Depending on the size, location and electricity needs of your property, our electricity network may have to be extended or its capacity increased (augmented) before you can be connected to the network.
The NSW Electricity Supply Act, 1995 provides that customers who are required to make a capital contribution to the cost of augmenting electricity networks may choose the service providers who will do the work. NSW Trade and Investment administers an accreditation scheme (established under the Electricity Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2014) whereby electrical contractors are accredited to offer contestable services. These contractors are known as Accredited Service Providers and the services they provide are the design and construction services you will need in order to connect your property to our network. Services provided by ASPs are known as ‘contestable services’.
To ensure the distribution network and your connection to the network remain reliable and safe, only Accredited Service Providers (ASPs) may do connection work.
The following work on the electricity distribution network is contestable and must be done by a suitably qualified person:
- designing network assets
- extending or increasing the capacity of the network
- connecting or disconnecting installations
- installing and energising service lines
- installing meters.
Levels of contestable services
All new or altered connections to our network will require some level of contestable services, provided by Accredited Service Providers (ASPs). There are three types of contestable services for which ASPs require separate accreditation:
- Level 1 (ASP1) Construction and installation of overhead and underground infrastructure
- Level 2 (ASP2) Metering and installation or alteration of service cables
- Level 3 (ASP3) Design of new assets and modification of existing assets
Details of all ASPs can be found at NSW Trade and Investment.
Service providers must be accredited before they can offer their services to customers. In addition, each staff member of an accredited service provider must also be authorised by Ausgrid if their work is on or in close proximity to our network. Currently ASP1s and ASP2s are graded, based on their performance record, and when Ausgrid inspects the work of ASPs, we charge different rates, according to the ASP’s grade.
Even if the network needs no or only minimal augmentation before your connection can be established, you will need the services of an ASP2 to install metering and, if necessary to install or alter the service wires that lead from the network to your premises.
If the network has to be augmented before your connection can be established and you are required to fund the work, you will first retain an ASP3 to produce a design of the necessary augmentation assets. When Ausgrid has certified the design and a connection contract is in place, you will retain an ASP1 to construct the augmentation assets.