Using Natural Gas and Compliance - Amanda Energy See what you could save

Using Natural Gas and Compliance

General Information

  • Natural gas is not the same as LP Gas and therefore LP Gas must not be used in natural gas appliances and vice versa. Operating an appliance on the wrong type of gas can be hazardous.
  • When selecting or installing appliances make sure they are designed to run on natural gas and made to the appropriate standard through the following certifications:
    • Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB), such as AGA, which generally certify Type A appliances conforming to Australian and International standards.
  • Industrial and large commercial appliances (Type B appliances) do not carry a CAB label and require an inspection and certification by an independent Type B Gas Appliance Inspector.

Types of Gas Appliances

Gas appliances to be used in a customer’s premises must be approved by the Director of Energy Safety (DES). Approved appliances will by clearly marked, stamped or labelled. Consumer appliances will generally fall into two categories, Type A or Type B. Appliances are categorised as follows:

  • Type A – Residential and Small Commercial
  • Type B – Large Commercial and Industrial

Type A Appliances

Type A appliances are typically cooking appliances, room heaters and hot water units. These appliances cannot be legally installed in a consumer’s premises unless they are approved and identified as approved.

The CAB’s that currently provide conformity assessment services for Type A appliances are as follows; AGA, Globalmark, IAPMO and SAI Global. Compliant appliances carry a label to confirm the assessment unique to that CAB and a common label showing a gas flame symbol will be printed or attached alongside the CAB label. The current approved labels are:

If appliances do not have AGA, SAI Global, Global-Mark or IAPMO certification, then they must be individually approved by a Type A gas appliance inspector and have an approval badge attached. A sample badge is shown below.

Type B Appliances

Type B appliances are typically industrial equipment such as gas fired boilers, furnaces, kilns and power generating equipment which requires extensive construction, assembly, commissioning and testing on site.

The installation of a Type B appliance in a consumer’s gas installation must meet a two-step process:

  • Approval for installation – this requires the designer, equipment vendor or installer to satisfy an inspector, through a technical submission (desktop appraisal) that the Type B appliances in the consumer’s gas installation must meet the following two step process; and
  • Inspection of the Type B appliance and certification of the appliance – this requires an inspector to inspect the Type B appliance on site and the installer to demonstrate to the inspector that the Type B appliance as installed conform to the technical and safety regulatory requirements. If the inspector is satisfied that the installation meets prescribed requirements, the inspector may issue a Certificate of Compliance for the appliance and attach an approved badge to the appliance.

The design and construction of Type B appliances are required to conform to the requirements in AS 3814:2015 – Industrial and Commercial gas-fired appliances.

Installation Requirements, Applicable Codes and Standards

All consumers’ gas installations are required to meet prescribed requirements set out in the Gas Standards (Gas fitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 (GSR 1999).

These regulations provide for the standard of performance for gasfitting work, licensing of gas fitters and a list of the technical standards and codes a gas installation is required to meet.

Installations with only Type A appliances are referred to as Class G gas installations, and these are required to conform to Australian Standard, AS/NZS 5601.1:2013 – Gas Installations. This standard sets out the requirements for consumer piping design and pipe material, flueing design and flue clearances, over-pressure protection, safety shut off systems, ventilation and appliance installations which are associated with the use of fuel gases such as natural gas and LP gas.

Installations containing Type B appliances are referred to by industry as Class 1 gas installations, and these are also required to conform to the relevant requirements in AS/NZS 5601.1:2013 – Gas Installations as well as the following Australian Standards:

  • AS 4041:2006: Pressure Piping – for above ground steel pipe;
  • AS/NZS 4645.2:2008:  Gas distribution networks. Part 2: Steel pipe systems; and
  • AS 2885 latest revisions of relevant parts Gas and liquid petroleum – for below ground steel pipe, operating at a pressure > 1050 kPa.

Guidelines on gas fitting work are available from the Energy Safety website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/energysafety

Licencing of Gas Fitters

A licensing system is in place to ensure only competent works carry out gas installing work. Under this scheme, only licensed people can undertake gas installation work.

Only those who meet competency standards are licensed. A disciplinary process is in place to ensure that only those competent remain as licensed persons. The competency standards cover work practices, equipment and installation.

In Western Australia, the Gas Standards Act 1972 and the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 provide that gasfitting work on a consumer’s gas installation may only be carried out by a person with the appropriate gas fitter’s licence.

What Type of Gasfitting Licences are Issued?

  • Class G – Covers all gasfitting work except gasfitting work classified as of Class I, E, or P.
  • Class I – Covers gasfitting work on a consumer’s gas installation associated with a Type B appliance or on piping that has an operating pressure of more than 200 kPa, not being gasfitting work referred to in paragraph (a) or classified as Class E or P.
  • Class E – Covers gasfitting work associated with a mobile engine.
  • Class P – Covers gasfitting work on a gas installation associated with that storage and dispensing of gas for the refuelling of a motor vehicle as defined in section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1974.

More detailed information can be obtained by contacting Energy Safety.

What Should I do if I need to Install a Gas Pipe or Appliance

  • Use only licensed tradespeople for the connection of natural gas, installation of gas pipes and installation of appliances.
  • Ensure your gas pipes are protected from corrosive elements.

Gas Appliance Conversion

If the design of an approved gas appliance is modified during or following manufacture, the changes may affect the safety of the appliance. Therefore, modifying an appliance will require the appliance to be re-approved and badged by a Type A gas appliance inspector.

Conversion of the appliance to operate on a different gas is considered to be a modification. If a manufacturer’s approved conversion kit is not used, the appliance must be approved and re-badged after the conversion is carried out.

When a manufacturer’s approved conversion kit is used, a Type A gas appliance inspector’s approval or recertification (badging) of the appliance is not required as the appliance, at the time of the original certification, was approved for both natural gas and a specific LP Gas type.

The Application for Certification of a Type A Gas Appliance form can be obtained either from a Type A gas appliance inspector or from Energy Safety’s website. The owner of the appliance is responsible for negotiating a fee and paying the gas appliance inspector for the cost of certifying the appliance.