Frequently asked questions

Q: What’s a basic connection?

Answer: A new residential or small business connection will be usually offered as a basic connection service under our model standing offers. A basic connection:

  • Has a maximum capacity of less than 100 Amps per phase
  • Is for a single premises
  • Is a connection either via an overhead single span cable less than 45 meters (and less than 20 meters over your property), or an existing* underground pit at the border of your property
  • Is for a permanent connection (or temporary as long as it is for less than 12 months)
  • For a micro embedded generator (e.g. solar or battery storage) the generator must have a capacity under 10 kVA per phase and inverter must be compliant with Australian Standard AS4777
  • Must have a meter, which is usually supplied by us
  • Doesn’t require any updating or extension of our network.

* A new pit can be added as part of your new connection but this portion of the service would be offered as a negotiated service.

Please note: Connections above 100Amps may require a negotiated connection.

 

Q: What’s a negotiated connection?

Answer: A negotiated connection means a connection contract negotiated between Jemena and a customer, under rule 5A.C of the NER surrounding works required to be performed on the Jemena Network to meet your site requirements.

 

Question: What’s an expedited connection?

Answer: An expedited connection is one where you agree to our offer for the service and accept the offer at the time you apply. We won’t send you an offer to accept but we will send you an invoice for the connection charges which you’ll have to pay before we start the work. Expedited connections only apply to basic connection services.

If you request an expedited connection and if we assess the application to be a basic connection service under the terms and conditions of our Model Standing Offer then our offer will be deemed to have been accepted by you on the date you made the application.

For an expedited connection you’ll need to either ask your retailer or when you apply via the Connect and Manage My Electricity Portal

If you apply for an expedited connection through your retailer then we’ll complete the work and energise the site within 10 days of receiving a fully completed application. If you apply directly to us for an expedited connection then within 10 days of receiving the application we’ll send the invoice for the connection charges. We’ll then complete the connection work within 20 days of when you pay our invoice. After we’ve completed our work you’ll then need to contact a retailer, who’ll ask us to energise the site, before you can start using your electricity. 

 

Q: What is a smart meter?

Answer: A smart meter is an electronic meter that records energy consumption in intervals of 30 minutes and communicates the information back to us. We then pass this through to your electricity retailer for billing purposes.

When used with our free Electricity Outlook portal or an in-home display, the smart meter can save you money by helping you to better understand and manage your electricity use. Data from the smart meter makes it clear how much electricity you use, when you use it and how much it costs you. With this information, it's easier to shop around and find a retail offer that reduces your costs and meets your needs.

Smart meters provide other benefits, including no more estimated bills and immediate notification of any supply problems, so we can reconnect you faster. If you don’t have a smart meter, contact us to arrange installation.

 

Q: How much do you charge for various services?

Answer: View our full list of charges noting costs for negotiated connections will be included in our offer to you.
Jemena also have an indicative pricing tool, which depending on the service may also provide an estimated guide on how much the offer will be.

 

Q: I’m moving into / out of a new place. How long will it take to get my power connected / disconnected?

Answer: For move ins, once you’ve signed up to an electricity deal with a retailer they’ll contact us to switch on your electricity on your preferred date (or same day if we receive the request before 3pm. If not, the following day). 

For move outs, your retailer will contact us to arrange disconnection of your power at an agreed time or at earliest, within two hours of receiving your request.

As most Victorian households and businesses now have smart meters we can generally manage these works without visiting your property

 

Q: How are Jemena’s timeframes determined? 

Answer: Electricity Distributors are regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and the timeframes becomes dependant on the type of work requested to be performed.

Jemena is vigilant in ensuring all works are completed within these timeframes. Though we also aim to complete the works as quickly as possible, and well before these required dates occur. 

These determinations are captured under the Electricity Distribution Code as well as the AEMO B2B (Business to Business) Guidelines which covers the communication between retailers and distributors.

These are also consolidated and listed under Jemena’s Customer Charter

 

Q: What is a Truck Appointment and when do I need to arrange one?

