Types of connection services

There are a few types of connection services available, and the connection process is different for each one. Find out which one best suits your needs.

The National Electricity Rules sets out a process to be used by retail customers and developers (or persons on their behalf) to either:

  • Establish a new connection to one of our distribution networks, which include part of the national grid, 33 isolated networks and the Mount Isa-Cloncurry supply network (excluding the 220 kV network in that area)
  • To alter an existing connection to one of these distribution networks.

The services provided by us to do this are called connection services.  These generally include the design, construction and energisation of connection assets and any necessary augmentations to the distribution network.

Main types of connections

We provide connection services to:

Major customers and embedded generators

This is where the connection involves:

  • Loads above 1,500 kVA (1.5 MVA) or where power usage is greater than 4 GWh per annum
  • Embedded generating units over 30 kVA (other than micro EG units).

For more information please go to our Major business connections webpage.

Other metered loads

This is where the connection involves:

  • Loads less than 1,500 kVA (1.5 MVA)
  • Power usage less than 4 GWh per annum.

This typically includes residential customers and business customers other than the major customers referred to above.

Micro EG units (solar)

An embedded generating unit is a generating unit that is connected to one of our distribution networks, including one that is part of the national grid, 33 isolated distribution networks and the Mount Isa-Cloncurry supply network.

A micro EG unit is an embedded generating unit where the total aggregate inverter capacity at that connection point does not exceed the parameters specified in Australian Standard 4777 (as at 1 July 2015, this is 30 kVA).

Typical micro EG units include residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

As our consent is required to connect an embedded generating unit to one of our distribution networks, you must submit a connection application, enter into a connection establishment contract and satisfy certain technical and metering requirements in order to do any of the following activities:

  • Connecting any new micro EG unit(s), whether they will export or not and whether there is already an inverter connected or not
  • Replacing any inverters, including replacing with an inverter of the same size with a different brand
  • Changing inverter capacity
  • Connecting, or modifying the connection of, any permanent Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) (please note that emergency power supply BESS devices plugged into general power outlets do not require a connection application).

Unmetered connections

Unmetered connections are available where energy consumption can be accurately determined without the requirement for a meter.  We divide unmetered connections into:

  • Street lighting or public lighting
  • Unmetered devices mounted on Ergon Energy poles, such as watchman lights/security lighting or devices like Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs)
  • Unmetered devices not mounted on Ergon Energy poles, such as telephone booths, railway crossings and small telecommunications installation.  It is up to you to supply and install your own approved unmetered device, and we will then connect the electricity supply.

All unmetered devices currently approved can be found on our Approved Unmetered Supply Devices List  (PDF 243.9 kb).  If the device you are seeking to connect on an unmetered basis is not listed, you will need to first submit a preliminary enquiry to request approval for the device to added to the Approved Unmetered Devices List. You will then be able to make a connection application for this device.

Basic connection services

Where the connection services for the new connection or connection alteration to be provided by us are relatively simple and straightforward, they are known as basic connection services.  Specifically, a basic connection service generally involves:

  • Connection of residential and small commercial premises where:
    • Supply is available (i.e. there is a line available, at the required voltage and with sufficient capacity for the proposed connection)
    • There is minimal or no network augmentation required (other than network extension beyond the standard service line)
    • The maximum connection capacity is 80 amperes per phase.
  • The connection of micro EG (e.g solar photovoltaic (PV) installations) with exporting capability and inverter capacity as per the definition in AS4777 where there is minimal or no network augmentation required
  • Temporary connections for short term supply, which is defined as connection for a period of 12 months or less
  • The connection of unmetered supply (other than public lighting).

We don't provide basic connection services for any street light or public lighting connections. For these connections, please refer to the negotiated connection process on the Apply for connection services webpage.

Network availability

Please note that basic connection services are only available in those parts of our distribution network that are either part of the national grid or the low voltage part of the Mount Isa-Cloncurry distribution network (and don't apply to any of our 33 isolated distribution networks).

However, for there to be a basic connection service, there must also be available capacity on the relevant part of our distribution network.  The level of available capacity varies across our distribution networks depending upon the nature of the relevant infrastructure and the relevant load.

Model standing offers

The specific basic connection services that we offer are listed in the Schedules to each of its model standing offers, being:

Due to the technical nature of these Schedules, we recommend you discuss your connection requirements with your electrician to confirm whether your connection meets the parameters of a basic connection service.

When you make a connection application, we will advise you within 10 business days of receiving your connection application as to whether the relevant connection service is, or is not, a basic connection service.

Where the relevant connection service is a basic connection service, you may elect to enter into a contract on the terms of the relevant model standing offer above.  You may also elect to or "expedite" the connection offer process (further details on this are set out on the Apply for connection services webpage).

Negotiated connection offers

Alternatively, you may elect to negotiate relevant terms of the relevant connection offer (and hence the terms of the connection establishment contract).  Where you elect to go through the negotiated connection process and negotiate these terms, the terms of the negotiated connection establishment contract will apply, instead of the terms of the relevant model standing offer.

More information on the negotiated connection process is available on the Apply for connection services webpage.

Other connection services

Although Chapter 5A of the National Electricity Rules provides for standard connection services, we don't offer any standard connection services.  Therefore, if a connection service does not meet the parameters for a basic connection service, you will need to negotiate the terms of the relevant connection establishment contract with us through the negotiated process.

More information on the negotiated connection process is available on the Apply for connection services webpage.

Ongoing connection contracts

If you are connected to the network but do not have another contract with us for ongoing supply to your premises, you will come under one of these ongoing connection contracts:

Contestable services

Certain services are subject to competition, which means that they can be provided by persons other than Ergon Energy.  These include:

Connection charges

You may be required to pay fees and charges for our connection services. Please refer to our Connection services charges webpage for more information.

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