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On 27 October 2020, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change introduced the Energy Legislation Amendment (Licence Conditions) Bill 2020 into Parliament. The Bill received Royal Assent on 1 December 2020. It enables the Minister to impose conditions on electricity and gas licences by Ministerial Order published in the Government Gazette.

The Minister intends to consider using these powers to address delays in connecting electricity to new housing developments through licence conditions regulating timeframes for these connections or stages of the connection process.

Improving the timeliness of electricity connections to new developments is important. Particularly at a time when Victoria’s construction industry and housing supply is a critical enabler of economic recovery. The government will work closely with stakeholders in developing these reforms.

Engagement to date

Following the passage of the legislation, the department wrote to Victoria’s electricity distribution businesses seeking preliminary views about regulated connection timeframes for new housing developments. We received responses from each distribution business, available below.

The department then held a forum to discuss regulating timeframes with all interested stakeholders on 12 February 2021.

The forum allowed attendees to raise issues faced by stakeholders. It also welcomed input into potentially regulated timeframes for these types of connections.

We also published a consultation paper and sought written submissions from stakeholders. Five submissions were received.

This feedback from stakeholders informs the development of draft Ministerial Orders.

This is an issue of longstanding interest to the Victorian Government. Stakeholders have participated in other recent consultations on this matter by the Essential Services Commission and the Red Tape Commissioner.

Future opportunities to have your say

Before any Ministerial Order is made, there will be further opportunities for consultation. The Energy Legislation Amendment (Licence Conditions) Act 2020 requires all affected licensees to be given an opportunity to make submissions on any draft Ministerial Order before it is finalised. Other stakeholders will also be further consulted as part of this process.

Page last updated: 05/01/23