Power to the people! ‘Homes for Victorians’ reforms shed light on electrical delays
With more Victorians than ever before chasing their dream of building and owning their own home in a tough housing market, delays can be a real problem and can bottleneck the settlement process, costing new homeowners precious time and money. Taylors engineering experts are often responsible for coordinating the provision of electricity to developers’ estate and ensuring a smooth handover process and are welcoming the prospect of government intervention.
A recent media release by the Andrews Labor Government declares their intention to fix ‘electricity connection times for new homes’ by ‘taking action to reduce delays in connecting power to new houses, to get more Victorians into homes quicker’. “We want people to move into their new homes as quickly as possible, and that includes getting electricity connected as soon as possible.” Stated Treasurer Tim Pallas. At present, the time between installation and provision of electrical services, and receiving acceptance from the power authorities can take up to six months.
“Usually within the first three to four weeks, people settle on the property.” Taylors General Manager of Engineering and Project Management, John Yalden, said. “The land passes between the developer and the individual and the first thing they want to do is get their builder going. The builder requires electricity and because the underground network isn’t live yet, they can’t get it and they often have to install generators.”
One of the main initiatives in the Homes for Victorians plan is increasing the supply of housing through faster planning which includes “speeding up local government planning decisions” (Section 2.5, Homes for Victorians). The document continues on to state, ‘delays can also add significant amounts of time to new projects, which slows supply and adds costs. The 2016-17 Budget allocated $4.2 million to support local councils to reduce delays in these approvals.’
The Essential Service Commission (ESC) has been asked by the Labor Government to investigate the practices of distribution businesses that are responsible for timely electrical connections in Victoria, with final advice on the extent and causes of these delays and how they can be addressed to be delivered by 18th September 2018.
“Delays in electricity connections means delays in getting Victorians into their new homes – we’ll get to the cause of these setbacks and determine how best to fix them.” Treasurer Tim Pallas affirmed.
Victoria’s current population is growing rapidly at a rate of more than 100,000 people a year and the Homes for Victorians strategy is aiming to keep planning and approval rates at an average of more than 50,000 new homes a year. The necessity for quick turnaround is a crucial to keep financial impact low. “With 12,000 new Victorians each month, every week of delay in delivering new housing adds to costs for the community, buyers and renters.” Remarked Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia, Mike Zorbas.
“The message behind here is we’re welcoming the governments intervention to reduce the delays in connecting power to the new houses,” said Mr. Yalden, “as this lessens the financial burden on homeowners who would otherwise have to pay for generators for their houses to be built.”