Connect solar panels, batteries & other LV generating units
Connecting your solar panels, batteries or other Low Voltage (LV) Generating Systems (under 30kVA) to the electricity network can help manage your demand on our network during peak energy use times. It can also assist with emergency power outages or interruptions.
As part of the connection process, we’ll check if the local network can support your proposed system to work effectively. We’ll also need to establish a new connection contract with you, which involves the following steps.
1. Choose your system and installer
Talk to system installers, talk to others who already have systems, and do other research to choose the best system and installer for your needs. Cheaper may not be better, and bigger may not be better for you. We have lots of handy information on our Solar power webpages.
Please ensure the person who installs your system is accredited by the Clean Energy Council.
2. Submit your connection application
To ensure our network can support the connection of your system, you need to apply for a new connection contract with us. As technical information is required, it’s a good idea to have your system installer apply for you. Otherwise you, or someone on your behalf, can apply via Customer Self Service.
Please note: The person who applies is usually the person we contact during the connection process.
There may also be an option to fast-track (or expedite) your application in some cases – read more below in Step 3.
Check the progress of your connection application in Track Service Orders.
When we receive your application, we’ll check if your proposed connection qualifies as a basic connection service or if a negotiated connection offer will be needed. We will also assess if the local network can support your proposed system.
3. Accept our connection offer
The person that submits the application on your behalf will also need to accept our connection offer on your behalf.
Please note: Even though someone may be acting on your behalf, the connection contract that is formed by accepting our connection offer is between you and us.
If your connection service qualifies as basic, it can be fast-tracked when submitting the online application. Just tick the Expedite Application box and your connection contract will automatically be formed based on the terms of our model standing offer.
If you don't elect to expedite your application, we’ll make a basic connection offer within 10 business days (or another date agreed with you). You will have 45 business days from the date of the offer to accept it. Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.
Where your connection does not qualify as a basic connection service, or you choose to negotiate the terms of your connection contract, you can negotiate your connection offer with us (in accordance with the framework set out in the National Electricity Rules). Additional costs may apply.
We do a technical study for most applications that will receive a negotiated connection offer. If our technical study finds your proposed system may not work effectively with our network, we’ll send an email to advise the options available. Once you choose an option, we’ll arrange for your connection offer to be sent.
We’ll aim to make a negotiated connection offer within 65 business days of your application being submitted and deemed complete. You will have 20 business days from the date of the offer to accept it (after this time it will lapse). Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.
Read more about our indicative terms for a Negotiated Connection Contract (PDF 451.3 kb).
Live in a remote area? All applications in isolated communities will need to be investigated before they can be determined to be basic or negotiated. Read more about connection service types, offers and contracts under FAQs and further reading below.
4. Install your system
You must not commence the installation or alteration of any system that will be connected to our network until after you have accepted our connection offer and your connection contract has been formed.
Your system installer must submit an Electrical Work Request (EWR) to us within the timeframes outlined in your connection contract.
You must also contact your electricity retailer to advise of your new/modified system and arrange for appropriate metering to be installed if needed. Your electricity retailer may also require changes to your account (e.g. apply a solar feed-in tariff if you are eligible and will be exporting electricity to the grid).
Please note: Metering that measures any electricity exported to the grid is required on all systems. Your electricity retailer may need you to have a new meter installed or your existing meter programmed to measure export. Please discuss this with your retailer and the timeframe for this to occur.
Important: Your installer must leave your system switched off until the metering has been replaced or programmed to measure export. Before the system is turned on you should talk to your installer about how to do this safely.
5. We inspect your system
We may visit your premises to inspect your system to confirm it matches your application and meets safety and electrical standards. We may inspect your system after installation, as part of an audit, or if there's potential for your system to have an impact on our network. We don’t need to check the solar panels.
It's important that any system changes such as changing settings, swapping your inverter, or adding panels or batteries are approved by us before an installer makes the changes. You'll need to submit a connection application (see step 1 above) to apply for the changes.
Please note: We’ll need access to your meter box and your inverter during our visit.
How long will it take?
For your new connection contract
To establish your connection contract, we’ll make a connection offer within the following timeframes.
|Basic connection offer (expedited)||If your connection service qualifies as basic and you fast-track (or expedite) your connection application, your connection contract will start when your application is submitted.|
|Basic connection offer (non-expedited)||If your connection service qualifies as basic and you don't fast-track (or expedite) your connection application, we’ll make a connection offer within 10 business days. You will have 45 business days from the offer date to accept it.|
|Negotiated connection offer||We will advise you within 10 business days after receiving your complete application if your connection service will be negotiated. We’ll use our best endeavours provide the offer within 65 business days. You will have 20 business days from the offer date to accept it.|
For your new connection
To have your system connected, we need an EWR from your installer. After this, a metering provider will need to receive a service order from your electricity retailer to complete any necessary metering changes. Your retailer will advise you if changes are required to your metering and the estimated timeframe for these changes.
Check the progress of your connection application in Track Service Orders.
How much will it cost?
Connection services charges
Fees and charges will depend on the type of connection service you have applied for, and whether any work is needed on the electricity network to allow for the connection of your system.
