How do I connect solar and other micro embedded generators to the Essential Energy network?
Before you commit to purchasing or upgrading a micro embedded generator it is important to understand all costs associated with system installation, system costs, metering costs and if applicable, any network upgrade requirements.
The connection process includes completing an Application for Low Voltage Connection Form and submitting it to Essential Energy. Your application will then be assessed to determine whether the local network is able to accommodate your system.
Contact your retailer regarding metering requirements and an Accredited Service Provider (ASP) if any network upgrades are required. If your system is approved by Essential Energy, work with your supplier and retailer to arrange the installation of your system and any required metering.
Once a Certificate of Compliance for Electrical Work (CCEW) is received Essential Energy may choose to inspect your system. In certain circumstances systems energised and connected to our distribution network may be deemed unsafe if they do not comply with Australian Standards. This may result in disconnection from Essential Energy’s network.
For further information about the connection process call us on 13 23 91.
What can be connected to Essential Energy’s network?
Any micro embedded generation device that meets Australian Standards can be permanently connected to the national electricity network, including our distribution network. While small scale solar photovoltaic systems have been the most popular installations, we are now experiencing an increased number of applications for a variety of energy generation systems of differing types and scales. It is important to check with your system provider to confirm the option you select meets current Australian Standards before committing to your purchase.
Who can help me with my new micro embedded generator?
You will need to work with a number of parties to purchase, install, connect and approve your new system. Here is a short overview of who does what:
- Processes network applications for connections and authorises network connections
- Performs connection inspections and system audits
- Collects data readings for the National Electricity Market (NEM)
- Supplies ripple receivers to ASPs and manages network load.
Accredited Service Providers:
- Licensed electrical contractors who are authorised to complete service works such as service connections, Smart meter installations (on behalf of a retailer) and general electrical works.
- Licensed Electrical Contractors able to complete general wiring and installation works such as cabling, switchboard works, excluding service works.
Clean Energy Council Accredited Installers:
- System design, including customised generation systems
- System installation (must have an A grade electricians license).
- Provide competitive energy offers and Agreements
- Set-up energy rates for import, export and time of use
- Bill customers for their energy and apply any rebates
- Arrange installation of Metering to Premises for customers.
Where can I find a designer/installer of renewable energy systems?
To find an accredited supplier visit the Clean Energy Council website. The Council maintains a list of accredited installers who can assist you. A handy consumer guide to buying solar systems is also available - Guide to installing solar for households or Find an installer.
It’s important to remember you need to engage an ASP to complete any service work (except for metering) associated with your system; metering work will need to be organised through your retailer; and electrical work can be performed by any licensed electrical contractor.
What should I consider before I purchase my micro embedded generator?
If you’re interested in connecting a micro embedded generator to our network for the first time, or you want to upgrade or connect a larger system to the network, it’s necessary to submit an Application For Low Voltage Connection form to Essential Energy for approval. This is required so we can assess whether your local network can accommodate your system. It also allows an accurate record of connections to be kept.
In response to your application you’ll be advised whether your system is suitable to connect to the network. In some instances, powerline upgrades or new transformers may be required to support your system. In the event your local network needs to be upgraded you may be required to pay a contribution towards the work – this is something we’d discuss with you.
What if I want to install a larger system or make changes to my existing system?
Your nominated installer or Accredited Service Provider (ASP) will be able to provide you with further advice depending on the changes you’re planning to make.
Make sure you tick off the following steps before you change your system size:
- I have engaged an installer. They have been to my premises, recommended a suitably sized system and I have received an estimate inclusive of all costs
- A new Application For Low Voltage Connection form to increase my system size has been submitted to Essential Energy and I have my approval and connection offer
- I have contacted my retailer regarding metering arrangements
- I have spoken to my retailer and understand what changes will occur to my existing energy rates
- I have documented all costs, charges and changes associated with my system change.
What are Essential Energy’s inspection arrangements for new installations?
We inspect new renewable energy installations on a sample basis after receiving a CCEW from your installer.
In certain circumstances, systems energised and connected to our distribution network that are unsafe or do not comply with Australian Standards may require disconnection from Essential Energy’s network.