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Electricity for residents of multi-unit complexes

If you live in an apartment block, caravan park or other type of residential complex, you might be getting your electricity through an embedded network. You can check with your building manager or the site owner if you are unsure how you get your electricity.

Choice of electricity retailer

Multi-unit complex residents can now choose to use an electricity retailer to power their home, rather than using their site owner.

Know your rights

Research and ask questions before changing from an embedded network arrangement to an electricity retailer. Additional charges may apply. You may pay supply charges to both the retailer and site owner.

Regional Queensland electricity customers can choose their own electricity retailer, but only if that retailer is willing to make an offer.

Changing to an electricity retailer

Follow these steps if you are an embedded network customer and you are thinking of changing to an electricity retailer.

  1. Ask your site owner whether your meter is suitable and about any possible technical issues. Meters installed after 1 January 2012 are likely to be suitable. If not you’ll need a new meter.
  2. Compare electricity deals, including the offer from your current electricity retailer. You can compare and choose available electricity deals offered by electricity retailers using Energy Made Easy.
  3. Advise the electricity retailer you are in an embedded network.
  4. Ask the electricity retailer about the cost to install a new meter (if needed) and for their best energy only offer (i.e. excluding the daily supply charge).

Your electricity consumer rights

Whether you buy your electricity from an electricity retailer or from the site owner, you have access to a range of consumer protections, including access to energy concessions (if you are eligible).

You are not locked into any agreement with the site owner for electricity and have the right to move to an electricity retailer if you want to.

Read more about how to choose or change electricity retailers and about your electricity consumer rights and complaints.

If you want to install a solar power system or battery energy storage system, you’ll need the permission of the site owner.

How an embedded network works

In an embedded network, the building or site has a single connection point to the electricity grid. Electricity is then distributed to occupants using the site’s internal network.

The site owner (or the building manager) owns and runs this network. They also generally bulk buy electricity from an electricity retailer and onsell the electricity to the occupants.

Each occupant usually has a sub-meter installed to measure their electricity use. The site owner will charge you for:

  • the amount of electricity you use (i.e. the usage charge or the demand charge)
  • a share of the distribution charges the site owner pays to their retailer for connection to the grid (i.e. the daily supply charge)
  • a share of the electricity used in the building's common areas.

Find out more