Connect solar panels, batteries, renewable energy systems
Connect solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, batteries, wind turbines and other micro embedded generating units (up to 30kVA) to the electricity network. The grid can be a handy source of back-up power when your system is offline for maintenance or isn’t generating.
As part of the connection process, we’ll check if the local network can support your system to work effectively. We’ll also need to establish a new connection contract with you.
Here's how to get your system connected.
1. Choose your system and installer
Talk to system retailers, talk to others who already have systems, and do other research to choose the best system and retailer 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.
Most system retailers will also offer to install your system. Ensure the person who installs your system is accredited by the Clean Energy Council.
2. Submit your connection application
To get your system connected to our network, 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 retailer apply for you. Otherwise you, or someone on your behalf, can apply via Customer Self Service.
There is 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.
Please note: The person who applies is usually the person we contact during the connection process.
3. Accept our connection offer
Whoever submits your application will also need to accept our connection offer.
We want to help you get your system connected quickly and easily to meet your energy needs. Most of our customers only need a basic connection service.
If your connection service type is basic, it can be fast-tracked when submitting the online application. Just tick the Expedite Application box and your connection contract will automatically be created on the terms of our model standing offer.
If your application is not expedited, 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 our offer. Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.
If you want to negotiate the terms of your connection contract, you can choose to do this through a negotiated connection.
If your connection service type is not basic, or you want to negotiate the terms of your connection contract, then it’s classed as negotiated. Additional costs may apply.
We do a technical assessment of most applications classed as negotiated. If our technical assessment finds your proposed system may not work effectively on our network, we’ll send an email advising 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. You will have 20 business days to accept the offer. Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.
Live in a remote area? All applications to change your existing connection that are submitted in isolated communities will need to be investigated before it can be determined if they will be basic or negotiated. Read more about connection service types, offers and contracts under FAQs and further reading below.
4. Install your system
Installation of your system can start once you have accepted our connection offer.
Your system installer must submit an Electrical Work Request (EWR) to us as soon as possible after installation is complete.
The EWR will notify your electricity retailer of your new system installation. Your electricity retailer may then contact you to discuss any upfront metering charges as outlined in your connection contract and make any relevant changes to your account (e.g. apply your 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. Where you don't already have an inverter system on site, your retailer will contact you to advise the required metering changes 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 place 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 you fast-tracked (or expedited) your connection application, your connection contract will start when your application is submitted.|
|Basic connection offer (non-expedited)||If you didn’t fast-track (or expedite) your connection application, we’ll make a connection offer within 10 business days. You will have 45 business days to accept it.|
|Negotiated connection offer||We will make contact within 10 business days to advise that we will be giving you a negotiated connection offer. We’ll provide this offer within 65 business days. You will have 20 business days to accept it.|
Please note: If you request information by post, it will take longer.
For your new connection
To get 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 connection of your system.
Other charges may apply under a negotiated connection offer. For example, an application fee, a network extension fee, or a capital contribution.
If any network charges are required to meet your connection application, an estimate of these charges will be included in your connection offer for your approval.
All our connection charges have been approved by the Australian Energy Regulator. Read more on connection services charges.
There will be fees to install or enable the required electricity metering at your premises. An estimate of the range of metering charges will be included in your connection offer. The amount is actually charged to you by your electricity retailer may differ and be outside this range.
Read more on metering charges.
Your installer or licenced electrical contractor will advise you on 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 place.
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 PV system 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 micro embedded generating units (micro EG units). Batteries are also classed as micro EG units as they connect to the electricity network through an inverter.
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.
Previously AS/NZS 4777 only included generators up to 30 kVA. However, it has recently been changed to cover embedded generators up to 200 kVA. If you are interested in connecting a generating system larger than 30 kVA, please refer to our Major business connections webpage.
What if I want to connect a system greater than 30 kVA?
Read more on how to apply to connect a larger scale embedded generating system (like solar, wind, hydro or diesel) above 30 kVA on our Major business connections webpage.
What information do I need to submit a connection application?
You will need to know the following:
- Your contact details
- Your National Metering Identifier (NMI) which you can find on your electricity bill
- The address details (including your lot and plan number, as on your council rates notice) where the system will be installed
- Technical details of your chosen system, such as:
- total capacity of the solar PV panels
- details of all inverters to be installed, including reactive power control setting
- number of electrical phases at your premises
- number of electrical phases your system will be connect to
- Name and contact details of your sales consultant
- Name and contact details of your 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 card operated meter and how do I use it?
