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Illuminated signs

Connect illuminated signs, such as LED signs, to the electricity network for a reliable power supply. As part of this process, we need to confirm if suitable power supply from our network is available for your connection, and establish a new connection contract with you.

Illuminated signs are usually connected to our network via an unmetered supply (UMS) connection, meaning it doesn't need an electricity meter. This is because the electricity usage is predictable or can be accurately calculated without a meter.

Here’s how to get connected.

1. Get started

The best place to start is to talk to an electrical contractor, who will complete the work needed at the site. Your electrical contractor can provide the required information about your proposed new connection and can also submit your connection application on your behalf.

Or, you might prefer to apply yourself by following the steps below. If you need more information before applying, you can make an enquiry via our Network Online Services. We will respond within five business days.

Make an enquiry

2. Submit your connection application

To get power connected, you need to submit an application and accept our offer to start your new connection contract with us. Read more about the information needed to apply.

Apply via our Network Online Services, or if you frequently submit connection applications, you can sign up to the Electrical Partners Portal. Learn more about our online services.

Apply now

Check the progress of your connection application in eStatus.

When we receive your application, we’ll check if the connection service you want is basic or negotiated and if suitable power supply from our network is available for your connection.

Please note: The person who applies is usually the person we contact during the connection process.

3. Accept our connection offer

Whoever submits your application will also need to accept our connection offer.

We want to help you get connected quickly and easily to meet your energy needs. Most applications for illuminated signs will be basic connections.

Basic connection

If your connection service type is basic, it can be fast-tracked when submitting the online application. Just tick the Expedite Application box and your connection contract will automatically be created on the terms of our Model Standing Offer for Approved Unmetered Devices (PDF 264.1 kb).

If your application is not expedited, we’ll make a basic connection offer within 10 business days (or other date agreed with you). You will have 45 business days to accept our offer. Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.

Negotiated connection

If your connection service type is not basic, or you want to negotiate the terms of your connection contract, then it’s classed as negotiated. Choosing to negotiate will incur additional costs.

We’ll contact the person who applied within 10 business days to discuss the terms of your connection contract. Any additional costs may need to be accepted at this time. We’ll aim to make a negotiated connection offer within 65 business days of your application.

You will have 20 business days to accept the offer. Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.

Read more about connection service types, offers and contracts under FAQs and further information below.

4. Submit an Electronic Work Request (EWR)

Once your illuminated sign has been installed, your electrical contractor will submit a EWR. This form will provide us with the technical information we need to connect your illuminated sign to our network.

5. Set up an electricity account

The EWR will also notify Ergon Energy Retail* so they can contact you to set up a new account or to update your existing account with the new connection. Your account needs to be set up and ongoing charges agreed to before we can connect you.

Once this is done, Ergon Retail will request us to complete your network connection.

*Note: Ergon Retail is currently the only electricity retailer for UMS devices connections on our network. If you wish to choose another retailer, you will need to select a device with a metered electricity supply. These are considered new connections.

6. We connect you

We’ll visit the site to connect the power supply to your illuminated sign. We must do this within set timeframes (unless we have to change our network to connect you).

Please note: We’ll need access to the network connection point during our visit.

How long will it take?

For your new connection contract

To establish your connection contract, we’ll make a connection offer within the following timeframes.

Basic connection offer (expedited) If you ‘fast-tracked’ (or expedited) your connection application, your connection contract will start when your application is submitted.
Basic connection offer (non-expedited) If you didn’t ‘fast-track’ (or expedite) your connection application, we’ll make a connection offer within 10 business days. You will have 45 business days to accept it.
Negotiated connection offer We will make contact within 10 business days to advise that we will be giving you a negotiated connection offer. We’ll provide this offer within 65 business days. You will have 20 business days to accept it.

Please note: If you request information by post, it will take longer.

For your new connection

To get you connected, we need an EWR from your electrical contractor and a service order from Ergon Retail. We’ll then complete your connection within the below timeframes (unless we have to change our network to connect you). Ergon Retail will advise the timeframe for your connection.

CBD or Urban Within 5 – 10 business days*
Rural Within 10 business days
Isolated Within 30 business days

*Some areas may appear to be CBD or Urban, but they can be classified as Rural within our network. In these cases, we’ll complete your connection within 10 business days.

Please note: If an extension to our network is required for your connection, this can take up to 23 weeks. This is a guide only and can vary with each connection application.

Check the progress of your connection application in eStatus.

How much will it cost?

Connection services charges

Fees and charges will depend on the type of connection service you have applied for, and whether any work is needed on the electricity network to connect you.

Other charges may apply under a negotiated connection offer. For example, an application fee, a network extension fee, or a capital contribution.

An estimate of all fees and charges will be included in your connection offer for your acceptance. All of our connection services charges have been approved by the Australian Energy Regulator.

Ongoing electricity usage charges

For information on the ongoing electricity usage charges for UMS devices, please refer to Ergon Retail’s Other Tariffs webpage.

