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Customers > Electricity Customers > Solar Connections

SP AusNet supports customers looking to connect a photovoltaic (PV) solar system at their installation within our electricity distribution network (across north and eastern Victoria).

SP AusNet is also responsible for maintaining a register for embedded generators with our electricity network. In order to fulfill this obligation, SP AusNet requires that all customers who intend to install a PV system to complete and submit the relevent form(s) according to the size of their installation which can be downloaded via the links below.

Click here for SP AusNet's minimum system requirements. Please note that                    SP AusNet accepts no responsibility for costs incurred if a customer installs a solar system that exceeds the minimum requirements.

Step 1: Total rating of all PV panels less than (or equal to) 4.6kW

Step 2: Upgrading your existing solar connection 

Step 3: Total rating of all PV panels exceeds 4.6kW

Step 4: Application Assessment

Step 5: Engage retailer work request to perform the metering change

 

Step 1: Total rating of all PV panels less than (or equal to) 4.6kW

Customers are required to complete the IES Generator Connection Form and return it to SP AusNet. Please note that systems connected to a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) network must comply with SP AusNet's minimum system requirements, in particular the limitations for systems connected to a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) and single phase electricty distribution transformers.

On 1 July 2013, SP AusNet implemented a new process whereby the Licensed Electrical Installation Worker will conduct anti-island testing, complete the Inverter Energy Systems (IES) form (including test results) and forward to SP AusNet. This new process will remove the requirement for a truck appointment for both standard inverters and Micro Inverters. For more information regarding this new procedure please click here. The test will need to be conducted as per AS/NZ 4777 and the Appendix A inverter test procedure.

Please return a copy of IES Generator Connection Form via:

Email - a scanned copy to solar.connections@sp-ausnet.com.au

Mail - Locked bag 14051, Melbourne City Mail Centre, Victoria 8001 Australia

Proceed to Step 5

Step 2: Upgrading your existing solar connection

If you have upgraded your existing solar installation and your installation does not exceed 4.6kW, you are required to complete the SP AusNet Alteration or Upgrade of Inverter Energy System Form and return it with a copy of your certifcate of electrical safety to SP AusNet.

If your installtion exceeds 4.6kW, you are required to complete the Embedded Generator Pre-approval form (refer to step 3) to enable the technical review to be conducted.

Email - all required forms and single line drawings to preapprovals@sp-ausnet.com.au

Step 3: Total rating of all PV panels exceeds 4.6kW

Before the solar power installation commences at your premises, a technical review is required to assess the impact of the installation on SP AusNet's network when the total rating of the PV panels exceeds 4.6kW.  This is to ensure your solar power installation does not adversely impact the SP AusNet network or other customers.

Solar installers are required to provide details of the installation including if you are upgrading your existing solar installation and the total rating of all PV panels will exceed 4.6kW.  The solar installer must complete the Embedded Generator Pre-approval form including a single line diagram and the pre-approval assessement fee (refer to step 4) to enable the review to be conducted.

Email all required forms and single line drawings to preapprovals@sp-ausnet.com.au

Step 4: Engage your solar installer to commence installation

 

FEES

Maximum net capacity of embedded generating unit Fee (excluding GST)
Systems less than 4.6kW - solar connection form agreement Nil
Pre-approval fee (applicable for all systems exceeding 4.6kW) $200
Project fee* for systems 30kW to 200kW $2,000*
*Project fees are additional to the initial pre-approval fee and only payable following the initial pre-approval fee and only payable following the initial pre-approval asessment   

 

  

Step 5: Engage your solar installer to commence installation

All inverters must comply with AS4777 (Grid Connection of energy systems via inverters). A list of approved inverters is available at http://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/acccec/approvedproducts.html

Once the solar system has been approved and installed, the solar installer should arrange for the electrical inspector to assess the installation and send a copy of the IES Generator Connection Form to SP AusNet.

To record the solar energy from your system, an interval meter with the capability to record exported energy is required.

Customers will need to direct their electricity retailer (the company you receive an electricity bill from) to do the following:

  1. Send SP AusNet a copy of the Certificate of Electrical Safety and Electrical Works Request
  2. Send SP AusNet the Service Order

Once all documentation is received, SP AusNet will arrange for the PV capable meter to be installed.

If access is required to the meter or swtichboard, please advise your retailer for an access appointment to be noted on the service order.

Refer to the Single phase AMI re-programmed meter document to learn how to read your solar meter.

To operate the systems inverter, please contact your solar installer for instructions.

Step 6: Electricity retailer work request to perform the metering change

To record the solar energy from your system, an interval meter with the capability to record exported energy is required.

Customers will need to direct their electricity retailer (the company you receive your bills from) to do the following:

  1. Send SP AusNet a copy of the Certificate of Electrical Safety and Electrical Works Request
  2. Send SP AusNet the Service Order

Once all documentation is received, SP AusNet will arrange for the PV capable meter to be installed. SP AusNet will arrange for the PV capable meter to be installed.

