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.
Embedded electricity networks cannot charge more than your local area retailer's standing offer tariff. These maximum rates are not affected by the introduction of a Victorian Default Offer for electricity prices on 1 July 2019, as this will not immediately apply to 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.
The ESC will establish a maximum price for embedded networks by 1 July 2020.
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
Consumers, small businesses or tenants who buy their electricity from an embedded network have rights under the Australian Consumer Law. For issues regarding bills and separate metering, tenants also have rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
When embedded networks become members of the EWOV scheme, their customers have access to EWOV’s free complaint and dispute resolution services, if an issue arises with the 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.
If you are still unsure whether your embedded network has joined EWOV, you can ask EWOV by calling 1800 500 509.
Customers of embedded electricity networks that have not yet joined EWOV can contact us if they are unable to resolve a dispute, and can report this to the ESC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 03 9032 1300.
Where to next: