To install a solar power or battery storage system at a customer’s premise in Ausgrid’s network, installers must have the appropriate Clean Energy Council installer accreditation and hold a NSW electrical license for any work on the customer’s electrical installation.
Before installing a solar power or battery system in Ausgrid’s network you must submit the appropriate Connection Application for a new or upgraded embedded generator. There are different forms and processes depending on the size of the embedded generator. Please see embedded generation.
The inverter being installed as part of the solar or battery storage system must be approved to Australian Standard 4777 for grid connected energy systems via inverters. The Clean Energy Council publishes an approved product list on their website.
New inverter standard
Only inverters compliant with AS/NZS 4777.2 may be connected to the Ausgrid network.
Only after the connection application has been approved, can you proceed with the work following the relevant rules, standards and guidelines.
When the installation is completed you must submit a copy of a Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work (CCEW) to Ausgrid and to the customer. If the metering system requires changes, or an upgrade to the installation is required, this work must be performed by an electrician who is qualified to do such work and a Notice of Service Works (NOSW) must also be submitted to Ausgrid.
Most customers will need to upgrade their electricity meter as part of a solar installation to capture accurate information for billing. If you need to upgrade your electricity meter, you or your solar installer, should contact your electricity retailer to arrange for appropriate metering to be installed.
Solar power or battery storage system connections in Ausgrid’s network area require bi-directional interval metering. This may mean a change to the customer’s pricing plan and the customer should contact their electricity retailer about what pricing options are available.
From 1 December 2017, under the new national metering rules, Ausgrid no longer provides metering devices to small retail customers with less than 160MWh per annum consumption. Any upgrades to meter must be arranged through your electricity retailer. Read more about the new metering rules here.
After installation, you will be responsible for ensuring that your equipment is maintained in good working order. Your installer should be able to provide appropriate instructions along with maintenance information in the system manual. Safe work practices for any maintenance tasks must be followed.
Check with your solar installer about the length of warranty on the equipment and keep in mind that solar inverters and batteries generally have a shorter life than the solar panels. Many systems need inverter repair or replacement around 10 years after installation.
For further information on the maintenance of your system please refer to:
The installer’s electrician must certify that the work on the solar or battery installation has been done safely by giving the customer and Ausgrid a Certificate of Compliance for the electrical work.
Ausgrid also carries out audit inspections of solar and battery installations connected to our network to make sure they are safe. Our inspection covers the work at ground level, including the wiring, metering and inverter (unless it is inaccessible).
If any system is found to be unsafe, we disconnect it immediately. The installer receives a defect notice and we leave a card at the house to advise the customer their solar or battery system has been disconnected that day. The installer is then required to fix the system and provide another Certificate of Compliance to the customer and Ausgrid for the rectification work. Because battery systems are reasonably new technologies, Ausgrid is currently inspecting every battery installation.
Due to the large number of solar systems being installed, it can take some months for our inspectors to carry out an inspection after your solar system has been connected if it has been selected for an audit inspection.
If you have any concerns, please contact your installer for assurance that it is safe. In particular, you should ask them if you have a Direct Current (DC) circuit breaker installed and if so, that it was wired correctly.
It is important that you do not operate any of the switches on your solar system until you have reassurance from your solar installer that it is safe. NSW Fair Trading has further information on safety of solar systems.
One way to convert from gross to net metering is the “rewire option”, which involves rewiring your gross meter to operate as a net meter. This option is available to customers with a single-phase supply and single-phase generation who are not on a controlled load tariff.
An Accredited Service Provider – Level 2 (ASP/2) can check if you are eligible for the rewire option. They will need to inspect your customer installation to determine if your switchboard is suitable, which may incur a fee. If you are eligible and you decide to rewire your meter, you will need to engage an ASP/2 to do the work.
Some electricity retailers are offering new smart meters, wired for net metering of usage and generation. We encourage you to evaluate and compare all options and quotes from your ASP and retailer before making a final decision.
Helpful information can be found on the below websites: