If you live in an apartment complex, retirement home, or caravan park, or you are a tenant in a shopping centre, you may receive your electricity via an embedded electricity network. Ensure you are aware of your rights and appropriate prices for electricity in embedded networks.
Information for embedded electricity network customers
If you live in an apartment complex, retirement home, or caravan park, or you are a tenant in a shopping centre, you may receive your electricity via an embedded electricity network.
The Victorian Government has changed the rules for anyone selling or supplying electricity via embedded networks. These changes have been designed to give customers in these networks access to better consumer protections.
Ensure you are aware of your rights and appropriate prices for electricity in embedded networks by following these steps:
- Check whether you are in an embedded network by looking at our public register.
- Check how much you can be charged for electricity. You can do this by looking up your local area retailer's standing offer tariff, as you cannot be charged more than this amount in an embedded network.
- Learn about your rights and protections. If you have a complaint that has not been resolved, you can raise it with the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria).
Check whether you are in an embedded network
Many people selling or supplying electricity via an embedded network are now required to register with us for an electricity licensing exemption. Our public register includes the customer contact details for electricity sellers and suppliers.
Use your address to search the public register and see if your electricity is supplied via one of these networks. The register will allow you to find the contact details of your electricity supplier. Your seller may also be registered if your electricity is individually metered (i.e. you pay for it as a separate charge, not as part of your rent).
Notify us about embedded networks that may not be registered
If there are 10 or more or residences or tenancies in your apartment building or shopping centre and you believe your electricity is supplied via an embedded network but you can't find the details on the register, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you report a potential non-registration, we will not reveal your identity or provide any of your details when we contact the embedded network seller or supplier.
All caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, manufactured home estates and retirement villages with an embedded network must register with us, regardless of how many customers reside at the site.
Some embedded networks may not need to be registered
If there are less than 10 residences or tenancies in your residential building or shopping centre, you may still be sold and supplied electricity via an embedded network. However, the seller and supplier are not required to register with us. Even if they are not on the register, they still need to abide by rules that protect your consumer rights.
Check how much you can be charged for electricity
You can do this by looking up your area's standing offer tariff, as you cannot be charged more than this tariff in an embedded network.
Find out more about the price you can be charged for electricity by following these steps:
- Look up your electricity distribution zone by visiting the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's electricity distributors web page. Use your address to find your distributor.
- Once you have your distributor, use the table on this page to find your local area retailer.
- Your local area retailer will have a standing offer for customers in your distribution area. This price is the highest price you can be charged if you live in an embedded network. You can find out what these standing offer rates are by visiting the links below.
- The best place to look for the standing offer is to use the search function on the website, simply type in 'standing offer'. Alternatively, this information is often found in the 'electricity pricing/plans' area of the retailer's website. This is often where the 'pricing fact sheet' is located area that includes standing offers.
- The rates may also differ depending on whether you are a small business or residential customer. The rates can also change every six months.
- Some retailers call standing offers 'basic plans' or 'simple plans'. If you are unsure of the standing offer prices in your area you can call the relevant retailer.
|Distribution zone||Local area retailer|
|AusNet Services (formerly SP AusNet) - Outer northern and eastern Melbourne, eastern Victoria||EnergyAustralia|
|Citipower - city and inner Melbourne||Origin Energy|
|Jemena - northern and north-western Melbourne||AGL|
|Powercor - western Melbourne and Victoria||Origin Energy|
|United Energy - southern Melbourne and Mornington Peninsular||AGL|
Learn about your rights and protections
We have reviewed the obligations in our Energy Retail Code that protect customers in embedded networks. The review aimed to clarify the rules around customer protections and provide customers in embedded networks with comparable protections to other Victorian electricity customers. These protections started on 1 January 2019 and broadly include obligations about:
- explicit informed consent
- billing, including contents and information on bills, basis for bills, frequency of bills, payment methods, undercharging and overcharging, additional retail charges and merchant fees
- payment difficulties assistance and payment plan options
- restrictions on debt recovery for residential customers experiencing payment difficulties
- a prohibition on security deposits for residential customers
- general information about interpreter services
- provision of information to customers
- reminder notice and disconnection warning notice requirements
- disconnection and reconnection requirements
- life support equipment requirements.
You can read our final decision and fact sheets for more information.
There are also customer protections in our Electricity Distribution Code that exempt suppliers must comply with. These include:
- notifying customers of planned outages
- life support obligations
- voltage standards
- complaints and dispute resolution
- disconnections and reconnection requirements.
In addition to our review, the government's changes also provide you with new protections. These include:
- The person who sells or supplies you electricity needs to get your explicit and informed consent before creating an agreement for the sale of electricity (from 1 April 2018). This means that they must clearly tell you how much you will be paying, any terms or conditions that the sale is subject to, and they need to make sure you agree to these terms. They must provide certain information in writing.
- From 1 July 2018, if you have a problem with the sale or supply of your electricity that hasn’t been resolved directly with your seller or supplier, you can get help from the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria).