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 and enables the Minister to impose conditions on electricity and gas licences by Ministerial Order published in the Government Gazette.

The Minister has indicated her intention to consider the use of 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 a matter of high priority to Government, particularly at a time when Victoria’s construction industry and housing supply is a critical enabler of economic recovery. The Government intends to work closely with stakeholders in developing these reforms.

Engagement to date

At the end of 2020, following passage of the legislation, DELWP wrote to Victoria’s electricity distribution businesses seeking preliminary views in relation to regulated connection timeframes for new housing developments. DELWP received responses from each distribution business, available below.

DELWP subsequently held a forum to discuss regulating timeframes for electricity connections to new housing developments with all interested stakeholders on Friday, 12 February 2021.

The forum gave attendees an opportunity to raise issues faced by stakeholders and provide input into potential regulated timeframes for these types of connections.

DELWP also prepared a consultation paper seeking written submissions from stakeholders. Five submissions were received and are available below along with the consultation paper.

Stakeholder feedback is being used to inform development of draft Ministerial Orders.

It is also noted that this is an issue of longstanding interest to the Victorian Government, and stakeholders have participated in other recent consultations on this matter by the Essential Services Commission and the Red Tape Commissioner.

Essential Services Commission – Improving the timeliness of electricity connections 2020

Planning and building approvals process review

Future opportunities to have your say

Before any Ministerial Order is made there will be further opportunities for consultation. As per the requirements of the Energy Legislation Amendment (Licence Conditions) Act 2020, all affected licensees must 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.

Responses from distribution businesses

Consultation paper and submissions

Page last updated: 12/04/21