Getting Grid-Connected in your State or Territory

You are a faced with a slight conundrum:  you’re considering installing a solar energy system (photovoltaic or PV) in your home and you’re looking into connecting solar to the grid but you’re not sure where to start.

Well, lucky for you, we here at Solar Choice have written up this blog to aid you on your path to (at least partial) energy independence and a potential lucrative career as small-scale energy producer (i.e. selling your excess electricity back into the electric grid.  The procedures for each state/territory are slightly different, but the first step–regardless the region you plan to install your system–is to conduct a bit of research to determine what best suits your needs, wants, and circumstances.  This will involve finding a CEC-accredited PV installer.  Helping you find that installer is what Solar Choice does best, so feel free to get in touch with us at sales@solarchoice.net.au any time.

What to do after you’ve decided on an installer depends on your state or territory.

All States

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
Origin

 

TBA
AGL Meter Connection : 131 245
New Connections : 1800 680 430 or 1800 634 823
TRUenergy 133 466 Terms and Conditions

New South Wales

Connection Flow Chart for New South Wales:
1.  Your system is designed by you and/or your Installer.
2.  You or your installer of choice contacts one of the approved Electricity Distributors (see below) to determine requirements for connection to the grid.  You will need to obtain an application form and possibly some other paperwork  depending on the Distributor you’ve selected.
3.  Complete the application and other paperwork and submit it to your Distributor.
4.  Your Electricity Distributor will issue Approval to Connect to you or your Installer.
5.  Your solar power system is installed!
6.  An inspection of the installed solar system is carried out by a level 2 accredited service provider (ASP) electrician.
7.  The ASP will also install the metering system.
8.  The ASP will complete a Notification of Service Work Form (NOSW) and Certificate of Compliance, which are submitted to your Distributor.
9.  Your solar power installation gets connected to the grid!
10.  Finally, you can apply for Renewable Energy Certificates, Solar Credits, or Feed in Tariffs that you are eligible for.
11.  Congratulations!  You are now a small-scale energy producer!

NSW Electricity Distributor contact information and documents:

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
Integral Energy 131 002 Connection ProcessInformation PackInterconnection Agreement
Energy Australia 13 15 35 Going SolarChecklist
Country Energy 1300 363 955

ACT

Connection Flow Chart for ACT:
1.  Your system is designed by you and/or your Installer.
2.  You and/or your Installer complete Special connection request form from your selected Electricity Distributor (see below).
3.  Gain approval for your system from your Electricity Distributor.
4.  Your Electricity Distributor will make sure your solar power system complies with all relevant the standards and has up-to-date test certificates. The system will be approved if it is compatible with the network and meets the requirements for connection approval.(Your system may be denied approval if certain components or aspects of it do not meet the requirements.  In such a case, the non-compliant parts of the system will be need to be reselected/redesigned and in effect you and your Installer will have to go back to step 1.)
5.  Your Installer will contact the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) to notify them of the electrical work to be undertaken.
6.  Your Installer can then commence installation of your solar power system.  However, they will not be able to complete the work until it has been inspected and approved by the ACTPLA and your Electricity Distributor has installed the required metering arrangement.  This will involve either installing a second meter or replacing the existing one.
7.  Your Installer arranges to have your Electricity Distributor inspect your installed solar system.
8.  A seal of approval (literally a sticker) will be placed on your meter box if/when it passes inspection by your Distributor.
9.  You or your Installer requests an appointment with your Distributor to install the new/replace the old meter.
10.  Your Installer will then submit a Request for service to your Distributor for an appointment to install the new metering.
11.  The Distributor and the Installer work out an appropriate date to perform the meter installation.
12.  Your Distributor and your Installer meet on-site to install the new/replace the old meter.
13.  Your Installer may then complete the solar power system installation.
14.  The installation is then officially commissioned, and your Distributor informs your electricity retailer of the successful installation.
15.  You can now apply for Renewable Energy Certificates or Solar Credits that you are eligible for.
17.  Customer is switched to the default Feed in Tariff.
18.  Your retailer will make the appropriate changes to your account. If you want to participate in the Premium Feed-in Tariff (for installations under 10kW), you should contact your electricity retailer immediately.

