A standard connection offer is one possible outcome of a low voltage connection application assessment. Under a standard connection offer, the connecting customer must complete network augmentation works (upgrading the existing network) or extension works (building new network) before connection can occur.
If you have received a standard connection offer, you must engage two types of Accredited Service Providers (ASPs):
- a Level 3 accredited and authorised ASP to design the connection works you need
- a Level 1 accredited and authorised ASP to build the approved design
If your project involves installation of a new switchboard or service work, you will also need a Level 2 ASP.
The ASP market has a number of different business models such as:
- a single business may be both a Level 1, Level 2 and a Level 3 ASP;
- a Level 1 ASP may offer to deliver both the design and construct components of your job but subcontract the design out to a separate Level 3 ASP business; or
- you can engage a Level 3 ASP business to do your design and then engage a separate Level 1 ASP business to do your construction
For more information about the different roles of ASPs, visit our Support pages. This article also provides links to external websites where you can find a full list of ASPs for you to choose from.
Follow the steps below to get connected once you receive your standard connection offer.
Step 1 - Request Design Information Pack (DIP)
Before design work can begin, we must send you a Design Information Pack (DIP). The DIP contains information about any site-specific conditions, including:
- Existing easements that may impact the design
- Existing Pioneer Schemes you may need to contribute to
- Potential for Essential Energy to contribute to the works
- Any other site-specific special conditions or information that may impact design
Only users who are registered with our Essential Connections Portal can submit a Design Information Application (DIA). In most cases, the ASP you engage will apply for the DIP on your behalf. For instructions for requesting the DIP, visit our Support pages.
Step 2 - Design the project
Once you have obtained the DIP, your Level 3 ASP can design your connection works. The design must adhere to the standard requirements specified in Essential Energy's design policies. Level 3 ASPs can find these policies in our online document library.
During the design stage, your ASP may also need to:
- Secure any required easements. Note that you can also use a conveyancer or solicitor to manage your easement needs.
- If applicable, apply to set up a new Pioneer Scheme.
- Request any new asset labels required for your connection works.
- If applicable, apply for non-standard approvals.
Step 3 - Certify the design
Once the design is complete, your ASP must submit it to us for certification.
- Non-compliant design - If we determine your design is not compliant with our policies, we will ask your designer to rework and resubmit it.
- Compliant design - Once we are happy with your design, we will certify it. We will issue an invoice to your ASP and release your certified design.
Design Recertification and Decertification
It is very important that you retain your Level 3 ASP for the entire construction process.
At any time, your design may need changes, for example when:
- site-specific conditions emerge during the build, like:
- unsuitable ground for underground connections
- local network conditions being not as anticipated from plans
- restrictions or requirements were missed during the initial design process
When the need for a new design emerges, all construction must stop until a new certified design is in place.
Your Level 3 ASP has 28 days to revise and resubmit the design for recertification. If you have not retained your ASP, or they are unable to revise the design, the design is decertified. That means the design expires and you may have to restart the design process.
Step 4 – Construct the design
Once your certified design is in place, a Level 1 ASP can begin construction.
Throughout construction, your ASP will interact with us at regular points, including via:
- a start-up meeting, where we will agree on a Compliance Schedule and Schedule of Key Dates for the project
- regular Inspection Hold Points at key project milestones as agreed in the Schedule of Key Dates
- ad hoc inspections for auditing purposes and to assess ongoing legal and technical compliance of the works
Upon completion of the works, your ASP must issue a Notice of Completion. We will then perform a final inspection within 10 business days.
Your ASP must resolve any defects we identify during inspections before we can energise your installation.
Step 5 - Connect
To finalise your connection, your project must meet the following conditions:
- your ASP has paid all outstanding invoices and fees
- your Level 1 ASP has submitted:
- Constructor's Request for Commissioning
- registered surveyor's advice that all electrical infrastructure was installed within relevant easements.
- all relevant project documentation and construction test certificates
- your ASP has rectified any outstanding defects to our satisfaction
- we have confirmed in writing that all required easements are in place
- you have provided a Deed of Transfer and meet all requirements for transferrable assets
Once we are satisfied you have met the above conditions, we will issue a Certificate of Practical Completion. Following the issuance of this certificate you can request your Notice of Arrangement (if your connection is for a subdivision) or register your Pioneer Scheme (if relevant).
Our Fees for Standard Connections
We charge a range of fees for different activities across the design and construction phases of standard connections. The amount of fees can vary considerably depending on the type of project, the complexity of the project, the number of assets to be constructed, the number of outages on our network required to enable the commissioning of your connection and the amount of rework (for example, design submissions requiring resubmission or number of defects found during inspection).
We have developed a knowledge article to help you estimate the potential costs for the design phase of your connection (steps 1-3 above). You may need the assistance of your ASP to identify which costs will apply to your project.
We are in the process of developing a similar knowledge article for helping to estimate potential construction costs. Your ASP should be able to provide an indicative estimate of our fees based on their experience working with us and knowledge of your connection needs.
We charge and collect our fees from your ASP and your ASP will pass those costs through to you (they may directly pass the costs through to you or they may provide you with an upfront fixed cost that incorporates their estimate of our fees).
For details of our fees, refer to table 1-2 in our Price Schedule for Ancillary Network Services on our Network Pricing page.