplied, but that is still able to be purchased at any time in the future for installation (a potential demand-response-capable unit).

“If you are a supplier or manufacturer and have products that comply with the requirement but are not on the compliance list, you are encouraged to register,” says the government.

For pre-existing orders and purchases of products that will not be compliant with the requirements, the Technical Regulator intends to deal with these issues on a case-by-case basis and can provide transitional arrangements as they deem necessary. Those facing this situation are invited to contact the Technical Regulator directly at dem.smartappliances@sa.gov.au

The government will hold in-person and online information sessions in the lead-up to the July 1 implementation date.

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