ACT Electricity Distributor contact information and documents:

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
ActewAGL 131 493 Request for ServiceService Installation RulesSpecial Connection Request

Northern Territory

Connection Flow Chart for Northern Territory
1.  You or your Installer contact an approved Electricity Distributor to lodge the two necessary agreements:–The Network Connection Agreement (Power Networks “ Photovoltaic Inverter Network Connection Agreement)–The Power Purchase Agrement
2.  Your Electricity Distributor issues Approval to Connect to you or your Installer
3.  Your solar power system is installed.
4.  All the system equipment, including the inverter, must comply with the current Power and Water Requirements for Grid Connection of Photovoltaic Systems via Inverters and ESAA Australian Guidelines for Grid Connection of Energy Systems via Inverters.
5.  An inspection of the installed solar system is carried out by a level 2 accredited service provider (ASP) electrician.
6.  The ASP will also install the metering system.
7.  Your solar power system is connected to the grid!
8.  You can now apply for Renewable Energy Certificates or Solar Credits that you are eligible for.
9.  You will need to pay an application and metering fee of $112.20 to Power and Water.  (œAdditional Charges may apply)
10.  Your retailer will make the appropriate changes to your account.
11.  Congratulations!  You are now a small-scale energy producer!

NT Electricity Distributor contact information and documents:

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
PowerWater 1800 242 092 Network Connection AgreementPower Purchase Agreement

South Australia

Connection Flow Chart for South Australia
1.  Your system is designed by you and/or your Installer.
2.  You or your Installer submits PV Small Embedded Generator (SEG) Request Form to Electricity Distributor (see below).
3.  PV Small Embedded Generator (SEG) Request Form is approved by your Energy Distributor
4.  You receive and sign the Terms & Conditions with your Electricity Distributor
5.  You will then receive a PV SEG Approval Number from Electricity Distributor, at which point you/your installer are given autorisation to carry out the installation of your solar power system.
6.  You or your installer completes Form A from your Electricity Retailer in order to exchange your electricity meter. By completing and submitting Form A, you initiate Business-to-Business (B2B) Service Order Request from your Electricity Retailer to your Electricity Distributor for your meter installation.
7.  Your meter is installed.
8.  Your Electricity Distributor collects a Certificate of Electrical Safety on-site at the time of meter installation.
9.  You can now apply for Renewable Energy Certificates or Solar Credits that you are eligible for.
10.  Your retailer will make the appropriate changes to your account.
11.  A sample inspection on the system may be carried out by the Office of the Technical Regulator.
12.  Congratulations!  You are now a small-scale energy producer!

SA Electricity Distributor contact information and documents:

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
ETSA 1300 650 014 Pass through AgreementConnection AgreementCustomer Guide

Tasmania

Connection Flow Chart for Tasmania
1.  Your system is designed by you and/or your Installer.
2.  Your installer makes a Network Connection Application to your Electricity Distributor (see below).
3.  Your Installer submits a Power Purchase Agreement with your Electricity Retailer.
4.  Your Electricity Retailer approves Power Purchase Agreement, followed by your Electricity Distributor.
5.  Your Distributor will then forward an Offer to Connect and a Network Connection Agreement to you, both of which you sign and return to either your Electricity Distributor or your Energy Retailer.
6.  Your Installer then submits Electrical Work Request (EWR) and other necessary paperwork to your Electricity Retailer.
7.  The EWR initiates a Business-to-Business (2B2) Service Order Request for meter installation from your Electricity Retailer to your Electricity Distributor.
8.  Your new meter is installed.
9.  You can now apply for Renewable Energy Certificates or Solar Credits that you are eligible for.
10.  You are switched to the default solar generation tariff.
11.  Your Electricity Retailer will then make the necessary changes to your account.
12.  Your solar energy system is then connected to the grid.
13.  Congratulations!  You are now a small-scale energy producer!

Tasmania Electricity Distributor contact information and documents:

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
Aurora Energy 1300 13 2003 Customer GuidelinesInformation ResponseApplication FormSolar Brochure

Victoria

Connection Flow Chart for Victoria
1.  You or your Installer contacts your Electricity Retailer to determine what tariffs are available.
2.  Your Installer to obtains the Network Connection Requirements/Guidelines from the Electricity Distributor (see below) to be used for the design of the PV system.
3.  You and/or your installer design a solar power system to meet your needs.
4.  You complete and submit the appropriate forms from your Electricity Distributor. This may constitute a connection agreement.
5.  Your Electricity Distributor to approves your Application to Connect.
6.  Installation of your solar power system may then commence.  However, you must keep your system in the locked off position until it is inspected and approved and a new meter is installed.
7.  Your installer will then submit a Electrical Work Request (EWR) to your Electricity Retailer, which the Retailer will send to the Distributor.
8.  The EWR initiates Business-to-Business (B2B) Service Order Request from your Electricity Retailer to your Electricity Distributor for meter installation.
9.  Your Installer arranges for the solar PV system to be inspected by Energy Safe Victoria.
10.  With your system approved, your Installer provides you with a Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES).
11.  Your Installer sends a copy of the CES to the electricity retailer, who sends a copy to the Electricity Distributor as well.
12.  Your new meter is installed and solar power system is connected to the grid.
13.  You can now apply for Renewable Energy Certificates or Solar Credits that you are eligible for.
14.  Your Electricity Retailer will then make the necessary changes to your account.
12.  Congratulations!  You are now a small-scale energy producer!