Answer: A truck appointment is a standard 1 hour period Jemena field crews will be dedicated to the works at the site which will have prearranged times.  Multiple appointments can also be arranged if the required works will take more than this one hour period.

If there is no clear and unhindered access for the works to be done, these appointments are used to co-ordinate access requirements or if co-ordination between multiple parties is needed. An example is if your electrician is also required to be present when the works are carried out.

Truck appointment will be required for the installation of Current Transformer(CT) meter  and Internal Switchboard connections where crew needs to access the site to complete the safety tests.

 

Q: How do I know how many Truck Appointments I will need? 

Answer: As these appointments are 1 hour timeframes, for scenarios where co-ordination is required with your electrician, it will depend on the amount of work being performed. 

 

Q: Can a Truck Appointment speed up my job to happen earlier? 

Answer: Not necessarily, in some cases it may actually cause a delay. Most appointments are booked for a few weeks into the future, and depending on the time of year all available appointment windows can sometimes be booked out up to a month in the future. So a New Connection that could be done within 10 business days can be delayed to the next available appointment in a month’s time.

 

Q: What happens if my Truck Appointment is not successful?

Answer: If crews attend the site and are unable to complete the works due to access issues, or safety concerns, the job will incur a Wasted Truck Visit charge, Depending on the reason for not being able to complete the works, the request may be closed out and new orders will be required to be raised when ready for a reattempt.

 

Q: What is a VPI lock and why do I need them? 

Answer: A Victorian Power Industry Lock is required where a Customer is obliged to or wishes to install a locking system to doors and enclosures which require dual access by both the Customer and Distributor representatives. Locations for the use of the locks may be for perimeter gates, meter enclosures and supply connection facilities requiring convenient and unhindered access by both the Distributor and customer.

The locks may only be operated by the customer’s key and authorised Distributor representatives using a Master Key as per Victorian Service Installation Rules (VSIR)’s

Having a VPI Lock installed aids in ensuring Jemena has clear and unhindered 24/7 access to the metering equipment. This can be vitally important for cases of emergencies and Jemena crews are required to gain access to as quickly as possible.

 

Q: Can I lock my meterbox or gate and how can I give you a key for access?

Answer: We recommend purchasing Power Industry locks (available from major hardware stores and Specialised locksmiths) as we do not accept keys to other types of locks.

 

Q: Do I need an electrician?

Answer: Yes, always engage the services of a REC (Registered Electrical Contractor) to complete the electrical work on your premise. You should also discuss all of your requirements for the project you are working on with them in full, as they know understand and follow the VSIR's (Victorian Service Industry Rules) and are in the best position to be able to provide you with the correct advice for your unique situation. If your REC has any technical questions, they can call the Compliance Line on 1300 855 824 which is answered between 8.00am till 10.00am as they are in the office or a voice mail can be left at any time during the day. Alternatively the REC can email their technical question to zinfraJENCPO@jemena.com.au

 

Q: How are Jemena charges determined? 

Answer: Electricity Distributors are regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and all charges are subject to their approval prior to publishing them in market.

Jemena reviews all these charges annually.

 

Q: Why are service pit’s so expensive? 

Answer: Most service pit requests have a shared distribution cost along with standard labour and material cost.

 

Q: What is the Shared Distribution Network Cost i.e. Upstream Cost? 

Answer: The shared distribution means that all customers, current and new, who use our network. There are five components which make up that cost of the of the Upstream distribution. These costs can vary depending on the location of the property, the calculation methodology is explained in the following points.

The unit rates for the cost of augmentation is based on the JEN’s recent shared network augmentation costs for the following network components:
  (a) Sub-transmission line
  (b) Zone substation
  (c) High voltage feeder
  (d) Distribution substation
  (e) Low voltage mains.

 

Q: What components of the upstream assets that are included in the calculation of the incremental augmentation cost, will depend at what level of the network the customer connects to? 

