The rules about embedded networks are changing. Soon, all Victorian embedded networks will have to join a customer dispute resolution scheme – most likely EWOV – giving their customers access to an independent dispute resolution service.
What is an embedded network?
While most Victorian customers buy their electricity from a licensed energy retailer, some customers buy from an embedded network − also known as an 'exempt seller' or 'on-seller'.
An embedded network is a private electricity network that supplies homes or businesses within a specific area – such as an apartment building, shopping centre, caravan park or retirement village. Embedded networks are connected to the wider electricity network. Usually, the embedded network service provider buys electricity in bulk from this connection, and then on-sells it to customers inside the embedded network.
Because of their small size, embedded networks in Victoria have been exempt from the usual requirement to have an energy retail licence – hence the term 'exempt seller'.
The rules are changing
Right now, embedded networks are not participants in the EWOV scheme – so we can't handle complaints about them.
However, this is changing. The Victorian government recently decided that all embedded network customers should be able to access a free and independent dispute resolution service to help resolve disputes about their electricity supply. To make this possible, all embedded networks will be required to a join the dispute resolution scheme by 1 July 2018.
Before this happens, the Essential Services Commission – Victoria's electricity regulator – will need to approve EWOV as the dispute resolution scheme for embedded networks. We are working with the Essential Services Commission to achieve this.
If you supply or sell electricity in an embedded network
If you supply or sell electricity in an embedded network in Victoria and would like more information about likely EWOV membership requirements, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 8672 4289.
Most suppliers and sellers will also need to register with the Essential Services Commission by 1 April 2018.
If you have a complaint about an embedded network
EWOV expects to begin accepting complaints from embedded network customers in July 2018.