Emergency backstop for minimum demand events

As more Victorians install rooftop solar, we are changing the way we operate our network. From 1 October 2024, new and upgraded rooftop solar systems (with less than 200kVA of capacity) will be able to be remotely reduced or stopped if there is an excess of energy in the network.

Our customers’ desire for a cleaner energy future has resulted in one of the largest uptakes of rooftop solar in Australia.

During the day, all that solar provides abundant, low-cost energy for all consumers. But on occasions when demand for energy is low, this abundance can create imbalances in the electricity network.

To manage the risk of these events, the Victorian Government is requiring United Energy to develop new ways to manage exports from rooftop solar systems

This capability, known as an emergency backstop, is being introduced in two stages. Stage 1 was activated in October 2023 for systems larger than 200kVA. Stage 2 will apply on our networks from 1 October 2024 and cover systems up to 200kVA.

This will help us to provide a secure, reliable supply of energy to all customers and allow more renewable energy to connect to the network.

What this means

From 1 October 2024, new and upgrading solar customers will be required to install a system that allows solar exports to be remotely reduced or stopped (known as curtailment) if there is an excess of energy in the network.

The changes only apply to customers installing, upgrading or replacing solar systems (with capacity of 200kVA or less) from 1 October. Existing solar customers will not be affected unless they upgrade their current system.

We will activate technology to allow exports from solar systems to be remotely reduced or stopped if there is excess energy in the network. This will require new solar customers to install an internet-connected solar inverter and provide a stable internet connection.

The capability to reduce solar exports will only be used under direction from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) when there are imbalances in the network. In these rare events, we will initially reduce solar exports so customers can continue to self-consume the electricity they generate. If the grid is still not secure, we may turn off solar generation for short periods, but only ever as a last resort.

What you need to know

Meeting the new government requirements will require some changes to the processes that customers, solar installers and equipment manufacturers follow. More specific information about what you can expect, see the below frequently asked questions.

General FAQs

Solar customer FAQs

Solar installer FAQs

Related content