Solar and battery questions and answers

Find out more about solar and battery systems

Who can install a solar or battery system?

A system installed at your home or business and connected to Ausgrid’s electricity network needs to be installed by a Clean Energy Council-accredited solar or battery installer following relevant rules, standards and guidelines. Your installer or licensed electrician can advise on system size and how to submit the right connection application.

We strongly encourage doing your own research and seeking expert advice on which solar or battery power system is right for your circumstances. The cost of installing a system can also vary widely so we recommend getting quotes from several different suppliers.

What size solar or battery system can I install?

Ausgrid does not put a kilowatt limit on the size of solar or battery systems connected to our network. The size may be restricted by the space available on a property’s rooftop for solar, the space around your house or the size of your connection to the network. Most residential customers in Ausgrid’s network area have a 100 Ampere per phase service connection which can generally accommodate a large residential solar system. If you wish to install a larger solar or battery system you may need to increase the size of your connection.

If you are applying to connect a solar system of five kilowatts or more, we also need to assess our network and the proposed connection to ensure that all safety and technical requirements are met. These checks keep the network running safely and reliably for all our customers. We may contact you to request further information about your application.

More information on connecting embedded generation can be found here.

Will I need a new meter?

All embedded generation connections need a bidirectional (or import/export) meter. Installing these meters in New South Wales is currently a contestable service, which means that customers are able to choose their own meter installer. This work can be done by an independent private electrical contractor known as a Level 2 Accredited Service Provider (ASP). A list of ASPs in New South Wales can be found here.

We recommend customers seek a number of quotes and ask their ASP to include the regulated meter and ancillary charges in their quote. You will also need a contract with a retailer before we can issue a meter to your ASP. Your retailer can advise on other meter options that they may provide directly to customers, including smart meters.

Can I charge up my battery at an off-peak rate?

Customers who want to charge energy storage batteries at a lower tariff for use during higher-cost periods can choose a Time of Use tariff, which has different peak, shoulder and off-peak rates. More information on Time of Use tariffs can be found here.

Due to safety concerns, we do not support the use of changeover switches and other interconnection arrangements between the customer’s installation and battery storage systems charged on a controlled load tariff.

How do I change my gross metering system to net metering at the end of Solar Bonus Scheme?

You should talk to your electricity retailer about your options once the Solar Bonus Scheme ends on 31 December 2016. You can find more information here and on the Solar Bonus Scheme website.

You can also choose to pay an Accredited Service Provider (ASP) to install a new meter to change your existing meter configuration from gross to net metering. You can find a list of ASPs here.

Can I install multiple embedded generators (e.g. solar and batteries)?

Yes, you can install multiple embedded generators such as a solar and a battery system. Increasing the size of your solar system or adding a new embedded generator (such as another solar or battery system) is considered an upgrade. Your installer or licensed electrician should submit the appropriate connection application before you proceed with the work.