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Frequently Asked Questions

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Connections - General

Connections - Electricity

  • What to do if you require a new electricity connection?
    Step one - Your first step in connecting to our electricity network is to determine if the powerlines and poles need to be extended in order to power your premises. Please ask your electrician for guidance.   If our powerlines and poles need to be extended or upgraded, otherwise known as augmentation, please refer to the Commercial, Industrial and Developer Connections section of our website.   Once the network extension is completed, you can continue with Step Two - request new metering at your premises.  
    Step two - Engage a Registered Electrical Contactor (REC) to complete the required electrical works and obtain a signed Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) and an Electrical Works Request form (EWR).  
    Step three - Submit your request to your chosen retailer, along with the completed CES and EWR forms.  
    Step four - Your retailer will then submit the relevant Service Order and your completed paperwork to AusNet Services.  
    Step five - AusNet Services will then validate your Service Order. The timing for service orders begins once AusNet Services has validated and accepted your Service Order and all required paperwork has been received.  
    Step six - AusNet Services will action the project.
    If you require further information, please call 1300 360 795.
  • How long can it take for my new electrical meter to be installed?
    New connection service orders can take up to 10 business days from when we accept the service order and paperwork from your Electricity retailer.

    We have up to 48 business hours to accept the order from when your retailer sends us your service order and all paperwork.
  • How long does an electrical additional and alterations request take to complete? 
    Orders can take up to 20 business days to complete. A truck appointment will be organised directly with your electrician.
  • What steps are required?
    Your REC (Registered Electrical Contractor) will need to organise paperwork to be sent to your energy retailer and a service order will be raised.
  • How much will it cost to disconnect and reconnect for my addition and alteration?
    Your electricity retailer will quote you on the cost of a truck appointment fee.

    If the work can be done within the 1 hour you will be charged 1 X Truck appointment fee.

    If you require for the power to be disconnected for longer than one hour or you want the truck to return later in the day to restore power you will require 2 Truck appointments.
  • Is there 3 phase power available at my premises?
    Please fill out our supply request form for this information.
  • How do I know if I have a smart meter at my property?
    All AusNet services smart meters start with a meter I.D number of 4. You can find the meter number at the front of your electricity meter.
  • What is an NMI (National Metering Identifier)? 
    NMI stands for National metering Identifier and this is attached to both the property and the meter it starts with 6305 and is 11 digits long.
  • Where can I find my NMI?
    The NMI will be located on either the front page or the back page of your Electricity Bill from your retailer.
  • When will my smart meter be RRIM (remote read)?
    Smart meters will be remotely read between now and March 2017.
  • Where do I find the Supply request/Pit request form on your website? 
    Go to the Electricity Tab on the home tab and scroll down and double click on the connections tab, scroll down to the bottom of the page and here you will find the connection forms.
  • Am I eligible for the Shoulder Period tariff or can you suggest the best tariff for my property? 
    Please direct all tariff enquiries to your electricity retailer they can discuss the tariffs they have available for you.

Connection - Cost Calculator

  • How long is the estimation valid for?
    The cost estimate provided is an indication of cost and should be used as a guide only. If you wish to proceed with the works, prior to engaging any third parties for the works, we strongly recommend you get a quote. The quote amount may differ from our cost estimate.
  • How long will my quote request take to process?

    The time taken to process your quote will depend on the complexity of work that needs to be completed. In general, a standard connection can take up to 20 days to process and a negotiated connection (more complex) can take up to 65 days to process. Similarly, equipment relocation works is also considered a negotiated service and may take up to 65 days to process. 

     

    If the submitted request form is incomplete or inaccurate this may further delay the time taken to process your quote.  

  • How long is the quote valid for?
    It depends on the type of work, but most are valid for 60 days. 
  • Why would the quote differ from the cost estimate?
    When determining the estimate, the Calculator is not able to account for unique social or environmental conditions that may impact the price of works. For example, the calculator is not able to make assessments on the cultural heritage status of the land, any vegetation obstacles, adverse ground conditions or obstructing railway crossings which tend to impact the price of works. This is main reason for cost differences between the estimate and the quote and why we suggest you obtain a quote before commencing any works on our network.  
  • How long will the works take to connect electricity to my location?
    The time taken to complete the work necessary to establish a new connection to your property depends on the complexity of the works. We endeavour to have the majority of the construction works completed with 16 weeks . We advise you to speak with your project manager (appointed when you receive a quote) for further detail.
  • How long will the works take to relocate an asset on the network?
    The time taken to complete the work necessary to relocate assets on our electricity network depends on the complexity of the works. We endeavour to have the majority of the construction works completed with 16 weeks.   We advise you to speak with your project manager (appointed when you receive a firm quote) for further detail.
  • Why is it so expensive?
    Safely performing work on our network requires significant effort and expertise from our business. What may seem like a simple project (i.e., connecting electricity to a new house) typically involves input from a range of people including engineers, network planners and field crew. It also requires the installation and maintenance of expensive equipment. 

