Installing and connecting solar panels

Looking to install a solar PV system? We recommend you follow these tips to find the right solution.

Do your research

The following pages provide information on what to look out for when installing solar PV systems.

Choose an electricity contract

Get in touch with your electricity retailer to find out how changing to solar will impact on your electricity rates. Your electricity retailer will also arrange a new digital meter for you when you begin to use solar energy.

The NSW Energy Switch service helps you compare energy contracts. Be sure to check:

Once you’ve decided on a retailer, they will arrange for a new digital meter for you.

Shop around for an accredited installer

Get a range of quotes from different solar installers. You’ll find a list of accredited installers on the Clean Energy Council's website

Ask for a written quotation and contract before signing up. Understand the following:

  • the total price of the system and installation
  • proposed start and completion dates
  • specifications of the size and output of the system as well as the inverter specifications
  • estimates of the average output of the system, including an estimate of output during the best and worst months of the year
  • warranties and guarantees.

If you have any problems with your solar installer you can contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

In most circumstances, your solar installer will manage your connection to the grid.

You can also get more information about connecting your solar PV system to the electricity network from your electricity distributor, which will be Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy or Essential Energy.  Take a look at your most recent bill to check the name of your distributor.

Solar costs

Installing a solar PV system may require an upfront investment. The larger systems usually cost more. The Commonwealth Government's Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme can help reduce these upfront costs.

Some commercial businesses also allow customers to lease solar PV systems or to purchase them on finance.

Generally, purchasing the system outright will be more cost effective, so do some research to find out the best way to pay for your solar PV.

Here are some resources to get you started:

Need more help?

Disputes and complaints

EWON is a Government-approved body that provides a free dispute resolution service for complaints about energy and gas suppliers.

To contact EWON call 1800 246 545 or email omb [at] ewon.com.au

Distributors

Electricity distributors can give you information on connecting your solar PV system to the grid. The distributor you use will depend on where you live in NSW.

Contact your distributor.

NSW Fair Trading

To find out more about consumer protections or to make enquiries or complaints about workmanship, phone NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 and select ‘home building enquiries’.

Service NSW

For more information about the former Solar Bonus Scheme or any other service or program offered by the NSW Government, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Frequently asked questions

How can solar generation reduce my electricity bills?

Instead of purchasing all your electricity from your retailer, you can use the energy you generate from your own solar system and only purchase extra electricity if you need it.

You’ll need to have a net meter or a smart meter.

According to estimates from the Clean Energy Council, an average 2-kilowatt system installed in Sydney will generate around 7.8 kilowatt hours per day, which is around 2847 kilowatt hours per year. This is almost 40% of the average household consumption, which could mean big savings on your electricity bill.

How much can I expect to save on my electricity bill with a solar PV system?

That depends on a range of factors, including the size, quality and site of your system, how you use electricity, the weather and any feed-in tariff paid by your retailer.

Your installer can advise you on the expected output of a particular model and size of system. If you have a typical electricity account on hand and you know the time of day you typically use your electricity it will help your installer match the system to your needs.

How much does a solar PV system cost?

There are a range of prices for different PV systems. You should seek independent advice on the actual costs of a system.

Why is the feed-in tariff lower than the price I pay for electricity?

Electricity is only one element of providing energy to houses and businesses.

The reason the benchmark range for feed-in tariffs is lower than the amount charged for electricity by retailers is because it excludes the significant distribution costs of delivering electricity via the network ‘poles and wires’.  It also excludes the costs of retail services such as account administration, metering and billing, and the cost of various Government green schemes such as the Climate Change Fund and the Energy Savings Scheme. These are all services that together make up the retail price of electricity charged to customers, which are not provided by the owners of a solar generator.