On this page:
- About us
- Our customers
- Our guaranteed service level commitments
- Connections and disconnections
- Small planned works
- Life support customers
- Safety and our shared obligation
- Outages and interruptions
- Accelerating our sustainable future
- Our commitments to you
- Small embedded generators
- Public lighting
- When things don't go to plan
This page includes a summary of our Customer Charter (PDF, 25.6 MB), which outlines our commitment to you and explains your rights and responsibilities under the Electricity Distribution Code of Practice.
We’re an electricity distribution company, which means we move electricity from where it’s made, to your home, business and community.
We deliver electricity to more than 802,000 Victorians. You can choose your electricity retailer, but your distributor is determined by your location. While you don’t pay your power bill directly to us, a percentage of your bill is made up of charges that cover the cost of getting electricity to you.
Our purpose is to connect communities with energy and accelerate a sustainable future. We do this by maintaining the poles, wires and underground cables. We’re available every day of the year to respond to faults and emergencies on the network. We’re also investing in new projects and technology to keep the network safe and reliable.
And we’re supporting the future of the energy industry with key infrastructure to connect to renewables.
For more information, see About.
We’re passionate about our customers. We prioritise customers who rely on electricity for life support equipment in their homes, and customers in vulnerable circumstances.
To receive SMS updates about outages and restoration times:
- call us with your details on 1300 360 795, or
- make sure your electricity retailer has your mobile number. They’ll pass it on to us.
Safety is our number one priority. During emergencies or extreme weather, including storms and bushfires, your electricity supply may be interrupted. It’s important to keep safe and know what to do when the power goes out.
For more information, see page 4 of the Charter.
We aim to provide you with reliable and safe electricity supply, however we can’t guarantee an uninterrupted supply when our network is exposed to events such as severe weather.
The Electricity Distribution Code of Practice specifies minimum guaranteed service levels (GSLs) we must provide you as your electricity distributor. When we’re unable to meet these commitments, you may be entitled to a payment.
For more information, see:
- page 5 of the Charter, and
- Compensation and Service Standards.
Connections and your rights to negotiate different contract terms
We aim to connect power to your supply address on the agreed date and in accordance with our distribution connection policy approved by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). Download our Distribution connection policy (Word, 2.4 MB).
Before connecting to our electricity distribution network, customers will need to establish a connection agreement with us. If the connection requires minimal or no changes to our network, an AER-approved contract applies:
- For basic connections, download our Model standing offer for basic connection services - Metered load (Word, 457 KB)
- For standard connections, download our Model standing offer for standard connection services - Pole to pit connections (Word, 592 KB)
You can also negotiate on the contract terms.
Once you're connected, we're bound by the approved Deemed Distribution Contract (DDC), which sets out the terms and conditions of how we'll maintain your electricity connection. The DDC is a contract structure approved by the Electricity Distribution Code of Practice and the Essential Services Commission.
For information on new connections, connection alterations or to get a copy of our electricity connection contracts, see Connection types.
To reconnect electricity where there is an existing connection, contact your retailer. They'll ask us to turn your power back on.
If we get the request before 3pm, we'll reconnect your power supply that day. If we get the request after 3pm, we'll reconnect your supply on the next business day.
If we get the request between 3pm and 9pm, we can still reconnect your supply that day, but an after hours reconnection charge will apply. For information on our charges, see Network tariffs.
We prefer not to disconnect customers, but may have to:
- when there's a breach to the Code
- during an emergency
- for safety reasons
- on request from you or your retailer.
For more information on disconnections and steps to reconnect your electricity, see page 7 of the Charter.
We’re trialling a new way of working to make sure our customers continue to have safe and reliable power.
On days where we have capacity to complete small electricity works, our field services supplier, Downer, may knock on your door to get your permission for these works to occur.
This is a trial that will run from December 2022 until March 2023.
Small planned electricity works include:
- minor service replacements
- meter replacements
- typically jobs involving a single customer, where the power won’t be interrupted for more than two hours.
Explicit Informed Consent (EIC)
You’ll be asked to give your consent for us to turn your power off for a short time before any work begins.
If you agree, you’ll be asked to sign a consent form. If you’d like a copy of what you signed, you can take a photo of the signed form at the time, or you can call us on 1300 360 795. If you don’t give consent, that’s OK – we’ll add the job to our normal works queue for completion another time. You’ll be notified when the job will happen as per our usual planned outage process.
The Downer or Ventia staff attending your property will always carry identification. You can ask to see these credentials anytime they’re on your property.
If you’re unsure whether the crew attending your property are from Downer or Ventia, please call us on 1300 360 795.