    It’s important to note that as a regulated business, all of our prices and charges are reviewed and approved by the Government.
  • What services does the Connection Cost Calculator cover?
    The Connection Cost Calculator provides estimates for the costs associated with establishing a new connection to your property (i.e., where an electricity point does not exist) and moving equipment (i.e., poles, service pits and street lights) on our network. 
  • What equipment can I relocate?
    The Connection Cost Calculator provides an estimate for the costs associated with relocating existing poles. Please note that we are not able to relocate equipment on our network for aesthetic purposes.
  • What is a service pit?

    A service pit is a container installed in the ground to your property boundary that holds the electrical connection between AusNet Services’ cable and your private electrical cable allowing electricity to be supplied to your property. A Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) can then connect your house to the electricity supply. Here is an example of a service pit installed in the ground.

    Installed Pit

  • Why is it so expensive to place powerlines underground? 
    Overhead networks are the most cost effective way to transport power over long distances. Undergrounding of powerlines can reduce maintenance costs, but these savings do not offset the substantial constructions costs that are incurred. 
  • Who can I contact if I have any questions about the estimate?
    If you have any questions, please contact Customer Services on 1300 360 795.
  • Who can I contact if I have any questions about the quote?
    If you have any questions, please contact your appointed Project Manager.
  • What process do I follow to connect solar or batteries?

    The following diagram shows the usual process for solar and battery connections.

    faq_solar

    For systems less than 30kW the process is outlined in the diagram. Using the new solar tool, grid pre-approval should take approximately 5 minutes to fill in the details and an answer is generated instantly. For any help with this tool, please refer to our reference guide.

    For systems that exception out of the tool or that are greater than 30kW, a manual technical assessment is required. This typically takes 65 days and there is a cost associated with this process.

    The fee for this service is:

    • $155.66 (excl. GST) for systems up to 15kW
    • $206.37 (excl. GST) for systems over 15kW and up to 30kW

    For more information on the process of obtaining a solar connection, please refer to our Renewable Energy page on our website.

  • Why am I required to get pre-approval? What is this used for?
    It is important to obtain pre-approval to install solar or batteries on your premises, as we need to check the network in your location to ensure that there is enough space to safely connect a system that generates energy. 
    If solar is installed in an area that does not have enough capacity, this can lead to network issues which may impact yours and your neighbours energy supply. The pre-approval process helps us to avoid this and ensure that our network’s capacity is managed appropriately. We are doing everything we can to enable as much solar into the system.

  • Do I have to use the Solar & Batteries Pre-Approval Tool? Which scenarios can I use the online tool?
    The Solar & Batteries Pre-Approval Tool will give you an instant answer on the capacity and export available at your premises. 

    You can use the tool to assess solar and battery systems with a maximum total inverter capacity of 30kW and 15kW export limit across 3 phases (i.e. (10kW total inverter capacity per phase and 5kW (3.5kW on SWER) export per phase).

    Please note: you will be unable to use the tool if you have a type 4 or basic meter because we require smart meter data to assess the application. Customers with these meters will be need to have their systems reviewed through manual technical assessment.

  • How long is the pre-approval valid for?
    Your pre-approval is valid for 90 days. The system must be installed within this time period otherwise a new pre-approval is required. 
  • Does AusNet services rate the solar panels or total inverter rating?
    AusNet Services uses the total inverter rating to assess whether a system can connect or not.
  • If I use the Solar & Batteries Pre-Approval Tool, will I still receive an email confirming the total approved rating?
    Yes, once your solar capacity pre-approval has been granted you will receive an email notification with an assessment letter attached. This outlines the total approved inverter capacity and export, your unique pre-approval reference number, and the next steps required to proceed with installation.
    Your pre-approval reference number will be required to complete the connection agreement prior to installation.
  • What happens if I misplace my pre-approval email and letter?
    Don’t worry, simply contact us by telephone on 1300 360 795 or at our email preapprovals@ausnetservices.com.au to have another copy provided to you. 
  • What are the next steps when I receive the response from the Solar & Batteries Pre-Approval Tool that further assessment is required?
    Unfortunately in some circumstances an application cannot be assessed via the online tool and needs to be looked at by a design engineer.

