New legislation will ensure housing developments are connected to power quicker – helping homebuyers move into new homes sooner, boosting construction and driving Victoria’s economic recovery from coronavirus.
The Energy Legislation Amendment (Licence Conditions) Bill 2020 will enable the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to set conditions that energy companies must meet, including timeliness for connection.
Lengthy delays in connecting new housing developments to the power grid have previously impacted housing construction timeframes and costs. This has been recognised in a number of recent reviews including by Victoria’s Red Tape Commissioner, the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce, and the Essential Services Commission.
The legislation being introduced will help address this issue, supporting the state’s housing and construction sector as it rebuilds from the impacts of the pandemic. We will work closely with industry to implement this legislation.
The Government is overhauling and significantly increasing penalties for energy companies that do the wrong thing as part of its Energy Fairness Plan, as well as strengthening the Essential Services Commission’s enforcement powers so it is able to more effectively regulate the energy sector.
Energy companies who breach these conditions may be subject to potential compliance and enforcement action by the ESC using its powers under the Essential Services Commission Act 2001.
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’re cutting red tape so people can move into new homes in Victoria’s growth areas sooner, while supporting the construction industry and our economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Reducing delays in electricity connections to new housing developments will remove a considerable barrier for Victoria’s construction industry and housing supply.”