If you or someone at your premises relies on approved life support equipment, you need to:
- tell us or your retailer as soon as possible. We’ll register you as having special supply needs
- work with your medical practitioner to create an emergency plan for power outages.
When you’re registered, we’ll give you tips on how to prepare for interruptions and outages. We can also send you SMS updates and alerts.
For more information, see:
- page 8 of the Charter, and
- Life support customers.
Trees and vegetation
You need to keep trees and other vegetation on your property clear from any powerlines, including private lines, that run to or across your property.
We’ll keep all other powerlines clear of vegetation. Our specialist team manages this and regularly inspect our lines.
Access to your property
Sometimes we need to access your property for things like reading and inspecting your meter, connecting or disconnecting the electricity supply, or for repairs and maintenance.
We’ll always carry official identification, so you can confirm our identity when we arrive.
For more information on keeping supply safe for everyone, see pages 10 and 11 of the Charter.
For an overview of your rights, entitlements and obligations as a small customer, see pages 10-18 of the Charter.
When major interruptions occur, we often get a lot of calls at the same time. Check our Outage Tracker for information about known electricity supply problems and approximate restoration times.
Planned outages happen when we’re upgrading or maintaining network infrastructure (the poles and wires) that supply electricity to you. Planned outages are a critical part of delivering safe and reliable power to our customers.
Unplanned outages can be caused by extreme weather, bushfires, car accidents or even wildlife. We always do our best to restore supply as safely and quickly as possible.
Momentary interruptions happen when our safety devices are activated by a temporary interference on our powerlines. They usually last up to 10 seconds and can be caused by things like an animal or tree debris.
For more information, see page 13 of the Charter.
A sustainable energy future is as important to us as it is to you.
Before you install rooftop solar, electric vehicle charging stations or a battery at your premises, make sure the unit and any equipment that’s connected to the network:
- complies with the Electricity Distribution Code of Practice
- complies with the Electricity Safety Act 1998 and related safety regulations
- complies with all relevant Australian Standards
- is maintained in a safe condition.
For more information, see page 14 of the Charter.
Our six commitments make sure we understand your needs. They shape our services to make it simple and easy to get things done and to improve the experience of our customers and communities.
Commitment 1: Building our understanding of customers’ needs and expectations.
Commitment 2: Establishing clearer accountability for customers.
Commitment 3: Aligning our incentives with customer outcomes.
Commitment 4: Fixing customer pain points and improving the customer experience.
Commitment 5: Collaborating with the community and taking care of customers in vulnerable circumstances.
Commitment 6 : Making our organisation easier to deal with.
For more information, see page 17 of the Charter.
The Electricity Distribution Code of Practice (EDCoP) defines a small embedded generating unit as:
'an embedded generating unit that is connected at a point of connection which, when aggregated with any other embedded generating units connected at that point of connection, have a power transfer capability of not more than 30kVA in total.'
The EDCoP defines a small embedded generator as:
'an embedded generator who generates or proposes to generate electricity for supply or sale from a small embedded generating unit.'
If you want to generate electricity with solar on your own property, see Getting solar.
For information on how to apply, see Solar connections.
Your maintenance responsibilities
If you own a small embedded generator connected to our electricity network, you're responsible for making sure it's working according to the relevant safety requirements.
You should contact a licensed electrician or accredited solar panel system installer for any maintenance work. Keep a record of this work, including the date and person completing it.
For more information, see Maintaining solar.
Maximum export limits
You must get our pre-approval before connecting solar to our electricity network.
In some cases, you might not be able to export everything. It depends on the strength of the grid in your area, the size of your system and current demand.
Once you have approval to connect your solar, you must operate within your approved maximum export limit. If you want to upgrade or make any changes, you'll need to go through the same process as installing a new system.
Some possible upgrades include:
- adding a battery to your solar system
- increasing the number of panels on your roof or adding another inverter
- replacing the existing system if it's getting old.
Any changes must be approved by us first.
Your small embedded generator may be disconnected from the network if:
- you fail to meet your obligations, including your maximum export limit
- your system no longer complies with the EDCoP, Australian Standards, is in breach of the Electricity Safety Act 1998 or other safety regulations.
Once the issue is fixed, we'll approve your reconnection.
We’re responsible for maintaining public lighting assets across our electricity distribution network in accordance with the Essential Services Commission’s Public Lighting Code. For more information, see Network tariffs.
Every customer has the right to make a complaint if they’re not satisfied with our services. We won’t discriminate against anyone who has made a complaint and we won’t disconnect supply while a complaint or dispute is in progress.
For more information on how to make a complaint, see:
- page 18 of the Charter, and
- Complaints and feedback.