    Your application will require further assessment if we are unable to give you an automated answer via the pre-approval tool. To obtain further assessment you must complete an Embedded Generator and Battery Storage Pre-Approval form (manual technical assessment)  together with a single line diagram and provide this to us via our email at preapprovals@ausnetservices.com.au.
    Please note the fee for this service:
    • $155.66 (excl. GST) for systems up to 15kW
    • $206.37 (excl. GST) for systems over 15kW and up to 30kW
  • When I receive a response from the Solar & Batteries Pre-Approval Tool that further assessment is required, why might this be?
    Your application will require further assessment if we are unable to give you an automated answer via the tool. This may be due to a number of reasons, such as:
    • You have a type 4 or basic meter (i.e. we cannot view the smart meter data)
    • There is limited capacity available in your area.
    We try our best to ensure that we run the network so that as many people as possible can connect and generate energy in a stable and safe way, so it important that each application is fully assessed. 
  • Can I use the Solar & Batteries Pre-Approval Tool if I intend to install a limited export system?
    Yes, the tool will provide the maximum export that can be supported for that premise. Please note: On residential systems, we do not allow more than 10kW total inverter capacity per phase or more than 5kW (3.5kW on SWER) export per phase due to network restrictions.
  • What does export limited mean?
    Exporting energy refers to the energy that you are able to feed back into the grid i.e. you do not use it in your own home.
    In order to assess a new system we look at the information available to us on network capacity. To support solar and batteries there needs to be sufficient capacity in the network to allow the system to connect.
    In some circumstances, where the grid had reached its capacity threshold i.e. it is unable to support any more generation, we have to export limit a customer. This means that we must set a limit on the amount of energy you can feed back into the grid, for example: If you have a 6kW solar system you can technically generate and export up to 6kW energy. However, if the grid can only support 3kW generation in your area, then we will request that your system is limited to 3kW. Any energy produced on top of that is typically lost as heat.
    Whilst we may have to export limit you, you are still able to access the main benefit of solar energy which is to use all of the energy you generate for your own consumption and therefore reduce your energy bills.
    If you would like to export more, there is the option to go for a manual technical assessment where a design engineer can have a look at your system and see if there are any other options you could pursue.
  • Can I use Solar & Batteries Pre-Approval Tool if I intend to install a battery storage system?
    Yes, the tool can cater to both solar and battery installations.
  • Where do I find my NMI and METER number?
    Both of these numbers are located on your electricity bill. Each retailer positions these differently on the electricity bill and as such, they are not always easy to find. If you are having difficulty locating you NMI or meter number, contact your retailer.
  • I want more capacity and/or export than the tool says I am able to have. What should I do?
    The tool uses data on the amount of capacity available in our network to give the maximum available inverter capacity and export limit for each site. If you require more capacity or export that this maximum you can apply for a manual technical assessment from one of our engineers. However, in most cases it is unlikely that this second round of review will return a different outcome to the automated review.

    The fee for this service is:
    • $155.66 (excl. GST) for systems up to 15kW
    • $206.37 (excl. GST) for systems over 15kW and up to 30kW

    Please note: On residential systems, we do not allow more than 10kW total inverter capacity per phase or more than 5kW (3.5kW on SWER) export per phase due to network restrictions.
  • What happens if I do not get pre-approval and I go ahead and install a solar system anyway?
    We want to enable you to connect to solar, but this can create a safety issue for our AusNet Services people. We need to know where the solar systems are so we know when there is ‘live’ energy flowing.

    If a system is installed without approval, there is potential that it can either:
    • Create a safety issue for our AusNet Services crews as they do not know the solar system exists and that there is ‘live’ energy flowing at a site
    • Create issues for other customers in the area by affecting the quality of the power supplied to them
    When a customer is identified as having set up an unauthorised connection, in the first instance the customer will be contacted to disconnect their system until approval has been granted. If this does not occur, one of our service representatives will attend the premises to lock the solar energy system. We run regular reports to detect this.
  • Why does my tariff change when I connect solar?
    In order to convert your meter to measure the energy you use and the energy you generate, we update your account to a Solar Time of Use tariff to change the way your electricity is billed. 
    The Solar Time of Use tariff reflects when solar customers are likely to draw energy from the grid. This means that you pay different rates for the energy you use depending on the time of day.  
  • How will I know when my meter is updated?
    Once your system has been installed, all the relevant paperwork will need to be sent back to your electricity retailer. Once we receive this paperwork from the retailer we will update your meter to reflect the new connection. Once your meter has been updated, we will let you know via SMS.  
    The SMS message will say:
    Your electricity meter has been updated and is ready to support your solar generation. To get started, see https://ausnetservicescc.au.whispir.com/portal/richmessage/pAIbHRyY/v.prtl
     
  • I want to upgrade my system, what do I do?
    Adding to a solar system
    ADDING to an existing system is when you’re changing inverter(s) or adding additional inverter(s) resulting in an increase in system capacity.
    If you are ADDING to an existing system a pre-approval from us is required. 