Victoria Electricity Distributor contact information and documents

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
Jemena Electricity Network 1300 131 871newconnections@jemena.com.au Forms accessible here
United Energy Distribution 1300 131 689 -Further information and forms available hereCustomer Rights and ObligationsConnection Procedures
SP Aus-Net 1300 360 795 http://www.powercor.com.au/Search_Results/Connecting_Generators/
Citipower/Powercor 132 206 Renewable Energy – Solar Power – Fact SheetConnection GuidelinesInstallation GuidelinesApplication form
Victoria Electricity 1300 136 749

Western Australia

Connection Flow Chart for Western Australia
1.  Your system is designed by you and/or your Installer.
2.  You or your Installer / customer submits an Application to Connect with your Electricity Distributor (see below).
3.  After accepting the Application to Connect, your Electricity Distributor sends email notification to you or your Installer with an approval reference number.
4.  Your Electricity Retailer then checks your system’s eligibility for the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS) and whether or not you will need a new power meter.  Your Electricity Retailer then informs you about your eligibility for REBS.
5.  Should a new meter be needed, your Electricity Retailer initiates a Metering Service Order with a Meter Provider and a new meter will be installed.  If your meter is already suitable, it is reprogrammed for REBS and the system connection is recorded.
6.  The Meter Provider bills your Electricity Retailer for its services.  This charge is passed on to you in your bill.
7.  Your solar power system is installed.
8.  Your Installer then sends the appropriate preliminary and completion notices to your Electricity Distributor.
9.  You can now apply for Renewable Energy Certificates or Solar Credits that you are eligible for.
10.  You will receive a confirmation letter confirming that you have been accepted into the Renewable Energy Tariff scheme.
11.  A sample inspection of your system may be performed by Energy Safety.
12.  Congratulations!  You are now a small-scale energy producer!

WA Electricity Distributor contact information and documents:

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
Western Power 131 087 Application formApplication Process
Synergy 13 13 53 Renewable Energy Buyback Information pack
Horizon Power 1800 267 926 Approved Renewable Energy SystemsRenewable Energy Buy-Back (REBS)Application Form,-REBS Terms and ConditionsRequirements for Energy Systems
Perth Energy 08 9420 0300
Landfill Gas and Power 08 9475 0144

Queensland

Connection Flow Chart for Queensland
1.  Your system is designed by you and/or your Installer.
2.  Your Installer contacts your Electricity Distributor (see below).
3.  You receive, sign, and submit an Application for Network Connection to your Electricity Distributor.  You notify them of your preference for your meter set-up.
4.  Your Electricity Distributor sends you a Network Connection Agreement, which you sign and return to your Distributor.
5.  Your solar power system is installed.
6.  An electrical contractor will perform the necessary wiring changes to your home/building.
7.  The electrical contractor will then submit Form A (Ergon) or Form 2 (Energex) to your Electricity Distributor.
8.  You or your Installer will then get in touch with your Electricity Retailer to apply for connection and request a Metering Additions and Alterations Service Order.
9.  The submission of Form A / Form 2 will initiate Business-to-Business (B2B) Service Order Request from your Electricity Retailer to your Electricity Distributor to have your meter installed, if necessary.
10.  Your Electricity Distributor will change out your meter if necessary and at the same time perform a safety check.
11.  Your system is installed and connected to network.
12.  You can now apply for Renewable Energy Certificates or Solar Credits that you are eligible for.
13.  Your Electricity Retailer will then make the necessary changes to your account.
12.  Congratulations!  You are now a small-scale energy producer!

Queensland Electricity Distributor contact information and documents:

Distributor: Contact: Relevant Documents:
Energex 13 12 53 PV AgreementConnection Process

 

© 2010 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

James Martin II

Contributor at Solar Choice
James was Solar Choice's primary writer & researcher between 2010 and 2018.

He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.

James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
James Martin II

Comments

  1. Hi James,

    Thanks for the informative article. I note that the article was posted in 2010, is it still up to date?

    I also read somewhere that legislation had been passed limiting retailer response time for connection requests – would be able to provide a brief comment about this?

    Kind regards,
    Marko Simatkovich

    1. Hi Marko,

      Yes, there is definitely the possibility that some of the details in this article are out of date. I would recommend double checking the procedures and documents before acting on them.

Comments are closed.