FAQs and further information

If I'm not ready to apply, can I just make an enquiry?

Yes, you can make a preliminary enquiry about your connection. We’ll respond within five business days, or other date agreed with you.

You can either:

I don’t want to use an online form, do you have a form I can print?

Yes, we have PDF versions of our connection enquiry form and application form that you can download and print:

You can also call us on 13 74 66 (Mon to Fri, 7am - 5:30pm) to apply for connection.

Which devices are approved for unmetered connections?

Certain devices have been pre-approved for unmetered supply (UMS) connections and are shown on our Approved UMS Devices List (PDF 185.0 kb). If the only thing you are connecting is one of these approved devices, the connection will be a basic connection service.

We also have list of other common devices that we'll need to assess before approving connection on our Devices Needing Assessment List (PDF 138.1 kb). Usually these will require a negotiated connection service.

If you wish to connect a new device that is not on either list, you will need to provide us with details. Then we can evaluate the suitability of your device for an UMS connection.

What information do I need to provide in the connection application?

You will need the following information, which your electrical contractor can help to provide:

  • the load requirements of your illuminated sign
  • GPS coordinates for the location of the sign
  • information about the point of supply – being the pole or pillar site label number.

IMPORTANT: When completing the online application, select ‘Unmetered Supply’ and then ‘Provision of Unmetered Supply’.

More about our online services

There are two online portals for our customers to submit connection applications. Anyone can register and submit via our Network Online Services. This is the best way to submit your connection application.

If you regularly submit connection applications as part of your work, we recommend you sign up to our Electrical Partners Portal. We recommend this online service for electrical contractors, developers, builders and government.

Electrical contractors will need to enter their licence details when registering online to use the portal. Other customers wanting to register for the Electrical Partners Portal will need to contact us on 13 74 66 to register.

What is a basic connection service?

Most applications for unmetered supply (UMS) devices qualify for a basic connection service. This is where the connection services needed for your new connection are relatively simple and straightforward.

It generally involves connection of an UMS device, where:

  • Network supply is available (i.e. there is a line available near your place, at the required voltage and with enough capacity for your new connection)
  • There is little or no work required on our network to connect you (other than establishing a standard service line)
  • The maximum connection capacity is 20 amperes per phase.

These are the basic connection services we offer for UMS devices.

Basic connection serviceAvailability of basic connection service

UMS 1 Connection of Retail Customer’s approved unmetered device(s) (other than a watchman light) (not on an Ergon Energy pole)

This basic connection service is available where:

  • there is an available line that is not supplied by a SWER line; and
  • the connection application is for us to establish a permanent unmetered physical link to connect one or more Retail Customer-installed approved unmetered devices stated in the connection application to our distribution system via a single phase connection at the connection point.

UMS 2 Installation and connection of Retail Customer’s approved unmetered device(s) on an Ergon Energy pole

This basic connection service is available where:

  • there is an available line that is not supplied by a SWER line; and
  • the connection application is for us to install one or more Retail Customer’s approved unmetered devices stated in the connection application and establish a permanent unmetered physical link to our distribution system via a single phase connection at the connection point.

UMS 3 Procurement, installation and connection of watchman light(s) on an Ergon Energy pole

This basic connection service is available where:

  • there is an available line that is not supplied by a SWER line; and
  • the connection application is for us to procure and install one or more watchman lights and establish a permanent unmetered physical link to connect these watchman lights to our distribution system via a single phase connection at the connection point.

More detailed information about basic connection services is explained in our schedules to our Model Standing Offer for Approved Unmetered Devices (PDF 264.1 kb).  Relevant definitions are also included in this model standing offer.

What does ‘expedited’ mean?

If your new connection is classed as a basic connection service, you or your contractor can ‘fast-track’ it in the online application. This is called an ‘expedited’ application.

It simply means that you are requesting to expedite at the time you submit your application, provided we are satisfied that the connection service you are applying for is a basic connection service and that you indicate that the terms in the model standing offer are acceptable to you.  If this occurs, then the contract forms when your application is submitted.

Just tick the Expedite Application box at the end of the online connection application to do this.

What is a negotiated connection service?

A negotiated connection service is needed if:

  • Power supply from our network is not readily available in your area
  • A network change is required to connect you
  • Your new connection is not classed as a basic connection service
  • Your new connection is classed as a basic connection service but you have chosen to negotiate the terms of your connection contract with us.

Possible fees

Please note that you may be charged a fee for a negotiated connection service, to cover our expenses in assessing your application, completing the negotiated connection process and making a negotiated connection offer.

These may also include charges from other network service providers and the cost to inspect your premises (if required). Read more about connection services charges.

More information about connection offers

When you or your electrical contractor submits a connection application via our online services, it will immediately be assessed to see if it’s for a basic or negotiated connection service.

We will then make a basic or negotiated connection offer within set timeframes for you to accept.