    Replacing a solar system
    REPLACING an existing system is when you’re changing or removing inverter(s) but the system capacity remains the same as or smaller than the current approved system
    If you are REPLACING an existing system, and you are:
    • Replacing ‘like for like’ i.e. exactly the same brand and model as the current inverter then no pre-approval is required to make this change, you may proceed.
    • If you are changing an existing inverter for a different inverter of the same size or smaller, deemed equivalent, please complete an updated Connection Agreement and provide to us at solar.connections@ausnetservices.com.au
  • What process do I follow if I want to obtain a solar connection as a community group?
    Obtaining a solar connection as a community is more complex, and each case needs to be assessed individually to ensure it meets the community needs and context. 
    If you have any questions about community energy, please get in touch with our community energy team at communityenergy@ausnetservices.com.au
     
  • What do I do if I experience voltage issues?
    If you are experience voltage issues, please contact us by telephone on 1300 360 795 so we can investigate further and assist you with this issue. 

Connections - Gas

Meters

Meter Data - myHomeEnergy

  • What is myHomeEnergy?
    myHomeEnergy is a free web portal that displays data from your smart meter in a graphical way, and allows you to extract your data in a format that is compatible with online comparison tools, including Victorian Energy Compare. 

Faults and Emergencies

  • Why do I occasionally experience momentary outages?
    Our equipment that carries power to your house can detect when an object such as a tree branch comes into contact with our power lines. For safety, the power will be momentarily shut off and restored when it is safe to do so if the object has been removed.
  • How do I find out about future planned outages for my property?
    We will notify you by mail before any planned outages so that you can make preparations for the duration of the power outage. You can also check www.outagetracker.com.au for upcoming outages in your area, including the status and durations of outages. You can also contact us by email on faultsinfoline@ausnetservices.com.au or contact us on 1300 362 026.
  • What can I do if I require power during a planned outage?
    If your household or business requires power during a planned outage, you may be able to arrange a generator from a local service provider. AusNet services cannot provide a generator service to you directly.
  • What should I do if my power has gone out?
    Householders or businesses should first check if the fault has been caused because your circuit breaker or safety switch has operated. If there’s still a fault, contact us on 13 17 99.
  • What should I do if I have no gas flowing through to my appliances?
    Householders or businesses should first check if the fault has been caused because your meter has been turned off. If it has been and it is within business hours, please contact your retailer who is the company you pay your bill to. If you have a gas leak at your property or it is out of normal business hours, please contact us on 13 67 07.
  • Someone at my property has a Life Support requirement, what should I do?
    It is important to ensure both your retailer and AusNet Services is aware of any Life Support requirements at your property. AusNet Services will take additional measures to ensure we keep you informed of interruptions to your supply and any future planned outages in your area.
  • I’m concerned about a high energy bill, who should I call?
    Any billing enquires need to be directed to your energy retailer who is the company you pay your bill to for electricity or gas. If required they will liaise with AusNet Services directly to assist you in resolving enquires.
  • What should I do if I see a hazard related to my electricity or gas supply?
    If you see a hazard, it should be reported to AusNet Services or another local distributor in your area so that we can make the area safe for our customers. Please report any hazards for electricity on 13 17 99 or gas on 13 67 07.
  • I have seen a street light is out, what can I do to get it repaired?
    Street Light faults can be reported to AusNet Services directly, please take note of the pole number printed on the street light pole so we can ensure we inspect the correct one. Please email the details to us at streetlight@ausnetservices.com.au or contact us on 13 17 99 and press option 4.

Natural gas

  • What is natural gas?
    Natural gas is an environmentally friendly, clean burning and naturally occurring energy source often used for heating, cooking and electricity generation. Consisting primarily of methane and other hydrocarbons, natural gas is regarded as an affordable, reliable and safe energy source.
  • How does natural gas differ to liquid petroleum gas (LPG)?
    There is negligible difference between the running efficiency of LPG and natural gas. However, natural gas is delivered via underground mains (pipes) as opposed to truck deliveries – bulk supplied or bottles – for LPG.
     
