Although installation has finished and you have your lovely new solar panels ready to soak up sunlight, you’re not quite ready to start saving on energy bills. The next step involves connecting your panels to the grid, after which you’re ready to make the most out of your solar panels.
So, what happens next?
When it comes to connecting your brand new solar system to the grid, a reputable installer can arrange the connection for you. Make sure you check in with the installer so you understand the process and who you need to follow up with after installation.
Connecting your solar system to the grid is a two-step process; the first step involves making an application to connect your system prior to installation (where required), and a meter change or reconfiguration and connection to the grid.
Step 1: The Application to Connect
You will find when applying to connect your system that most distribution companies (companies that supply electricity to a grid) require pre-approval to connect to their network. Because of this, the application to connect should always be performed before the sale and installation steps have been completed.
It is important to organise this as there is no single approach to connecting – the size of systems and characteristics of the local grid can vary wildly, so the distributor’s technical requirements can vary.
Step 2: The Meter Change and Connection to the Grid
Your existing electricity meter will need to either be reconfigured or completely replaced with a new meter before connection to the grid is possible. This is organised by the solar retailer, who will notify the electricity retailer (the body that buys back excess electricity). The meter change or reconfiguration will then be carried out by your distribution company, and you will have to pay any costs relevant to the meter change – just make sure you’re aware of the specific costs and the method in which you will be charged.
Once your system has been installed and you’re finally able to reap the rewards solar provides, make sure to check a few things. You should always make sure:
- You have received all the relevant documentation from your solar provider
- That your meter has been properly changed or reconfigured
- That the correct tariff has been applied to your electricity bill by your electricity retailer (this is important for when the retailer buys back your energy).
Making the Process Simpler
Choosing the right distributor is highly recommended at this stage. A reputable solar provider like Renew Energy will arrange the connection of your solar system to the grid network on your behalf. This process will include preparing and submitting relevant documentation required from the electricity retailer and/or distributor for meter installation and connection to the network.