Guaranteed Service Level Scheme

We are committed to delivering high standards of customer service to you by meeting our Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) scheme obligations under the National Energy Retail Rules (NSW) and the Electricity Supply Act 1995 (NSW).

These GSL requirements are in relation to the provision of customer connection services to you and are detailed in your Connection Contract with Essential Energy.

If you are a customer who we provide customer connection services to, (conduct a new connection, connection alteration, energisation, re-energisation or de-energisaton at your request), and we fail to meet certain GSLs, you may be eligible to receive a compensation payment. Some GSLs require you to apply to Essential Energy and have your eligibility for a compensation payment assessed.

Guaranteed Service Levels

The Guaranteed Service Levels that apply to Essential Energy are as follows. Please select from the list to read more on each service level.

Connection on agreed date:

If Essential Energy fails to provide a customer connection service (other than a connection service under Chapter 5A of the National Electricity Rules) on or before the date agreed between Essential Energy and a small customer or the customer’s representative, Essential Energy must pay to the customer, as compensation for the delay, not less than $60 for each day that elapses between the agreed date and the date by which the service is actually provided (up to a maximum total of $300).

Time limit for energisation or re-energisation:

  1. This applies if a small customer is entitled to be provided with an energisation or re-energisation service by Essential Energy.
  2. Essential Energy must energise or re-energise the small customer’s premises:
    a) if the energisation or re-energisation request is made before 3.00 pm on a business day, by not later than the end of the next business day, or
    b) if the energisation or re-energisation request is made after 3.00 pm on a business day, by not later than the end of the second business day following the day the request is made.
  3. Essential Energy and the small customer may agree on a period longer than the period specified in subclause (2) as the period within which the premises are to be energised or re-energised.
  4. Essential Energy is not required to energise or re-energise premises within a period specified by this clause if the relevant equipment is not in place to do so.
  5. Business day means a day that is not a Saturday or a Sunday or a day that is wholly or partly a public holiday.

Mandatory periods for de-energisation:

  1. If a retailer notifies Essential Energy that a small customer of the retailer wishes to arrange for de-energisation of the customer’s premises, Essential Energy must de-energise the premises within two (2) days of the notice or within such further period as the customer requests.
  2. If a retailer notifies Essential Energy that the retailer wishes to arrange for de-energisation of the small customer’s premises on grounds permitted under the National Energy Retail Rules, Essential Energy must de-energise the premises within two (2) days (not including any day that is a protected period within the meaning of Part 6 of those rules).

Disconnection notice:

  1. Essential Energy must issue a notice to a small customer when Essential Energy de-energises the customer’s premises at the request of a retailer on a ground permitted under the National Energy Retail Rules.
  2. The notice must be in writing and contain the following information:
    a) the matter for which the premises was de-energised
    b) details of the telephone number of a contact person for the retailer
    c) the arrangements that are required to be made by the customer for re-energisation of the premises, including any related costs payable by the customer
    d) the dispute resolution procedures available to the small customer, including contact details for the Energy and Water Ombudsman.

Repair of faulty streetlights:

  1. If Essential Energy fails to repair faulty street lighting on or before the date agreed between a small customer and Essential Energy as the date by which the repair is to be completed, Essential Energy must pay to the customer, as compensation for the loss of illumination, not less than $25.
  2. This clause applies to street lighting that is owned by Essential Energy or that Essential Energy is under a legally enforceable obligation to maintain, but does not apply to street lighting to which the service provider merely supplies electricity or connection services.
  3. This clause only applies to, or in respect of, small customers if the customer’s premises abuts the part of the street that (but for the fault) would ordinarily be illuminated by the street lighting.

Report a faulty streetlight

Interruption frequency and interruption duration:

If your household or business experiences eligible supply interruptions then you can make a claim under the applicable GSL scheme. The minimum eligible supply interruptions for a single claim are:

Interruption frequency

Four interruptions, each of five hours duration within one financial year for a claim under the Interruption Frequency Standard. Please note that customers are entitled to a maximum of one payment per financial year under this standard.

Interruption duration

A single interruption of 18 hours duration for a claim under the Interruption Duration Standard. 

Not every interruption will be included when assessing your GSL claim, as some interruptions may be due to normal network operations or out of Essential Energy's control. The following will be excluded:

  • Planned interruptions (scheduled by Essential Energy for maintenance or other work).
  • Interruptions caused by the effects of a severe thunderstorm or severe weather (as defined by the Bureau of Meteorology). These effects may include the necessary operation of a circuit protection device, which interrupts supply to customers in areas not directly impacted by the severe thunderstorm or severe weather.
  • An interruption within a region in which a natural disaster has occurred.
  • Interruptions caused by third party actions, such as vehicle accidents or vandalism.
  • An interruption resulting from a request or direction of an Emergency Service Organisation.
  • A shortfall in generation.
  • A failure or instability of the shared transmission system.

You must submit your claim request to us within three months of the relevant power interruption for the Interruption Duration Standard, or within three months after the end of the financial year for the Interruption Frequency Standard.

We will advise you of the outcome of your claim in writing within one month of receiving your request, and include an explanation if your claim is ineligible.

If you are eligible for a payment under the above Standards, you will receive an $80 payment for each valid claim, with a maximum of $320 payable to a customer, per household or business, within any one financial year. All payments will be by cheque made out in your name.

Claiming a GSL payment 

In most instances customers don’t have to do anything because we proactively identify and pay GSL payments to eligible small customers by way of a cheque in the mail.

If you are making a claim for the Interruption Duration or Interruption Frequency GSLs, or have not received a GSL payment that you believe you are eligible for, simply call us on 13 20 80 and ask to be assessed for a GSL payment.

Alternatively, you can make a claim by completing and submitting the relevant form below:

Any payments that are to be made in accordance with the service levels outlined in this section will be done so within one month of us receiving your claim.

If your claim is not approved, then you will either receive a letter outlining the reason for our decision, or a representative will be in contact with you to discuss the matter.

Related information

Complaints and dispute resolution procedure

Summary of customer rights, entitlements and obligations