New standards aim to reduce delays to connect new housing developments
16 March 2021
Victoria’s economic regulator has signed off on new service standards from electricity distributors aimed at slashing the time it takes to connect new housing developments to power.
Essential Services Commission acting executive director for energy, Dean Wickenton says removing sluggish connection processes will be a boost for developers at a critical time.
“We have been working closely with the development industry and electricity distributors for some time to address potentially costly delays to new connections,” he said.
The commission has now signed off on new standards to cut connection wait times.
“The new standards will provide greater certainty for developers at time when uncertainty could be a drag on the state’s economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic,” he said.
Mr Wickenton says the push to develop new standards came after a 2018 commission review found average connection times for greenfield sites varied significantly across the state.
“After finding some connections were taking several months longer than others, we worked with developers and electricity distributors to address the underlying issues.
“While the process led to some improvements, it was agreed a transparent process with quality standards, processes and indicative timeframes would give developers certainty to invest in new housing,” he said.
The new standards include quality standards and timeframes and also outline stakeholder engagement and dispute resolution processes between the businesses and developers.
Mr Wickenton says distributors will now be reporting publicly on their performance against the new standards.
“Distributors will be required to show how they’re meeting the new customer service standards to ensure unnecessary delays are a thing of the past,” he said.