Some customers living in remote communities in regional Queensland use power cards to add credit to their electricity meter. These are called card operated meters. The cards are reusable and can be topped up at local power card retailers. This means you don’t receive electricity bills.
More information on power cards and how to use card operated meters can be found on the Ergon Retail website.
What is a basic connection service?
Most applications qualify for a basic connection service. This is where the connection services needed for your new system are relatively simple and 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 10 kVA per phase and an export limit of up to 5 kW per phase
- a rated capacity of greater than 30 kVA and less than or equal to 100 kVA and an export limit of up to 15 kW, or
- a rated capacity of greater than 100 kVA and less than or equal to 200 kVA and an export limit of up to 30 kW, or
- the micro EG units are connected to a SWER line and have a rated capacity of less than or equal to 10 kVA per phase and an export limit of up to 2 kW in total.
The basic connection services we offer for micro EG units are described below.
|Micro EG units||For connections to main grid lines less than or equal to 10 kVA rated capacity per phase with export capped at 5 kW per phase|
|Micro EG units||For connections to main grid lines greater than 30 kVA and less than or equal to 100 kVA rated capacity with export capped at 15 kW|
|Micro EG units||For connections to main grid lines greater than 100 kVA and less than or equal to 200 kVA rated capacity with export capped at 30 kW|
|Micro EG units||For connections to SWER lines less than or equal to 10 kVA rated capacity per phase with export capped at 2 kW|
If your micro EG unit connection does not fit the above criteria, it will be classed as a negotiated connection.
More detailed information about basic connection services is explained in our schedule to our model standing offer.
What does expedited mean?
If your new system connection is classed 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 at the time you submit your application, provided we are satisfied that the connection service you are applying for is a basic connection service and that you indicate that the terms in the model standing offer are acceptable to you. If this occurs, then the 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, 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.
Your connection contract starts when the offer is accepted.
What is a negotiated connection service?
A negotiated connection service is 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 new system connection is classed as a basic connection service but you have chosen to negotiate the terms of your connection contract with us
- Your new system connection is not classed as a basic connection service, such as the export capacity of your proposed inverter exceeds our network thresholds.
What if my application doesn't pass your assessment?
Most applications do pass our assessment. If yours doesn’t, 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 assessment and the options.
NOTE: All applications on our isolated network will require a technical assessment.
Standard Connection Services
Although the energy laws provide for standard connection services, we don’t have any standard connection services at present.
More information about connection offers
We will then make a basic or negotiated connection offer within set timeframes for you to accept.
Basic connection offer, expedited
If your connection service type is basic but you don’t expedite your application, 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 is not basic, or you choose to negotiate the terms of your connection contract, then it’s classed as negotiated.
Most applications that qualify for a negotiated connection service undergo a technical assessment to check if the local network can support your system to work effectively.
Usually we’ll 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 to accept the connection offer, or don’t return the signed connection offer within the set timeframe, our connection offer will expire. If you still want your new system connection, you will need to submit a new connection application and go through the whole 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.
More information about ongoing supply connection contracts
Once you have accepted the connection offer and your connection establishment contract is in place, another contract automatically comes into effect for your ongoing connection services. Unless you specifically negotiate the terms of this other contract, it will be on the terms of the relevant contract below (depending upon whether you have a card-operated meter or not):
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:
- 10 kVA 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 contestable services?
Some services are open to competition and can be provided by persons other than us. These include:
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 driven by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and comes into effect on 17 February 2020.
It’s a centralised register that will record data on small generating systems (e.g. solar PV, other renewable energy and fossil-fueled) 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.
Building a new home?
If you're building a new home it's the perfect time to ensure it's designed to save you money and energy. Energy efficient building designs may cost little or no more than standard designs, but will give you ongoing savings for years to come.
It’s also just as important to make sure you connect to the most appropriate electricity tariffs. Check out Smarter Energy choices (PDF 27.6 kb) for your new home for advice on choosing appliances and tariffs and our booklet The energy sense home (PDF 4.9 mb) for lots of information on simple choices to help you make your new home the best it can be.