Recently, there have been reports suggesting the new Smarter Homes Regulations will give the SA Government the power to switch off home solar systems. This is not true. The take-up of solar in SA has been remarkable, leading to our state having one of the highest levels of home solar in the world. In fact, on very rare occasions, the volume of surplus solar power being fed back into the electricity network has risked causing its instability, which could lead to blackouts.
To prevent this, all new solar systems must have the capability to be controlled remotely, so that the export of power back to the network can be regulated during these times. Again, this will only happen on very rare occasions, and solar power to your home won’t be interrupted. To understand how this affects you, we’ve put together some FAQs.
Who has remote access to my solar system?If this situation occurs, the only people permitted to control the export of your solar power back to the network are Relevant Agents, registered with the government’s Office of the Technical Regulator. When installing your solar, we’ll help you connect with Relevant Agents best suited to handle your system.
Does this affect my existing system?The regulations only apply to new installations, but if your existing system needs to be repaired or modified, any replacement parts must comply with the new standards. Parts replaced under warranty are exempt.
What about my feed-in tariff?The feed-in tariff (cents per kilowatt hour) offered by your energy retailer will not be affected by these regulations.
Will it cost me more?
The new regulations should not affect the cost of solar system installation. If the export of your surplus solar power back the network is temporarily disconnected, this will briefly affect the amount of feed-in tariff you receive. There are too many factors involved to say exactly how often this will happen or the precise dollar amount of any credit reduction.
South Australian Power Networks (SAPN) is working to improve the capacity of the network to handle the increasing popularity of solar. SAPN is also planning to increase the number of kilowatts that home solar power systems can export back to the network during normal times.
What if my system has a battery?Even if you’re system is temporarily unable to export power back to the network, you can still use the solar power you’re producing and any electricity stored in your battery. You’ll also be able to receive power from the grid, if needed.