New legislation will ensure housing developments are connected to power quicker - boosting construction and driving Victoria’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
The Energy Legislation Amendment (Licence Conditions) Bill 2020 will enable the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, 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 Victoria’s new Red Tape Commissioner, the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce, and the Essential Services Commission.
“The new legislation 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,” D’Ambrosio said.
“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.