Answer: Jemena is required to use the AER’s  ( Australia Electricity Regulator ) new connection charges guideline made under chapter 5A of the National Electricity Rules which specifies these five distinct network components for consideration when calculating the incremental augmentation cost and upstream of a connection point.  

This  guideline provides detailed methodology on how incremental costs of the shared network (upstream) of the connection point must be calculated. In contrast, the calculation method in Guideline 14 of the Essential Services Commission was not as detailed as the AER’s new guideline.

We have based the unit rates in accordance with the AER’s connection charges guideline (clause 5.2.9)

More information on the calculation of these charges are available on AER and the ESC  

 

Q: Are there any other alternatives that I can use to install a pit?

Answer: Yes, There is an option called ”Turnkey” where you can request quote and timeframe from Jemena’s approved contractors only. Additional admin cost will need to be paid  on top of contractor’s cost.

For more information, please contact Jemena at 1300 131 871

 

Q: What is a NMI 

Answer: NMI is National meter identifier of10 digits number and is unique to each site address. Jemena NMIs with either begin with “6001” or “VDDD”

 

Q: Where do I find my NMI and meter number?

Answer: It will be listed on your electricity retailer bill. Some retailer display 11 digits number .When filling your application in Jemena portal, always use first 10 digits of NMI as last digit is only the reference numbers

 

Metering

Q: Is there 3 phase power available at my property? 

Answer: Underground  estates will have 3 phase supply available in the street. For overhead an easy way to identify is to look at the electricity poles wired with four cables would be 3 phase supply. Less than four cables on poles is a good indication of street not having 3 phase supply and network augmentation may require in that street if 3 phase supply is required.

 

Q: How do I know I have a smart meter? 

Answer: Smart meters have an LCD display, short for liquid crystal display, which is similar to the display used in digital watches and many portable computers and televisions. If you still have a meter reader visiting your house to take regular readings then you don't yet have a smart meter.

 

Q: Can I have an old analogue meter installed? 

Answer: In 2009, the Victorian Government directed electricity distributors to install smart meters across their networks. Jemena must adhere to this directive, so all new installations will have a smart meter installed only.

 

Q: I want to perform works that will impact my neighbours supply, what do I need to do and be aware of? 

Answer: If a customer wants to make changes to the existing supply arrangement, then this is considered Customer Initiated Works and the customer is responsible for the associated costs. This could be for their own connection or for a neighbouring connection that crosses their property.

When a premise is connected to the electricity network it needs to comply with the current Rules and Regulations of the day. Existing Overhead electrical supply arrangement complied with the rules and regulations of the day when they were originally connected to the Network and these may differ slightly to today's standard.

As with all New Connections or changes with an electricity supply arrangement, such as Customer Initiated Works, the new work will need to be compliant with today's rules.

All work needs to be completed by a qualified REC (Registered Electrical Contractor) who needs a signed off a CES (Certificate of Electrical Safety) and needs to complete their work in conjunction with the VSIR’s (Victorian Service and Installation Rules).

Any Customer Initiated Work needs to be completed to ensure that the neighbour’s supply arrangement is not adversely effected.

 

Q: How do I update my details with Jemena, such as contact number and postal address? 

Answer: Jemena receives the contact information from your electricity retailer. When you notify your retailer of any changes in your contact information, your retailer will update Jemena with these new details.

 

Q: How do I know my retailer has provided Jemena with a service order?

Answer: Once we receive the request from your retailer and we confirm that all is ok, a SMS will be sent out to the contact number provided by your retailer letting you know that we have received it.

 

Q: What’s an Embedded network? 

Answer: Embedded electricity networks are privately owned and managed electricity networks that often supply all premises within a specific area or building. Embedded networks generally buy electricity in bulk and then on-sell it to customers inside their network.

There will be a gate meter that connects the embedded network to distribution network.

Jemena will not have visibility or responsibility for any meters past this gate meter. Depending on the size of embedded network , they will be managed either by the embedded network manager or body cooperate and all the queries past gate meter will be handled by them.