If access is required to the meter or switchboard, please advise your retailer for an access appointment to be noted on the service order.

Refer to the Single phase AMI re-programmed meter document to learn how to read your solar installer for instructions.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find out more information about solar electricity?

Why does SP AusNet only install net metering?

SP AusNet provides metering services in accordance with the National Electricity Rules, government legislation and associated regulations and guidelines. All these instruments require that the metering at the customer's installation be net metering.

Net metering refers to the total amount of electricity consumed by the customer (import energy) minus the total number of electricity generated by the customer (export). When a customer generates electricity within their installation, the amount of energy generated must be greater than the amount of energy that they are consuming in order to export electricity to the grid.

At any time the energy being used is greater than the energy being generated, the meter will then record the net difference on the import register and if the energy generated is greater than the energy being used the net difference will be recorded on the export register. The total consumption or generation for any period of time will be the total amount recorded on each register over that time period. For example, a customer uses 2 kilowatts for a one hour period and generates 1 kilowatt during the same hour, the load register on the meter will advance by 1.0 kilowatt hour (kWh). If during the following hour the 2 kilowatt load is turned off and the solar panels continue to generate 1 kilowatt then the generation register on the meter will advance by 1.0kWh.

How do I ensure that I am dealing with a legitimate authorised solar installation company?

The list of Installers approved by the Clean Energy Council is available on their website at http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/


When will my PV system be operational?

SP AusNet is not involved in the installation of your PV system. SP AusNet only approves the connection of the system to our network and arranges installation of the appropriate metering. Please contact the company you purchased your solar panels from to determine when the system will be operational.


Changing the meter

Do I need to get the meter altered?

Yes. To record the energy exported to the grid from your system, an interval meter with the capability to record exported energy is required. SP AusNet is required to install a meter that will record net exports - this is the energy that is surplus to your needs at any time and exported to the grid. SP AusNet does not install meters that record the total generation, referred to as gross metering, from your generator units. SP AusNet only installs net metering which means that the amount of energy that an installation generates is unknown. Net metering only records the energy that is exported to the grid.


Why are there no readings on the export registers?

The interval meter installed is a net meter, so only surplus generation is exported to the grid.  If the installation's consumption is greater than the amount of electricity it generates, there is not any electricity exported to the grid.

How do I read the meter?

Refer to the following attachments:


Why are there no readings on the export registers?

The interval meter installed is a net meter, so only surplus generation is exported to the grid. If the installation's consumption is greater than the amount of electricity it generates, there is not any electricity exported to the grid.

Why are lights flashing on the meter?

The installed interval meter has a kilowatt hour (kWh) pulse light that flashes to indicate that electricity is being consumed. Every pulse is equal to 1 watthour (Wh) so when the light pulses 1000 times, 1 kWh is consumed. As consumption increases, the light will pulse faster. Steady lights on the meter are either phase indicators or denote that the off peak load has been switched on. All lights on the meter are used by technicians for testing or identification purposes. There are not any warnings or faults indicated by the use of lights on the meter.

The time on the meter is one hour slow - why?

All meters are programmed to Eastern Standard Time (EST) so they show a one hour time difference during daylight savings.


What does it mean when the red or green light flashes?

The red light flashes in the meter when there is power being used. The green light flashes when a switching service is operating such as Off Peak load.


Electricity tariffs

What is a feed-in tariff?

Under Victorian legislation, SP AusNet is required to make payments to customers with qualifying installations for net energy exported to the grid. This payment is referred to as a Feed-in Tariff. To determine if your installation qualifies, please contact your Electricity Retailer. Retailers may also offer payments to customers for net energy exported where the installation does not qualify for the Feed-in Tariff - please contact your Electricity Retailer to find out more.

For more information on feed-in tariffs, please visit the Department of State Development Business and Innovation (DSDBI) website.


I have been told that I can no longer get off peak rate if I have a Solar installation - is this true?

By installing a PV system, you are also choosing to change your current Network Tariff. The SP AusNet solar tariffs (NEE26, NEE28) are Time of Use Tariffs (TOU). All energy consumption from 7:00AM to 11:00PM Monday to Friday is peak rate and all other times are charged at an off peak rate.


Can I have a hot water off-peak style tariff as well as a time of use tariff ?

The off-peak hot water and slab heating with afternoon boost tariff are obsolete tariffs and are not available to any new customers or customers who wish to change network tariffs. If requested by the customer, the new meter can provide a switch to the off peak circuit which will operate at off peak periods between 11pm-7am Monday-Sunday. A customer can opt to manually activate the boost button on their meter to switch on the controlled load outside of these times, but will be charged at peak rates.


What are the relevant tariff rates?

Please contact your electricity retailer to find out more.

 



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