    Regarding price, the cost of LPG is determined by the retail outlet, whereas natural gas is typically more stable and cheaper, as its delivery cost is regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator.
  • Can you convert LPG appliances to natural gas?
    Many appliances can be converted, however, check with a registered plumber beforehand. The costs of converting your LPG appliance to natural gas are usually recovered within a short period after conversion. Conversion costs can vary with the make and model of the appliance.
     
    Note: All LPG ‘flue-less’ heaters are not able to be converted to natural gas in Victoria.
     
  • Apart from the low energy cost, why else would I value connecting to natural gas?
    • Greater choice of appliances

    • Natural gas is convenient and has an excellent record for reliability of supply.

    • Natural gas meters are a fraction of the size of obtrusive LPG tanks.

    • LPG delivery trucks are less likely to frequent your street making it safer for pedestrians and a more tranquil setting.

    • Natural gas adds value to your house.

    • Compared to electricity, natural gas appliances are many times better for the environment with lower greenhouse emissions.

    • Replacing wood heating with natural gas is more convenient and cleaner for your neighbourhood.

    • Your natural gas bill typically comes bimonthly, allowing you a longer period before payment is required, whereas LPG and wood are generally upfront purchases.

Gas - Energy for the Regions program

  • What is the Energy for the Regions program?
    The Victorian Government launched the Energy for the Regions program to supply natural gas to 14 targeted regional and rural Victoria towns.
     
    The government has committed $100 million to the program, which will explore the viability of connecting natural gas to new regions by extending the existing underground distribution network or through non-traditional means.
     
    Regional Development Victoria (RDV) is delivering the program on behalf of the government. Any formal agreement between RDV and the gas distribution network owner – AusNet Services, Envestra and Multinet – to extend the network to these towns is subject to Australian Energy Regulator approval.
     
  • How do I know if my home or business will be connected?
    AusNet Services has developed maps illustrating where the gas mains (pipes) will be rolled out.
     
    If a gas main is installed within your street then you can lodge an application to your chosen natural gas retailer for connection to the network.
    The energy retailer will then contact AusNet Services to assess the economics of the connection. For most domestic connections there is no charge from AusNet Services for connection. If there is an economic shortfall for connection, you will be notified by the retailer and given the opportunity to contribute funds to gain access to natural gas.
  • What are my options if my home is outside the current reticulation area?
    Residents are encouraged to speak with their neighbours and register their interest with an application to a natural gas retailer. The energy retailer will then contact AusNet Services to assess the economics of the mains extension and an offer to connect will then be fed back to you via the energy retailer. There may be cost associated with the connection.
     
    Click here for more information.
     
  • Will it cost me any money if I’m connected under the Energy for the Regions program?
    In the majority of cases, new connections to the gas network are provided free of charge from AusNet Services.

    There may be specific circumstances where customer contributions are necessary to facilitate connection.

    AusNet Services will consult with customers – through the retailer – on these potential cost prior to connection.
     
  • Where will the natural gas mains be laid in the street and inside my property?
    In the street, the natural gas main is generally laid in the nature strip or if this is not possible, the main may be laid under the roadway or footpath. Typically only one main is laid in each street.

    From the street main, a service pipe into the customer’s property is typically laid at right angles to the designated location of the gas meter. The gas meter is typically located at the front non-driveway corner of each residential or commercial premise.

    In rare circumstance where the primary residence is located a far distance from the property line, the gas meter may be located at the property boundary.
     
  • Will I experience any interruptions in my power supply during the change over?
    No. Your gas service and electricity service cables are independent of each other.
  • If I do not wish to use this new gas supply can I remain with the old system?
    It is your choice to convert to natural gas or continue using bottled gas, but we encourage you to pursue the benefits of natural gas conversion.
  • Will the consumer piping need to be replaced once the appliances are converted to natural gas?
    For most residential connections, AusNet Services installs its own meter upstand piping up to the front non-driveway corner of the home where the meter is fixed. After this point consumer piping connects your appliances to the gas meter and all work on this section is the householder’s responsibility.
     
    AusNet Services provides a pressure of 2.75 kPa (at the gas meter) to match the pre-existing pressure of LPG so that customer piping replacement costs, if any, are kept to a minimum, provided it was originally installed to the plumbing code AS5601. We recommend checking with your plumber to determine if your consumer piping requires changing. In all cases LPG appliances need to be converted to run on natural gas to enable sufficient energy to the appliance.
     
  • What do I need to do once the pipes are laid?
    You will need to apply for gas with a gas retailer. Once registered, AusNet Services will arrange through your retailer for appropriate works to be done, such as installing a service line and gas meter to your property.