Embedded electricity networks are privately owned and managed electricity networks that often supply all premises within a specific area or building. Embedded networks generally buy electricity in bulk and then on-sell it to customers inside their network. If your home or business is within an embedded network, you may have to buy your electricity from that network. Changing to another company may be difficult and costly.
Victorian Default Offer prices are now the new maximum price for all households and most businesses in embedded networks. Find out more about the Victorian Default Offer, and how much you can be charged, on the Embedded network tariff page on the Essential Services Commission (ESC) website.
Most embedded networks must register with the ESC for a network and/or retail licence exemption. Embedded networks must also comply with relevant obligations in industry codes that the ESC and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) administer.
All embedded networks must be members of the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV). For more information, visit the Embedded networks page on the EWOV website.
Where embedded electricity networks are found
Embedded networks are common in multi-tenanted buildings such as shopping centres or commercial buildings. They are also common in new residential developments such as apartment buildings and in caravan parks. Some rooming houses (buildings where one or more rooms are available to rent, and four or more people in total can occupy those rooms) and retirement villages may also have embedded networks.
You can visit the ESC's public register to check whether you are in an embedded network.
Resolve your problem with an embedded network operator
Embedded networks must be members of the EWOV scheme. Customers have access to EWOV’s free complaint and dispute resolution services, if an issue arises with an embedded electricity network provider.
To check whether an embedded network has joined the scheme, visit the List of embedded networks page on the EWOV website or call 1800 500 509.
You can also report to the ESC that your embedded network is not a member of the EWOV scheme by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 03 9032 1300.
Consumers, small businesses, or renters who buy their electricity from an embedded network also have rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). For more about your ACL rights and the potential remedies, view Problem with a service.
If you believe that your embedded network has breached their obligations to you under the ACL, you can contact us for more information.
If a network goes out of business
If an embedded network electricity retailer closes down, its customers should take steps to ensure their electricity supply is not interrupted. For more information about the options available, see what to do if your network goes out of business on the Essential Services Commission’s website.
Rental agreements and embedded networks
Before a renter signs a rental agreement, the rental provider must also let the renter know if the rented premises are supplied with electricity from an embedded electricity network. If so, the rental provider must provide the renter with the:
- trading name of the embedded network
- ABN of the embedded network operator
- contact details
- electricity tariffs and any other fees applicable (or details where that information may be accessed).