Basic connection offer

If your connection service type is basic, we’ll make a basic connection offer within 10 business days (or other date agreed with you). You will have 45 business days to accept it.

The basic connection services that we offer are listed in the schedule to our Model Standing Offer for Approved Unmetered Devices (PDF 264.1 kb).

Negotiated connection offer

If your connection service type is not basic, or you choose to negotiate the terms of your connection contract, then it’s classed as negotiated.

We’ll contact you or your electrical contractor to discuss the terms of your connection contract, and any additional fees. Usually we’ll make a negotiated connection offer within 65 business days. You will have 20 business days to accept it.

Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.

What happens if I decline the connection offer?

If you decline to accept the connection offer, or don't return the signed connection offer within the set timeframe, our connection offer will expire. If you still want your new connection, you will need to submit a new connection application and go through the whole process again (including paying any fees again).

More information about connection establishment contracts

Your new connection contract will be on the terms of your accepted connection offer. It’s called a connection establishment contract.

Basic connections

For basic connection services, these terms are listed in the schedule to our Model Standing Offer for Approved Unmetered Devices (PDF 264.1 kb).

We will make a basic connection offer where:

  • Power supply is available (that is, there is a line available at the required voltage with sufficient capacity for your new connection)
  • There is little or no work required on our network to connect you (apart from establishing a service line. Anything greater than establishing a service line will have to be negotiated)
  • The maximum connection capacity is 80 amperes per phase.

Negotiated connections

For negotiated connection services, we’ll negotiate the terms of your connection contract with you. Here is an example of what your Negotiated Connection Contract (PDF 702.3 kb) will look like.

More information about ongoing supply contracts

Once you have accepted the connection offer and your connection establishment contract is in place, another contract automatically comes into effect for your ongoing connection services. Unless you specifically negotiate the terms of this ongoing supply contract, it will be on the terms of the Deemed Standard Connection Contract (PDF 308.7 kb).

Information about the electrical contractor’s EWR

As part of the connection process, your chosen electrical contractor will need to lodge an EWR with us. This can be done online via our Electrical Partners Portal.

Alternatively, your electrical contractor can download and print a copy of the EWR (PDF 167.2 kb) and return the completed form to us (details are on the form).

Why can I only choose Ergon Retail?

Connection of unmetered supply (UMS) devices is not a contestable service, meaning it’s not part of the competitive electricity retail market. Only Ergon Retail customers can connect a UMS device to our electricity network.

What is a service line?

A service line is the wire that runs from our network to just inside your property and connects electricity to your premises. A standard overhead service line may extend up to 20m inside your premises, whilst a standard underground service line may extend up to 7m inside your premises. We provide standard service lines free of charge.

What are capital contributions?

A capital contribution is a fee you’ll be charged for some types of network changes and extensions, if we need to alter our network for your connection. It may also apply if your connection exceeds the scope of a typical connection, such as where the service line is longer than the standard service line.

A capital contribution for other network changes may also apply if the new connection or connection alteration exceeds the network change charge threshold, currently set at:

  • 10 kVA on SWER lines
  • A maximum capacity of 80 amperes on 3 phase low voltage supply on our main grid (non-SWER lines).

In these circumstances, any capital contributions will be calculated using the formula set out in section 2.6 in our Connection Policy (PDF 580.0 kb).

How to apply to change an unmetered supply device connection

You may need to move your connection to the network when you make changes at your site, like doing a renovation. Most connection changes require a new connection contract, so the process is basically the same as applying for a new connection.

You need to submit a connection application with the new details, and accept our offer to start a new connection contract with us. Your electrical contractor can submit the application on your behalf if you prefer. As in step 2 above, the application can be submitted via our Network Online Services or Electrical Partners Portal.

How to apply to remove an unmetered supply device connection

If you wish to remove an unmetered supply device and the network connection, you will need to request this by contacting Ergon Retail about supply abolishment.

What is Chapter 5A?

Chapter 5A of the National Electricity Rules sets out the process for most of our customers to either:

  • Create a new connection to our electricity distribution network
  • Change an existing connection to our electricity distribution network.

The services we provide for these are called connection services.  These generally include the design, construction and energisation of connection assets and any necessary change of our network.

What are my rights and obligations?

Read about the energy laws that outline your rights and obligations, how to make a complaint, the dispute resolution procedures and the Queensland Energy Ombudsman on our Customer's rights and obligations webpage.

What are Ergon’s responsibilities?

As a distribution network service provider there are a number of things we must do, including:

  • Maintaining the safety and reliability of the network to ensure the adequate, economic, reliable and safe connection and supply of electricity to our customers
  • Connecting new customers
  • Extending and upgrading the network to meet growth and expansion
  • Maintaining street lighting for local governments
  • Collecting metering data for electricity retailers.

Learn more on Our responsibilities webpage.

Need more information?

If you have another question about illuminated signs and can’t find the answer on this webpage, please email us at ccg@ergon.com.au.

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