If any changes to the network are required to enable your connection, an estimate of these charges will be included in your connection offer. See our latest price lists on our Connections charges webpage.
Other charges may apply under a negotiated connection offer. For example, an application fee, a network extension fee, or a capital contribution.
All our connection charges have been approved by the Australian Energy Regulator.
There may be fees to install or enable the required electricity metering at your premises. Please contact your retailer to confirm if these will apply to your circumstances.
Read more on metering charges.
Your installer or licenced electrical contractor will advise you of any work required to prepare your premises for the installation of your system, for example upgrading your switchboard. We recommend you talk to them for more information on the work needed at your premises.
FAQs and further reading
I don't want to use an online form, do you have a form I can print?
Yes, we have a PDF version of our connection application form that you can download and print:
Will I get paid for solar power I export to the grid?
Eligibility for the regional feed-in tariff under the Queensland Government’s Solar Bonus Scheme depends on the total capacity of your system, your electricity retailer and other criteria. More details are available on our Government schemes webpage.
Contact your electricity retailer to ask if they will pay you for the electricity your solar panels may export.
What types of systems can I apply to connect?
Solar PV systems, micro-wind turbines, and micro-hydro turbines are all examples of LV embedded generating units (micro EG units). Batteries are also classed as micro EG units as they connect to the electricity network through a solar inverter (DC coupled battery) or their own inverter (AC coupled battery).
What is a micro embedded generating unit?
An embedded generating unit is connected directly within an electricity distribution system and does not have direct access to the electricity transmission network.
To be a micro embedded generating unit, it must be fitted with an inverter, such as in a solar PV system (this excludes rotating machines), and be compliant with the technical requirements of AS/NZS 4777.
What if I want to connect a system over 30kVA?
Read more on how to apply to connect a larger scale embedded generating system (like solar, wind, hydro or diesel) on our LV generation over 30kVA webpage.
What information do I need to submit a connection application?
You will need to know the following:
- The electricity account holder's details (the person/business on the electricity bill for the premises)
- The National Metering Identifier (NMI) which you can find on the electricity bill
- The address details (including lot and plan number, as on the council rates notice) where the system will be installed
- Technical details of the chosen system, such as:
- total capacity of the solar PV panels
- details of all inverters to be installed, including AC connected batteries
- number of electrical phases at your premises
- number of electrical phases your system will be connect to
- Name and contact details of the sales consultant
- Name and contact details of the system installer.
How do I know whether I'm in an isolated community?
There are some parts of Queensland that are too remote to connect to the national electricity grid. These communities are powered by isolated power stations. More information is available on our Isolated & remote power stations webpage.
The areas in our isolated communities are:
- Lockhart River
- Mornington Island
- Palm Island
- Thursday Island & surrounding islands
If you're unsure whether you live in an isolated generated community, please call us on 13 74 66 and we can help you.
What is a basic connection service?
Many applications qualify for a basic connection service. This is where the connection services needed for your proposed system are relatively simple, straightforward and include little or no changes to our network.
A basic connection service will generally apply to the following connections:
- Micro embedded generating (EG) units where:
- network capacity is available, i.e. there is a line available and the network assets in that area have sufficient rated capacity to support the connection
- generation is balanced across phases.
- Micro EG units connected to a main grid line and have:
- a rated capacity of less than or equal to 10kVA per phase and an export limit of up to 5kW per phase
- a rated capacity of greater than 30kVA and less than or equal to 100kVA and an export limit of up to 15kW, or
- a rated capacity of greater than 100kVA and less than or equal to 200kVA and an export limit of up to 30kW, or
- the micro EG units are connected to a SWER line and have a rated capacity of less than or equal to 10kVA per phase and an export limit of up to 2kW in total.
If your micro EG unit connection does not fit the above criteria, the negotiated connection process will apply.
More detailed information about basic connection services is explained in the schedule to our model standing offer.
What does expedited mean?
If the connection for your proposed system is classified as a basic connection service, it can be fast-tracked in the online application. This is called an expedited application.
It simply means that you are requesting to expedite the connection process when you submit your application. This is allowed where we are satisfied your connection will be a basic connection service, and you indicate that the terms in the model standing offer are acceptable to you. If this occurs, then your connection contract forms when your application is submitted.
Just tick the Expedite Application box at the end of the online connection application to do this.
If the Expedite Application box isn’t ticked and your connection qualifies as a basic connection service, we’ll make an offer for a basic connection service within 10 business days (or other date agreed with you). You will have 45 business days to accept it.
Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.
What is a negotiated connection offer?
A negotiated connection offer will be needed if:
- Sufficient power supply from our network is not readily available in your area
- A network change is required to connect your proposed system
- Your proposed system connection qualifies as a basic connection service but you have chosen to negotiate the terms of your connection offer with us
- Your proposed system connection does not qualify as a basic connection service, for example where the export capacity of your proposed inverter exceeds our network thresholds.
What if my application doesn't pass your technical study?
