Connecting to the network -Bushfire-affected customers

Trucks in an area affected by bushfire

Due to the unprecedented damage to the electricity network caused by both the North Coast and South East of NSW bushfires during 2019/2020, for next two years, Essential Energy is waiving the normal connection fee and offering customers, whose property was affected by fire, a rebate towards the cost of restoring service mains.

The step-by-step process for reconnecting to the network is below, however, if you or your Accredited Service Provider (ASP) need technical information about connecting to our electricity network, you can contact us by calling 132391.

Step-by-step connection process

If power supply connection to your premise has been damaged or destroyed by bushfire, you should contact an appropriately qualified electrical contractor – an Accredited Service Provider (ASP) – to help you through the reconnection process. A list of ASPs is available on the Energy NSW website.

The ASP will submit an Application for Low Voltage Connection, stating that the application is for a ‘Rural New Connection’ (even if the connection is for an urban area) and noting in the comment section that this is for a bushfire-affected customer.

Step-by-step connection process:

  • The customer engages the services of an appropriately qualified Level 2 ASP.
  • The customer or ASP submits an Application for Low Voltage Connection, stating that the application is for a ‘Rural New Connection’ (even if the connection is for an urban area), noting in the comments that this is for a bushfire-affected customer.
  • Essential Energy will assess the application and connection prior to the bushfire event and determine an appropriate costing on a ‘like for like’ replacement basis – the offer and a reimbursement form will be sent to the customer.
  • The customer will sign the offer and send back to Essential Energy.
  • The ASP will carry out the work to replace the connection to Essential Energy’s network.
  • The customer will pay the ASPs invoice for the works.
  • The customer then has the ability to submit the paid invoice and reimbursement form to Essential Energy for reimbursement.
  • NOTE: Reimbursement could take up to 30 days.

Download a printable version of the information above

Questions and answers

I am a bushfire-affected customer, how do I establish temporary supply?

Engage an appropriately qualified Level 2 ASP who can assist you in obtaining temporary supply by submitting an Application for Low Voltage Connection.

Please remember to state that the application is for a ‘Rural New Connection’ (even if the connection is for an urban area) and note in the comments that this is for a bushfire-affected customer.

How can I get my power back on quickly?

Provide as much information as possible to the ASP for the application for connection. If possible, also provide photos and / or sketches of the original arrangement (prior to bushfire damage) and a sketch of the proposed connection arrangement.

How long will the application process take?

Essential Energy has a ten-business day Service Level Agreement for completing applications. To ensure your application is completed within this timeframe, please provide as much information as possible, including the documentation noted above.

Will Essential Energy contribute to the rectification of my connection?

Essential Energy will reimburse the customer the amount equivalent to a like for like replacement. The amount will be determined by Essential Energy as part of the connection application process. If the customer requires additional work, this will be at their own cost.

What if I want to replace an overhead service with underground?

Essential Energy will reimburse you, the customer, based on the amount equivalent to a like for like replacement (pre-bushfire damage), which can be used to contribute towards the new underground line. You will need to pay any additional costs.

Do I pay the ASP or Essential Energy?

You will need to pay the ASPs fees. You can then put in a claim for reimbursement to Essential Energy, noting you will only receive the amount stated in the connection contract offer.

What is the reimbursement process?

A form will be provided with your connection offer. Once the work is complete send a copy of the completed form and paid tax invoice from your ASP to ancillary.services@essentialenergy.com.au

What if I want to submit a tax invoice for reimbursement but it doesn’t have a valid connection offer and I haven’t been provided a reimbursement value by Essential Energy?

A customer or ASP must submit an Application for Low Voltage Connection, stating that the application is for a ‘Rural New Connection’ (even if the connection is for an urban area) and noting, in the comment section, that the connection is for a bushfire-affected customer.

Please provide as much information as possible in the application for connection, including photos, a sketch of the original connection arrangement (prior to bushfire damage) and a sketch of the proposed connection arrangement.