NSW network operator Ausgrid says it intends to fast-track installation of residential energy saving technologies, making it cheaper and easier for households in the state to install solar and battery storage.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Ausgrid – which services almost 1.7 million customers in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter region – said all solar and battery systems up to 30kW in size would be fast-tracked under the new plan, saving customers more than $200 on their applications.
The changes to the application process, due to be applied later this year, will remove the need for a more detailed technical assessment of systems of 5-10kW for single-phase connections and 15-30kW for three-phase connections.
Customers installing these systems will be able to fill out a single online form and will no longer need to pay a technical assessment fee.
Acting Ausgrid CEO Trevor Armstrong said customers wishing to upgrade their connection would also be able to apply using a single, online form.
“By cutting red tape, fees and processing times, we can help more homes and businesses across our network install solar and battery systems,” Armstrong said.
“This can also make the grid more efficient and help save all our customers long-term by reducing the need to build more capacity into the network.”
Armstrong said around 100,000 of the network’s customers had already installed embedded generation, usually residential rooftop photovoltaic systems.
“We get about 10,000 applications a year for embedded generation systems of up to 30kW,” he said.
“Up to one in 10 are for larger micro-generation systems, which previously required a more detailed technical assessment.
“We no longer see a need for this assessment based on the lower risk associated with these systems.
“This change will save these customers about $200 in fees per application and reduce processing times to about ten working days,” he said.