We have worked to ensure new property developments receive electricity connections within certain time frames.
Electricity connections for new developments
Delays sometimes occur in connecting new housing developments to electricity. Since 2018, we have been working with stakeholders from the development industry and electricity networks to reduce these delays.
We have worked to help ensure electricity connections in new subdivisions happen in a timely and transparent way, so that
- people can move into their new homes quicker
- developers are clear about the electricity distribution businesses processes for managing new connections.
Improving the timeliness of electricity connections
We implemented changes to help ensure that recent improvements in the electricity connections process are sustainable over the long term.
2018 electricity connections process review
In 2018, the Victorian Government asked us to provide advice on ways to ensure new property developments receive electricity connections within certain time frames.
This followed concerns raised by the housing industry that costs and delays associated with connecting new developments, as well as disparate processes by electricity distribution businesses, are a barrier for delivering more affordable housing.
We worked with stakeholders from the development industry and electricity networks to identify what might be causing these delays.
Stakeholders told us there were a range of issues affecting the time taken to connect new developments including:
- the rapid growth in demand for new lots placing strains on resources across the sector
- the poor quality of some connection works
- an inadequate customer focus by distribution businesses
- auditing practices by distribution businesses
- the development industry's lack of understanding of the regulatory framework and how they can influence the decisions made under it.
Making the system work better
While our 2018 review concluded that the regulatory framework is not the main cause of delays, we identified ways to make the system work better including:
- support for a new service improvement commitment to improve response times, clarify expectations around the connections process and communication between the electricity networks and the development industry
- the networks and development sector establishing a governance committee to monitor their performance
- a new feedback register where stakeholders can raise concerns.
The commission's role is to chair the governance committee and provide the complaints register.
Electricity connections governance committee
We have established a governance committee to:
- monitor delivery of the Service Improvement Commitment and other initiatives
- give feedback where necessary to achieve elements of the Service Improvement Commitment and other initiatives
- identify issues and risks that may affect implementation of initiatives.
The committee includes representatives from:
- AusNet Services
- CitiPower/Powercor/United Energy
- Property Council of Australia
- Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victorian Branch)
- Victorian Planning Authority
- Essential Services Commission.
View committee documentation in the 'resources' tab.