If your application does not pass our technical study, that means that your proposed system was unlikely to work effectively on our electricity network. The reasons may include one or more of the following: -
- There are a number of other solar PV systems on the same network transformer as your premises
- Your local network transformer capacity is too small or other network components are unlikely to support your proposed system
- Your proposed system connection is a long distance from your network transformer
- Your service line and/or electricity cables within your property boundary may be too long or not have enough capacity.
Read more about applications that don’t pass technical study and the options.
NOTE: All applications on our isolated network will require a technical assessment.
More information about connection offers
We will then make a basic or negotiated connection offer within the set timeframes for you to accept.
Basic connection offer
If your connection service type qualifies as basic but you don’t expedite your application (see FAQ above), we’ll make a basic connection offer within 10 business days (or other date agreed with you). You will have 45 business days to accept it.
The basic connection services that we offer are listed in the schedule to our Model Standing Offer for Micro EG Units 0-30kVA (PDF 488.0 kb)
Negotiated connection offer
If your connection service type does not qualify as basic, or you choose to negotiate the terms of your connection offer, then it qualifies as negotiated connection service.
Applications that qualify for a negotiated connection service undergo a technical study to check if the local network can support your system to work effectively.
We’ll use our best endeavours to make a negotiated connection offer within 65 business days. You will have 20 business days to accept it.
Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.
What happens if I decline your connection offer?
If you decline the connection offer, or don’t return the signed connection offer within the prescribed timeframe, our connection offer will expire. If you still want to connect your proposed system to our network, you will need to submit a new connection application and go through the process again (including paying any fees again).
More information about connection establishment contracts
Your new connection contract will be on the terms of your accepted connection offer. It’s called a connection establishment contract.
For basic connection services, the terms of the connection establishment contract are listed in the schedule to our Model Standing Offer for Micro EG Units (PDF 488.0 kb).
We will make a basic connection offer where:
- Power supply is available (that is, there is a line available at the required voltage with sufficient capacity to connect your proposed system)
- There is little or no work required on our network for connection of solar PV systems and other micro embedded generating units.
The types of basic connections for micro embedded generating units are outlined in our basic connection services FAQ.
What is a service line?
A service line is the wire that runs from our network to just inside your property and connects electricity to your premises. A standard overhead service line may extend up to 20m inside your premises, whilst a standard underground service line may extend up to 7m inside your premises.
We provide standard service lines free of charge.
What are capital contributions?
A capital contribution is a fee you’ll be charged for some types of network changes, if we need to change our network for your connection.
A capital contribution for network extension may be applicable for connections that exceed the scope of a typical connection, such as where the service line is longer than the standard service line.
A capital contribution for other network changes may also apply if the new connection or connection alteration exceeds the network change charge threshold, currently set at:
- 10kVA on SWER lines
- A maximum capacity of 80 amperes on 3 phase low voltage supply on our main grid (non-SWER lines).
In these circumstances, any capital contributions will be calculated using the formula set out in section 4.3.3 of our Connection Policy (PDF 680.0 kb).
What is Chapter 5A?
Chapter 5A of the National Electricity Rules sets out the process for most of our customers to either:
- Create a new connection to our electricity distribution network
- Change an existing connection to our electricity distribution network.
The services we provide for these are called connection services. These generally include the design, construction and energisation of connection assets and any necessary change of our network.
What are my rights and obligations?
Read about the energy laws that outline your rights and obligations, how to make a complaint, the dispute resolution procedures and the Queensland Energy Ombudsman on our Customer's rights and obligations webpage.
What are Ergon Energy's responsibilities?
As a distribution network service provider there are a number of things we must do, including:
- Maintaining the safety and reliability of the network, to ensure the adequate, economic, reliable and safe connection and supply of electricity to our customers
- Connecting new customers who want to install micro EG units (eg. solar PV)
- Extending and upgrading the network to meet growth and expansion related to micro EG units
- Collecting metering data for electricity retailers.
Learn more on our Responsibilities webpage.
What is the DER Register?
The Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Register is a national initiative established by the Australian Energy Market Operator, (AEMO) in accordance with the National Electricity Rules. It came into effect on 17 February 2020.
It’s a centralised register that records data on small generating systems (e.g. solar PV, other renewable energy and fossil-fuelled) and battery storage systems up to 30 MW, that are either exempt from registering as a generator with AEMO or not required to be registered.
We are required under the National Electricity Rules to provide DER information to the AEMO in accordance with the DER Register Information Guidelines. Read more on our DER Register webpage.
You might also like to read our Solar, batteries and EVs FAQs for more general information.
Relevant documents for LV Generation Under 30kVA applications
|AS_NZ 4777.2.2020 FAQs Factsheet (PDF File, 757.0 KB)||10 Feb 2022|
|Embedded Network Process Under 30kVA (PDF File, 203.2 KB)||10 Feb 2022|
|Ergon Energy Payments in the Portal (PDF File, 211.6 KB)||10 Feb 2022|
|Ergon Energy Under 30kVA Negotiated Connections Process (PDF File, 198.2 KB)||17 Feb 2022|
|LV Generation Connection Applications for New Builds (PDF File, 81.7 KB)||10 Feb 2022|
|LV Generation Connection Fees Under 30kVA (PDF File, 132.3 KB)||10 Feb 2022|
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