Connecting solar

Learn more about installing solar panels on your home and our role in the process

Solar and exporting back to the grid

We’re seeing huge growth in the number of customers in our network installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.  It’s a popular way of taking control of energy reliability and costs in your home and there are great incentives available.

On the days when you generate more solar electricity than you need for your home, then you may be able to export this excess power back to our network and receive money in the form of a feed-in tariff shown on your electricity bill.

Our network takes electricity to and from your home. This means we need to balance the amount of power flowing from large-scale generators as well as private solar PV systems, in order to keep the electricity supplies reliable for all customers.

In many areas though, the ability of the network to absorb the solar PV exports can be limited. It doesn’t stop anyone from installing a solar PV system but it can affect the amount of exports available.

Either way, we encourage you to check with us early in the decision-making process to make sure you can do everything you want to make the investment stack up.

4 steps to solar success

1. Check before you connect

As your network distributor, we manage the poles, wires and meters associated with delivering electricity to your home. We are the only source of truth on the health of the electricity network in your area, so you need to make sure that your installer gets a solar pre-approval with us.

This is critical because there are a variety for factors your neighbourhood that might affect the amount of solar you can export and can influence how much solar you choose to put on your house.

These are key inputs into your investment costs. Depending on where you live, you may choose to also invest in a battery or get a different size solar system.

2. Choose an accredited installer

Installers and retailers of solar can be accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) through a program with the ACCC to bring about better standard of service within the solar and storage industry. Learn more about choosing an installer.

3. Make sure your inverter has the correct settings

This is something you need to make sure your installer does. Since 1 December 2019, all Victorian Distribution Network Service Providers have mandated the use of “smart inverters” on all rooftop solar PV systems.

A smart inverter has power quality response mode settings (i.e. ‘Volt-Watt’ and ‘Volt-Var’ applied). That means, it makes sure your system doesn’t trip-off when the power voltage fluctuates. Otherwise, when trips happen it means your system will not be generating power anymore for your home or for export.

So make sure your scope of work with your installer specifies the need for a smart inverter and make sure your installer signs off that the settings have been applied and turned on when the system is connected.

4. Review your contract

Your installer will submit a contract with us on your behalf letting us know you’re your system is installed and has the right smart inverter settings working.

This contract is called the Model Standing Offer and essentially registers your solar connection with us.  If we don’t know it is connected, then you won’t be able receive the feed-in tariffs you may be expecting and we won’t be able to tell if there are issues with your connection.

Get the facts

We are members of the Clean Energy Council which is a not-for-profit organisation that represents and works with Australia’s leading renewable energy and energy storage businesses as well as rooftop solar installers to further develop clean energy in Australia.

They also have a range of information available for consumers about buying solar including useful guides and tools to finding a solar retailer or installer in your area.

Other useful information is available through government, industry and consumer bodies that have tools and tips for you to make sure you make the right electricity choices for your home: