In order to install a grid connected solar power system at your residential household, you will need to have a compatible switchboard and meter. The following information below will help you determine if your meter and switchboard is well-matched and estimated pricing for upgrades if required.
Switchboards are the part of the household where the circuit breakers or fuses are contained. They may be in the same enclosure as the electricity meters or located separately from the meters; for example, in the garage or near the entrance of the house.
In most Australian states, houses constructed since 2002 will have a compatible switchboard; though two spare spaces are required for solar breakers. If only one space is available the electrician can upgrade.
KEY: If you determine your switchboard does need upgrading; consider the cost of doing so not just part of your solar power investment, but also to help ensure your house’s overall electrical set-up is as safe as possible – protecting your assets and more importantly, your family.
Possibly solar-ready switchboard examples
While this switchboard is full, 2 lights can be wired into the one switch to make room for additional housing which can then added to the right.
When there is no space for extra circuit breakers in the existing board, another housing could possibly be added next to the existing one.
Solar-ready switchboard example
All recently constructed homes have a compatible switchboard type. A standard installation is one where two blank “poles” (spaces) are vacant for the solar circuit breaker to be installed.
Unsuited switchboard requiring major upgrade
If fuses (a now obsolete and less effective form of circuit protection) are present, then the switchboard will need a major upgrade.
Switchboard upgrade costs
NOTE: Costs mentioned below are only an estimate. If your switchboard does require upgrading, a Solar Shop Online certified electrician will be able to do the work for you to ensure your switchboard is compliant.
|State||Approx Cost (minor upgrade)||Approx Cost (major upgrade)|
Meters Upgrade Costs
To get the full value of the solar energy being generated, it is important that your meter be changed to a two-way (bi-directional) meter; one that not only reads your consumption, but the amount of electricity you are exporting to the mains grid. A system may be installed prior to the bi-directional meter, but in the short-term, any extra power you generate will spin your current electricity meter backwards; i.e. just provide a credit at the current market rate.
Costs vary by state and distribution network provider. If there is a cost, it is paid to your electricity retailer and is added on to your next electricity bill. Solar Direct Online does not perform the changeover, but will assist in meter changeover arrangements.
NOTE: Costs mentioned are only an estimate.
|QLD||$50 single phase – $200 three phase|
|SA||$325 single phase – $695 three phase|