New greenfield electricity connection standards to support new investment
14 October 2020
Energy distributors will be required to set new standards for connecting power to greenfield residential developments under changes aimed at improving efficiency and timeliness.
The Essential Services Commission’s timely connections decision out today has increased requirements for distributors to create new standards for getting power on at new properties.
Commission energy director Sarah McDowell says there are economic benefits to improving transparency and certainty around connection wait times.
“Current connection wait times can range from weeks to months depending on where you live and this decision means developers will have greater certainty about when power will be switched on.
“We expect the new standards will be helpful in promoting confidence in small-scale development like housing which will be needed to help support economic recovery in Victoria,” she said.
Under the commission’s decision, distributors will be required to:
establish a customer service standard tailored to the needs and opportunities of their distribution areas
establish a committee with relevant stakeholders that meets quarterly to resolve issues with delays
report publicly every six months against a performance reporting framework.
Ms McDowell says the commission’s approach will reinforce distribution businesses’ focus on customers.
“We want to make sure distributors are communicating with developers and their contractors and ultimately Victorian homebuyers, particularly as it relates to new electricity connections.
“While distribution businesses have made many improvements under an existing service improvement commitment, more is needed to further drive improvements.
The commission is also seeking feedback on what should be in the new customer service standards. Interested stakeholders can contribute their ideas via Engage Victoria, with submissions closing 30 October 2020.