Embedded networks have been banned in Victoria, a decision the Victorian State Government claims will offer more choice for consumers and drive down household energy bills.

Embedded networks are private electricity networks that serve multiple customer premises in a building or self-contained site – preventing households from sourcing competing offers.

They are commonly used to supply power to consumers in apartment blocks, retirement villages, social housing, and caravan parks.

The ban on embedded networks in new residential apartment buildings begins in January 2023, with limited exemptions for buildings that run on 100 per cent renewable energy to the benefit of their residents.

A second phase of the review process, which will involve further consultation with industry and consumer groups, will determine the details of a licensing regime that is intended to ensure greater choice and protections.

Victorian Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said embedded networks will be banned in new residential apartment buildings and existing networks will be reformed to ensure Victorians can access more competitive deals and save on their energy bills.

“We’re banning embedded networks because all Victorians deserve to get the same competitive energy deals and have the same protections, driving down the cost of living when people need it most,” Minister D’Ambrosio said.

“We’ve already delivered energy market reforms, banned door-to-door sales and cold calling, and increased penalties for retailers who engage in dodgy behaviour. This is delivering a better deal for all Victorians.”

An expert panel heard from hundreds of frustrated Victorians feeling ‘trapped’ in embedded networks prior to the change of rules.

More than 140,000 Victorians living in residential embedded networks will be affected by the reform.

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