Follow the steps below to get connected.
Step 1 – Three things to check before you apply
Step 2 – Understand your requirements
Step 3 – Prepare your application
Step 4 – Submit your application
Step 5 – Receive your connection offer and sign the contract
Step 6 – Getting connected
Are you in our network area?
Essential Energy distributes power across 95 per cent of NSW and parts of Southern Queensland. Check your location on our network area map.
If your premises are outside but near our network boundary you might want to connect to the Essential Energy network rather than a neighbouring distributor. We assess out-of-area connections on a case-by-case basis. Essential Energy, your local distributor and the Independent Price and Regulatory Tribunal must all approve these applications.
To see if you can make an out-of-area connection to our network send us an enquiry.
Are you already connected to our network and just need to turn on your power?
If you are in our network area and there is already an electricity meter on your premises, you probably don’t need a new connection. If you've got no power, choose an electricity retailer to switch on your electricity supply at the meter.
Do you need to submit a connection application?
Some activity doesn’t require a connection application to be submitted but may require other forms. See our ‘Connections Matrix’ article to determine what forms are required to be submitted for a range of different connection activities.
Depending on your needs, your connection request will fall into one of three categories:
- Basic connection: Where you have existing access to the low voltage network and the local network has enough capacity for your needs.
- Standard connection: Where you need to extend the existing network to reach your property, or the network does not have enough capacity and needs to be upgraded.
- Major connection: Where you require connection to the high voltage network, large scale electricity generation above 5MW, or embedded generation from 30KW to 4.99MW.
This page describes the process of setting up or altering basic and standard connections to the low voltage network, including:
- New or altered load only connections like connecting a new house to our network or requesting increased load for an existing connection
- Connections including embedded generation like solar panels or batteries
- Sub-Divisions and Real Estate developments
- Asset relocations
- Temporary builders supply
- Small unmetered supply
If you require a major connection to the high voltage network, please visit our HV connections page.
To learn more about each connection process, see Step 5 – Getting Connected below.
Before you start your low voltage connection application, you’ll need to gather some information.
The first three things you should do to prepare are:
- Choose a retailer - Your retailer is the company that bills you for your electricity use. You will need their details to find or obtain your NMI.
- Find or obtain your National Metering Identifier (NMI) - For an existing connection, this unique identifier can be found on your electricity bill. For new connections, your selected retailer can help you obtain one.
- Choose an electrical contractor or Accredited Service Provider (ASP) - Completing a connection application requires technical knowledge. Most retail customers must engage expert support to complete an application (see Step 3).
For more detailed information on each of the above steps, refer to our Preparing a low voltage connection application article in our Support pages.
Need information from us to help plan your connection?
If you want an understanding of the potential augmentation costs for a proposed connection before submitting a formal connection application you can use our Planning Assessment Enquiry process. See more details of this process in our support article.
All applications for low voltage connections are made through the Essential Connections portal.
We have a number of different application forms tailored to different connections activity. It is important that you select the right application form for your connection. See our Selecting the Right Application Form article for information about each form.
There are a number of different fees that may apply to your connection application. See our LV Enquiry and Application Fees article for more information about these.
You can find all of our Australian Energy Regulator approved Ancillary Network Services fees in our Price Schedule for Ancillary Network Services - refer to table 1-2 on page 2.
IMPORTANT: Application fees are non-refundable. If your application is incomplete or incorrect, an Incomplete Information Charge applies. We strongly recommend you carefully check your application before you submit.
Who can apply?
Only registered users can submit an application. Registration is available to:
- Accredited Service Providers (ASPs)
- Electrical Contractors
- Solar retailers and installers
- Retail customers with good technical knowledge of electrical networks, including:
- Real estate developers
- Council workers
- Engineering consultants
- Legal agents
- Government departments
- EV charger proponents.
All other customers must engage an ASP or electrical contractor to complete their application on their behalf (see Step 2).
