Electricity network

When considering your next building project or before you lodge a development application, please consider the electricity network and any possible encroachment.

Essential Energy requires you to complete its network encroachment form to notify the organisation about:

  • encroachments
  • development applications you have lodged with Council.

If you have questions, please contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91.

Essential Energy defines an electricity network encroachment as any structure or activity that intrudes or has the potential to intrude within safe clearance distances of the network. The network includes, but is not limited to infrastructure such as powerlines (wires), power poles, stays, substations, underground powerlines, switching stations, padmount transformers, pillars and streetlights.

Encroachments can cause serious safety risks and limit access for electrical crews to complete important maintenance and repair work or to restore power following an outage.

Be aware of State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 requirements, particularly Sections 2.4.7 and 2.4.8, and Essential Energy’s standard clearance zones and easements. When building near an easement, there may be requirements outside the easement area.

Complying and Exempt developments require people who complete the work to meet the requirements of all relevant legislation, including the Electricity Supply Act 199.

If you have already submitted a development application

  • Should the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) refer your development application to Essential Energy, Essential Energy will perform an initial assessment at no charge.
  • If Essential Energy performs an initial assessment and determines that a network encroachment raises safety concerns, the organisation will inform Council. Council will then notify you.
  • At this stage, you can amend your development application to avoid any safety concerns or hire a Level 3 Accredited Service Provider to report on ways to mitigate the concerns. Essential Energy will review the report and associated documents, and charge a fee.

If you are planning a development application

If you are in the planning stages and are concerned about a possible network encroachment, contact Essential Energy before lodging your development application, using the organisation’s Network Encroachment Form. Essential Energy may charge a fee to investigate encroachments.