The Andrews Labor Government pushes for speedy grid connection for residential solar panels.



The sun is indeed shining in Victoria. The state’s Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, introduced the National Electricity (Victoria) Further Amendment Bill 2015. This brings good news to all households and businesses with rooftop residential solar panels. It’s also a move to encourage those who are still considering solar energy.

What’s in the bill

Victoria switches to national arrangements for connection. As a consequence, electricity distributors had to follow tighter time frames upon getting a connection request. Now, small-scale energy generators may avail of faster connection to the main grid.

D’Ambrosio further stated that the interests of Victorian consumers are at the front and center of the energy retail policy. According to the Minister, “This Bill supports the Andrews Labor Government’s election commitment to provide fairer access to the grid for small customers who are providing renewable energy.”

Before connecting your residential solar panels

But what are the conditions? Here are some things noted in the media release:

  1. Distributors must have a basic contract for small customers and generators who want to connect to the grid.
  2. Any customer who asks to connect must get a firm connection offer within 10 business days. For solar customers, this will reduce connection waiting times by up to 55 business days.
  3. If the connection process is complex, distributors have to provide customers clear information on the process. Even so, they have to operate within a time limit.

Customers need to get a clearer idea of the connection application process. In the event that things go wrong, they should have access to a dispute resolution process. Connection terms and conditions will also be more tightly regulated.

Electricity distributors and representatives of small-scale renewable energy proponents, including the Clean Energy Council, support the new arrangements. With these developments, there’s no doubt Australia is serious about its solar revolution.