Your guide to connecting with AusNet Services’ electricity distribution network
This webpage is for customers seeking to establish a new connection to our network, or to change an existing connection. It covers connections for residential and small business customers, with or without renewable energy systems.
A new connection is required when there is no physical electrical connection between your house and our poles and wires. Alterations to existing connections can be necessary for a number of reasons, including installation of a solar power system, and a need for more power.
This information applies to end-user customers as well as people acting on the customers’ behalf. These include registered electrical contractors, accredited solar installers, electricity retailers and real estate developers. Registered Electrical Contractors/Solar Installers click here to access the forms.
AusNet Services is required to meet detailed government regulations in all areas of customer connections. Read our Electricity Distribution Network Connection Policy.
Note: if you are moving into a premises that already has an electrical connection but is without power, contact an electricity retailer. Please visit http://compare.switchon.vic.gov.au/ for tips and tools to help you choose a retailer.
Are you in our network?
Ensure that the premises you wish to connect falls within our electricity distribution network. AusNet Services’ network covers eastern and north eastern Victoria, from the outer suburbs of Melbourne through East Gippsland and North East Victoria. If you’re unsure of your electricity distributor, click here to check.
What kind of connection are you?
The types of connections to our network vary, depending on the amount, complexity and cost of the work we need to do in order to connect a particular customer. However, the majority of connections fall into several main categories. This allows us to offer ‘off the shelf’ solutions that cover process and cost. These are known as Model Standing Offers.
To help you understand which connection applies to you, below is a summary of common types of connections. Once you have identified your connection type, follow the steps listed to get connected.
A. Basic Connection
This is the most common type of new electrical connection between a premises and our network. A Basic Connection does not require us to change (or augment) our network by adding, for example, extra poles and wires or digging new electricity pits.
Following is a description of two of our typical residential basic connections.
- Our poles and wires run past the house, on the same side of the street
- An electricity pit exists at the property boundary
In both cases, the customer has no special needs for additional power, and all technical and electricity meter conditions are suitable.
Within a Basic Connection, we have a number of Routine Connections that cover the majority of our customers’ needs. Your may be able to identify your particular connection requirement in this group.
Examples of basic connections
Single Phase Overhead: (a single cable connecting your premises to our network) Powerlines on the same side of the street, poles within 20 metres of the premises, no clearance or property crossing issues.
Multi Phase Overhead: as per single phase, but with supply of multiple power phases (cables). Sufficient phases must be available on our network.
Single Phase Underground: an existing, suitable service pit or pillar at the property boundary. No property crossing issues.
Multi Phase Underground: as per single phase underground, but with supply of multiple power phases. Sufficient phases must be available on our network.
Temporary Overhead Supply: as per single phase overhead.
The Basic Connection process
To arrange a Basic Connection, follow the steps below.
- Contact a registered electrical contractor and advise them that you require a new connection.
- They will inspect your property. If there are no problems, they will produce a Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) and an Electrical Works Request (EWR)
- Choose an electricity retailer.
- Tell your electrician who your retailer is. They will send the retailer a copy of the CES and the EWR. Your retailer will then contact AusNet Services.
- If your premises meets our Basic Connection service requirements, we will process your request as an expedited connection.
If you apply for a Basic Connection, but for some reason, you do not qualify for this category, we’ll do our best let you know within ten days business days. In this case, your connection category may be a Negotiated Connection.
B. Basic Micro Embedded Generator Connection
AusNet Services uses the term ‘embedded generation’ to describe sources of electricity that feed into our distribution grid. If you have a solar power system, wind turbine or some other form of renewable energy system, you are an energy generator, as well as a consumer. This means there are some additional processes involved to cover safety and technical and safety issues. (Note: To keep things simple, we will use the term ‘solar’ to cover other renewable energy systems such as wind turbines).
This connection is for customers who:
- Are connected to our network, but have recently installed or upgraded their solar system. (e.g. they may have either installed a new solar power system, or added more solar panels to an existing system).
- Are not connected to our network, and have solar installed at their premises
Other criteria for this connection
The solar power system must have a maximum capacity of less than 4.6 kW, or less than 3.5kW if connected to a SWER powerline. (Single Wire Earth Return - the single cable power lines seen in some rural and remote areas).
