Electrical work at home

New Zealand law allows a homeowner to do certain electrical work if you comply with set standards. These standards are produced by the Energy Safety Service of the Ministry of Economic Development and are available for free download.

Electrical Codes of Practice (ECP)

View all of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations here

New Zealand electrical code of practice for repair and maintenance of domestic electrical appliances by the owner of the appliance NZECP: 50

New Zealand electrical code of practice for homeowner/occupier’s electrical wiring work  in domestic installations: NZECP: 51

Repair of appliances

Many of the home appliances in use today are very complicated and need specialised knowledge to repair them. In the interests of safety and reliability, you should consider leaving these repairs to specialised service companies.

Repairing appliances safely

If you feel that you can repair an appliance yourself, there are a few points you should know:

  •     You can only repair appliances that you own yourself
  •     The appliance must not be connected to a power supply
  •     You must do the work safely and carry out proper safety tests
  •     You must work in accordance with NZECP: 50
  •     Repairs should be done in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions
  •     Not all appliances are designed to be repaired and when they fail to work, should be replaced
  •     Obtaining spare parts can often be difficult and they may have to be ordered from outside New Zealand
  •     Attempting to modify appliances or fit non-standard parts is not advised as this can leave the appliance in a dangerous condition.

Installing or altering wiring

You can only install or alter wiring in the home that you own or occupy. If you own a set of flats that you rent out, you cannot do your own electrical work.
Installing your own wiring is not as simple as it seems. Wrongly installed wiring places you at risk of causing a fire or electric shock. Unless you know what you are doing, we advise that you use a licensed electrician.

Recommended electricians

We recommend that you use an electrician who is a member of the New Zealand Electrical Contractors' Association (ECANZ) who operate the MASTERelectrician scheme. For a list of contractors in your area visit their website.

MASTERelectrician is a member of the Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand and has met the high safety standard and commercial criteria set by the association. Using a MASTERelectrician member means electrical work carried out by them is covered by the MASTERelectricians free guarantee.

Installing or altering wiring safely

If you feel confident that you can install or alter wiring yourself, there are a few points you should know:

  • You are allowed to install new circuits and alter or extend existing circuits so long as the new and existing wiring is of the plastic sheathed variety and not rubber or enclosed in conduit or wooden casing.
  • Typical work that you can do is install additional outlets, lights and heaters, shift an outlet to a new position or wire up a garage.
  • You can also replace broken or damaged electrical fittings, replace fuses and connect and reconnect permanently connected fittings.

Before you do any work, there are a few safety precautions that you must be aware of:

  • Make sure the power is turned off
  • Never work where there are live terminals, such as inside a switchboard
  • Carry out the work in accordance with NZECP: 51
  • Ensure that the work is done safely
  • Carry out proper safety tests
  • You may not connect the wiring yourself - this must be done by an electrical inspector
  • You may not work on mains or main switchboards - a licensed electrician must do this.

Building a new house?

If you are building a new house, you will need to get an electrician to install the wiring from the street and the main switchboard. You can do the rest of the wiring in the house but you cannot connect it to the main switchboard. You will need to get an inspector to check your wiring and then to connect and liven it. As we do not keep records of customer underground mains cables, or those to outbuildings, make sure that you get your electrician to provide you with a record of all buried cables.

Getting your premises connected to Alpine Energy 's Network

If you are building new premises, either you or your electrician will need to apply to connect your new building to our network. Visit the network applications page for details on how you go about making the application.