Embedded networks

What is an embedded network?

embedded network diagram

Most people buy their electricity directly from a licensed energy retailer. However, some people buy their electricity from a privately owned energy network called an embedded network.

Embedded networks are common in retirement villages, apartment blocks and caravan parks. The site owner or operator buys electricity from the grid and on-sells it to the residents.

This owner or operator is called an exempt seller because they need exemptions from the Australian Energy Regulator to operate networks and sell electricity.

A resident who buys their electricity from an exempt seller is called an exempt customer.

If you live or work in an embedded network, you should know your rights and obligations, and who to contact if you have questions.

What’s changed?

On 28 February 2022, the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Prescribed Energy Entities) Amendment Regulation 2021 came into effect allowing:

  • exempt sellers to become members of the EWOQ scheme
  • exempt customers to access EWOQ’s free dispute resolution service.

If you run an embedded network, you’re now eligible to join EWOQ and your customer’s have access to our free, fair and independent service.

  • If you’re an exempt seller with 2,000 or fewer customers, you’re automatically deemed an EWOQ scheme participant. Please complete our scheme participant application form so we can support you with updates and resources.
  • If you’re an exempt seller with more than 2,000 customers, you’re required to complete our scheme participant application form and pay a membership fee.

More information available in our exempt seller information sheet and brochure.

Find out about scheme participants and what your requirements are as a scheme participant.

If you have further questions, send us a scheme membership enquiry.

If you live in an embedded network, you now have access to our free, fair and independent dispute resolution service and can contact EWOQ for assistance. This means that as an embedded network customer, we can help you with complaints about your electricity bill or your power supply.

The first thing to do if you have an issue with your electricity is contact your embedded network operator. Their details should be on your bill.

If your issue isn’t fixed or you’re unhappy with the outcome, contact us.

We can help with:

  • high bills and disputed accounts
  • credit issues, including default listings
  • access to payment plans, rebates and concessions
  • disconnection of supply
  • connection issues
  • poor customer service
  • body corporate decisions about your embedded network

More information available in our embedded network customer brochure.

Read more about the complaints process and complaints we can help you with.

If your body corporate is legally named as the exempt seller, it must become a member of EWOQ, even if you have a billing agent, strata manager or embedded network manager acting on your behalf.

However, membership can be managed administratively by your billing agent, embedded network manager or strata manager. This includes applying for membership and managing complaints on your behalf. You’ll need to provide EWOQ with a completed Exempt Seller Authority to Act form signed by both the body corporate and the agent to do this.

If you manage an embedded network on behalf of an exempt seller you are not required to become an EWOQ member. However, you can act on their behalf, including applying for membership and managing complaints.

To do this, you’ll need to provide EWOQ with a completed Exempt Seller Authority to Act form signed by both the exempt seller and yourself.

Further reading on embedded networks

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