Melbourne: The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier for small-scale energy generators, including households with rooftop solar panels, to connect to the electricity grid.
Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio today introduced the National Electricity (Victoria) Further Amendment Bill 2015, to switch Victoria to national arrangements for connection, which require electricity distributors to follow tighter timeframes when they get a connection request.
The Bill is part of the Government’s election commitment to provide fairer access to the grid for customers generating renewable energy, including households and small businesses with rooftop solar, an official press release said.
Under the Bill, distributors must have a basic contract available to small customers and generators who want to connect to the grid.
“We’re delivering on our promise to protect the interests of Victorian energy consumers and ensure greater transparency in the market so customers can make informed choices,” D’Ambrosio said.
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.
If the connection process is complex, distributors have to provide clear information on the process to customers and still have to operate within a time limit.
Customers will get a clearer idea of the connection application process and access to a dispute resolution process if things go wrong. Connection terms and conditions will also be more tightly regulated.
The new arrangements, are supported by electricity distributors and representatives of small-scale renewable energy proponents, including the Clean Energy Council. (TIW)