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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3707 ..

Gas: The time for gas connections is 20 days or less from the receipt of the request.

Electricity: Connection of electricity supply to new dwellings is a two stage process. The first stage involves installation of the service cable and revenue meter(s), the second involves energisation of the supply after the installation has been inspected and passed by ACTPLA, and the customer has arranged a contract with their preferred retailer.

The first stage requires a lodgement of the Request for Service (RFS) by an electrical contractor with ActewAGL Distribution. When the electrical contractor submits a RFS for a connection to the network of a new dwelling, ActewAGL Distribution will initiate the installation of the underground service cable and a new revenue meter. The current average time for the connection of electricity to new homes, which includes underground cable installation and meter installation is around 15 business days. The average time includes properties which have been found to be not ready for the connection despite the lodgement of an RFS and the required ACTPLA approval. ActewAGL records show that for RFS’s received in 2010, that in around 37 per cent of cases, the site was not ready for a full service connection. Consequently, completion of a connection is delayed and often multiple site visits (around 200 cases in 2010) are required due to problems involving access to site, no actual house on site, obstacles on site, or no meter panel in the meter box.

ActewAGL has improved the connections process significantly by routinely calling the electrical contractor immediately after lodgement of an RFS to confirm the readiness for connection to the Network. Please note that this percentage was much higher (around 50 per cent) for requests received in the second half of 2009.

If an electrician previously requested an installation of a cable only and later asked for the installation of the meter (after the site has been inspected and approved by ACTPLA), the average waiting time for the meter installation is currently 6 business days.

Any requests for energisation of the customer’s premises can only be actioned after the installation of a cable, meter, approval of the installation by ACTPLA, and establishment of a customer contract with a retailer of choice.

2. The Government does not have access to information about the reasons settlements may have been delayed on new homes or blocks.

3. (a) ActewAGL currently has 18 “field” personnel available in the services team with a further 4 currently in training. This team is responsible for new connections and alterations to existing services. This number does not include back office administration personnel or personnel working for any retail company, that the customer may have a supply agreement with.

(b) No ACTEW staff work to connect electricity to new homes. ACTEW’s 50 per cent ownership of the electricity network in the ACT is vested in the ActewAGL Distribution partnership. Please refer to part (a) above.

4. Please refer to question 1 above.

5. If an additional employee was engaged for new connections it would cost approximately $125,000 per annum. This includes the full allocation of on costs and overheads but does not include the cost of a vehicle if a new vehicle was also required.

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