The solar inverter must meet certain technical requirements. (Your solar installer will be aware of these).
This premises also meets Basic Connection criteria.
Basic Micro Embedded Generator Connection process
To arrange a Basic Micro Embedded Generator Connection, follow the steps below:
- If you have not yet installed or upgraded solar system, choose an installer who is accredited by the Clean Energy Council.
- Check that your solar installer will arrange for all necessary applications and paperwork to be submitted. See the top of this webpage. (Your accredited solar installer must, by law, be a registered electrical contractor, so they are able to complete this process).
- Tell your retailer about your solar power system. (They will then send a service order to AusNet Services).
For Basic Micro Embedded Generator Connections, your registered electrical contractor/solar installer will complete and submit:
- Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES)
- Embedded Generator Connections Agreement (EG)
- Electrical Works Request (EWR)
Your retailer will contact AusNet Services. When this process is complete, AusNet Services will prepare your meter to work with your solar/renewable power system.
C. Standard Connection
Applicable from February 1 2017, a standard connection covers new connections in which our network doesn’t quite reach the property. Typically, these would be houses in subdivisions and some semi-rural areas. A new connection form will be available closer to February 1 2017.
Standard Connections usually involve:
- Building a service pit then running a powerline underground from a nearby powerpole to that pit. (Pole to pit connection).
- Connecting to an existing underground powerline. (Service joint to pit connection).
These connections are covered by a set fee comparable to that charged by other distribution businesses, providing certain conditions are met. These include:
- The availability of low voltage supply.
- The service pit being in safe and technically applicable location.
- The customer’s power requirement not exceeding 40 Amp (single phase) or 63 Amp (three phase). With connections to SWER lines, other requirements may apply.
- The length of the connection is within AusNet Services requirements.
In certain circumstances, AusNet Services will charge additional fees for Standard Connections. These include:
- A customer requesting a pit in a non-preferred location.
- A pit being located where it cannot readily be shared.
- A connection that requires a road crossing.
- The need to excavate an underground cable.
- The requirements for a site specific Aboriginal cultural heritage due diligence assessment.
For detailed information
Please refer to our Standard Connection Service Model Standing Offer.
D. Negotiated Connections
If your connection does not qualify as a Basic, Basic Micro Embedded Generator or Standard connection, it is known as a Negotiated Connection. A Negotiated Connection requires additional work and costs beyond what is covered in the Basic and Basic Micro Embedded Generator Connection categories.
Under this category, a customer or their representative requests a negotiated service. From the commencement of negotiations and after necessary site inspections, AusNet Services is required to come up with a firm offer stating the costs and works involved to provide the connection within 65 business days.
Note: customers who qualify for a Basic Connection service can also request a negotiated connection at any stage of the process.
Is your connection a Negotiated Connection?
1. Negotiated Connections without solar
For a premises without solar or another renewable energy source, the following factors define a Negotiated Connection.
- New poles, wires or other equipment are required to supply power to the premises, beyond those covered by a Standard Connection.
- Significant power requirements - exceeding 100 Amp, or more than 40 Amp per phase.
- Complex metering or technical issues are involved.
- The connection is to a SWER line. (Single Wire Earth Return - the single cable power lines seen in some rural and remote areas).
2. Negotiated Connections with solar
For a premises with solar or another renewable energy source, the following factors define a negotiated connection.
- The amount of energy you could potentially feed into our network exceeds 4.6 kW for a single phase connection, or 3.5 kW when connecting to a SWER powerline.
- The energy export and inverter do not meet other technical requirements.
- New poles, wires or other equipment are required to supply power to the premises.
- A new underground extension of our overhead or underground network.
- You have significant power requirements - exceeding 100 Amp, or more than 40 Amp per phase.
- Metering or technical issues are involved.
- The connection is to a SWER line. (i.e. the single cable power lines seen in some rural and remote areas).
In addition, the proposed connection must satisfy AusNet Services’ safety and technical requirements.
Click here for more information on solar connection.
Negotiated connection process
To begin the negotiated connection process, call AusNet Services on 1300 360 795.
Connection forms for Registered Electrical Contractors/Solar Installers
For more information, refer to: