Once your solar PV panels are installed and the wiring to the switchboard is complete, a Solar Connection Form needs to be sent to the relevant electricity distributor for your area as well as your electricity retailer.
This form lets your electricity distributor know that you have a solar installation at your address, as well as outlining your rights and obligations. Your distributor needs to know you have solar panels for safety and regulatory reasons, and they will also need to install bidirectional metering for you. Non-compliant metering can lead to metering and billing issues and will also make you ineligible for a feed-in tariff.
Who fills out the form?
The Solar Connection Form contains three sections, one of which needs to be filled out by the solar installer, one by the Registered Electrical Contractor (who may or may not be the same person as the installer), and one by you, the customer.
Where does the form go?
The Solar Connection Form will need to be sent to the electricity distributor for your area as well as your electricity retailer. The five Victorian electricity distribution businesses are:
- Jemena Networks
- United Energy Distribution
- SP AusNet
Ideally, your solar retailer or installer should arrange for this form to be sent to your distributor. Always confirm with them that this is the case. You should also ask for a copy of the Solar Connection Form for your own records.
Not sure who this is? Visit the Electricity Distributors page to find out who the electricity distribution business is for your area.
Things to watch out for
Please note that as of June 2013 all distributed generation systems in the Powercor distribution area require a technical pre-approval check regardless of system size. These pre-approvals expire in 90 days by which date the Solar Connection Form, Electrical Works Request and Certificate of Electrical Safety will need to have been received by Powercor. Under certain circumstances this expiry period may be extended. Powercor have advised that pre-approvals are usually processed within 8-10 working days.
In the SP AusNet distribution area, a technical pre-approval check is required for all distributed generation systems greater than 4.6kW in capacity.
In the Citipower distribution area, technical pre-approvals are required for any distributed generation system over 4.6kW and/or that is supplied by a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) line.
In the Jemena and United Energy distribution areas pre-approvals are required for distributed generation systems greater than 10kW.
What happens next?
The Solar Connection Form is a prerequisite for the activation of bidirectional import/export metering and for receiving a feed-in tariff, but distributors will be unable to initiate this work unless they have also received a copy of the Electrical Work Request (EWR) and the Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES).
Once your electricity retailer has sent a service order request (including the EWR and CES) and these are matched with the Solar Connection Form, the setup of appropriate metering and processing of your feed-in tariff application will be able to progress.