Getting Connected

Frequently asked questions

How much time and cost is involved for a new connection?

If the application is to connect the electricity supply for a house or other straightforward installation and suitable network is available then the following happens:

  1. An ICP (Installation Control Point) number is issued and we will forward this information to your nominated Electricity Retailer (this is the Company that will bill you each month for the power used).
  2. The Electricity Retailer will register the connection details in their system and organise for meters to be hung, inspected, and the connection livened.

This should be completed within 2-4 working days.

If the installation is more complex, or alterations or extensions are required to the Wellington Electricity Network in order to supply your property, you or your electrician will be notified of the need for further investigation. If any work is required to provide sufficient capacity at the network connection point, a customer contribution may be required towards the infrastructure cost. The customer contribution varies from project to project and is subject to regulation. Our capital contributions policy can be found here. In this case a quote will be forwarded to you typically within 3-4 weeks. Full payment will be required prior to works proceeding and lead times for the installation can vary between two weeks to three months depending on the type of work involved.

Can I use my electrician for a new connection?

Only Wellington Electricity Approved Contractors can make connections or alterations to our networks. Those contractors are familiar with the special safety requirements associated with the work and with our standards and procedures for any work on our networks.

Can I get temporary electricity while I'm building?

Yes. Wellington Electricity treats a temporary builder's supply the same as any other new connection. Often the electrician will install the temporary supply box on the section and arrange for a Wellington Electricity Approved Contractor to connect it to the network. In many cases the temporary supply box is positioned close to the final location of the meter box on the house, so the cable that connects the temporary supply to the Wellington Electricity network can also be used to connect the finished house to the network. This saves work when the house is completed and the temporary supply box is no longer required.

Am I responsible for any of the equipment that supplies power to my property?

The customer generally owns everything on their private property except for a few items such as meters and hot water relays, which are the responsibility of your electricity retailer.

This means that property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the electrical lines and equipment on their property. Wellington Electricity owns and manages the lines and equipment up to the point of supply, which is usually on the boundary of your property. The point of supply is the fuse either at the top of the pole, or the black plastic boxes located on the property boundary or on the roadside that form a connection point joining the consumer's private underground service cable to Wellington Electricity’s underground network.

Because no two properties are the same, there are some variations to this ownership rule.

Customers can also help protect the network and the reliability of their supply by ensuring that trees and other vegetation on their property are well clear of power lines. For trees on private property, Wellington Electricity takes responsibility for the first cut/ trim and after this the land owner/ occupier is responsible for maintaining them.  For more information on keeping trees trimmed click here.

If I pay something towards a network upgrade, do I own it?

Wellington Electricity usually takes full ownership of all electricity assets in a legal road reserve, and any transformers, whether in road reserve or private property.  The road reserve is the land between the front boundaries of properties on either side of the street. Although you may be required to pay something towards the cost of the network upgrade, you will not have any ownership of those assets. This is an important point to remember if you are considering buying a property that does not already have electricity services provided to the boundary.

What happens when Wellington Electricity has assets located on private land?

A registered easement in favour of Wellington Electricity is required for any new network assets located on private land. The easement shall be granted at no cost to Wellington Electricity. A full survey of the easement area is required and the appropriate easement documentation is available through Wellington Electricity. Older lines, poles, cables, substations or other network equipment installed on private land or within buildings before 1993 are protected under existing use rights in the Electricity Act 1992.

What is your policy for moving overhead lines underground?

The cost of moving overhead lines underground is considerable and the amount we are currently allowed to charge to recover the cost of maintaining the network of poles, wires and other equipment that distributes electricity to customers premises does not provide the funding required to undertake this work.

There are occasions when groups of customers who consider the poles and lines detract from the visual appearance of their neighbourhood get together and are willing to contribute to the cost of undergrounding a section of overhead lines.  In these situations we will work with you to discuss your requirements and provide a quote for the contribution that would be required to undertake the work.  Please note that other utility providers share our poles, for example for telecommunications, and that any undergrounding work would need to be co-ordinated with these providers and there may be additional costs incurred.

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In an emergency please contact our 24 hour Electricity Emergency Line

0800 248 148

For all other matters, please view our contact details here or call your electricity retailer