To register for the Essential Connections portal, visit our partner registration pages.
Once your application is submitted we conduct an assessment to determine what connection offer should apply. Depending on what your connection request involves we may be able to auto-approve your application and return a connection offer to you immediately. Find out more about auto-approvals in our support article.
Once we complete our assessment of your application, we will send you a connection offer.
Based on your connection needs, we offer four types of model offers. These cover the vast majority of low voltage connection scenarios. Find out more about each type of model offer on our Connection Offers and Contracts page or read about which offer may apply to your connection in our support article.
Essential Energy will respond within 10 business days, unless otherwise agreed.
Accepting the offer
No work can start on your connection until you accept your connection offer.
By default, a low voltage connection application is expedited. This means you accept the terms in our model contracts in advance. You don't need to sign and return the offer.
You or the agent completing the application on your behalf can opt not to expedite. We may also determine your offer can't be expedited. In this case, you or your agent must electronically sign and return your connection offer via email within 45 business days.
Each connection offer has a unique Connection Offer Number called an ECN (Essential Connection Offer) number with the format ‘ECN-000000’. This number is only issued once the application has been approved and an offer has been made and accepted. This number will be referenced in communications regarding your connection offer and will be used to reference all other activities required to deliver your connection.
Please ensure that you are given a copy of your connection offer letter, your ECN number and your application case number (8-digit number that relates specifically to your application) from whoever submitted your application, as others you engage to complete your works are likely to require these numbers.
Learn more about expediting connection offers in our Support pages.
Negotiating your offer
You have the right to negotiate your offer if you wish. Negotiation follows the process laid out in our Negotiation Framework.
You must sign and return a negotiated connection offer within 20 business days.
Deemed Standard Connection Contract (DSCC)
A DSCC takes effect once you accept our connection offer. It covers the agreement for the provision of ongoing connection services between Essential Energy and you.
Once you have accepted your connection offer, work can begin.
As part of your offer, we may include site-specific conditions. You can find these in the offer letter we send you. Your ASP or electrical contractor must abide by these conditions when building or installing your system.
The remaining connection process depends on the type of offer you received.
Basic Connection offer
If you do not require construction of network assets, you can engage an ASP 2 or other electrical contractor. For some connection types, such as the installation of solar panels, you may only need a licensed solar installer.
For more information about a Basic Connection Offer and the steps to be taken to finalise your connection please see our Basic Connection page.
Standard Connection offer
If we have determined that your connection requires construction of network assets, you will need to engage a Level 1 and a Level 3 ASP.
For more information about a standard connection offer and the process to finalise your connection please see our Standard Connection page.
Unsure what to do?
The electrical contractor or ASP who helped with your application can help clarify:
- next steps to get connected
- timeframes to complete the work
- who you need to engage to complete the work.
Connection applications are very technical. We strongly recommend you engage an electrician or electrical consultant early to help you plan.
If you are unsure of your connection requirements, check our Support pages for articles that may give you the information you need. Please note this is a new system, but we are adding new articles all the time. Our network information portal may also provide useful technical details of your premises.
If you can't find the answer you need, you can make a connection enquiry through our Essential Connections portal.
IMPORTANT: Some enquiries attract a fee, that you will have to pay before we can process your request. For information on fees and charges related to connection enquiries, please refer to our Price Schedule for Ancillary Network Services, table 1-2 on page 2.
We can help you with:
- Identifying your connection needs
- Understanding the type of accredited service providers (ASPs) you need to engage
- Network information
We respond to enquiries within 5 business days.
Please only submit enquiries relating to connections via the Essential Connections portal. For general enquiries, you can contact us here.
For detailed guidance on how to submit enquiries via the Essential Connections portal, refer to our Support page.
Looking for previous applications?
On 6 June 2022 we launched our new Essential Connections portal. Please submit new connection enquiries and applications via the new portal. You can still view applications you previously submitted through the old Connections Portal.