Australia

Regulator to investigate why Victorians can wait months for power to new homes

The state's energy regulator is moving to plug holes in industry standards that can leave Victorians waiting months to get power connected to their new homes.

The Essential Services Commission will publish an issues paper next month to understand why "undue delays" still trouble some new housing developments even after an investigation of the issue in 2018.

Victorians can wait months to get power connected to their new homes, according to the ESC.

Victorians can wait months to get power connected to their new homes, according to the ESC.Credit:Robert Rough

That review uncovered poor quality in some connection works, inadequate customer focus on the part of distribution businesses and a general lack of knowledge of regulatory frameworks.

The commission's energy director Sarah McDowell said standards had improved across the building and energy industries since the 2018 review, which resulted in new performance standards, but there remained "spots of concern".

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"There has been progress but with connection times ranging from a few weeks to several months, we believe there may be room for improvement," Ms McDowell said.

“We also want to ensure any progress made is sustained over time."

She said the reasons for delays in power connection were varied and could occur at all points of the development phase.

Energy companies were not necessarily at fault in all instances, she said.

"There have been concerns from power businesses that some sites they walk onto aren't at acceptable standards," she said.

"So there's obligations on all parties to ensure they meet the standards to ensure a timely connection and that Victorians can move into their house without undue delay."

The commission has invited all stakeholders to have their say when the issues paper is released next month.

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