Embedded electricity networks can be implemented where electrical infrastructure is privately owned and managed. Operators of embedded networks are not required to hold a licence to sell or distribute energy, but must comply with relevant obligations in industry codes that the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) administer.
Where embedded electricity networks are found
Embedded networks are common in multi-tenanted buildings such as shopping centres or commercial buildings. They are also becoming more popular in new residential developments. Embedded networks are also common in caravan parks where the caravan park operator owns the electrical infrastructure. 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.
How does it affect consumers and tenants?
The main issue for consumers or small businesses in embedded networks is that exempt owners and operators are not required to be members of the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) scheme. This means that you will not have access to EWOV’s complaint and dispute resolution services if an issue arises with the network owner or operator.
However, consumers, small businesses or tenants who buy their energy from a network operator or re-seller will continue to have rights under the Australian Consumer Law and, for issues regarding bills and separate metering, the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
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