Why host an
One way we are supporting more sustainable
electricity use is through residential or small
distributed generation – this refers to the installation
of smaller, renewable or more efficient sources of
electricity generation at our customers’ premises.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are an increasingly
common form of renewable energy supply and Ergon
Energy is offering customers in selected areas the
opportunity to “host” an Ergon Energy solar PV
system. All electricity generated from the solar PV
system will be fed into the electricity network to
assist in meeting demand.
Across Queensland, demand for
electricity is growing. Traditionally,
By hosting an Ergon Energy
solar PV system you will:
demand growth has resulted in
• help reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
Ergon Energy expanding the
• help manage demand on the electricity
electricity network. However, it
• be at the forefront of developing a more
sustainable energy model for the future.
makes sense to also consider
Ergon Energy owns the system and is responsible for
more sustainable alternatives for
its installation and all ongoing maintenance, so there
is no cost to you for the system, its installation or its
meeting demand growth, such as
As the electricity generated will be fed directly into
reducing demand and increasing
the electricity network and not into your house, you
will still be required to pay your electricity retailer for
renewable energy usage.
the electricity you use.
This brochure will explain more about what is
involved in hosting a solar PV system and provide
answers to commonly asked questions.
Solar panels convert
the sun’s light into
Simply put, solar PV systems
convert sunlight into electricity.
This is how:
Solar panels are made of
individual cells containing thin
Ergon Energy owned
layers of semi-conducting
material, usually silicon.
When sunlight hits the cells,
electrons are dislodged,
point to network
producing a direct electric
current (DC). This is captured
Power flows either way
by the inverter, which changes
depending on the
generation of the solar
the DC to alternating current
panels and the
consumption at the house
(AC) to power lights, computers
and other appliances.
Ergon Energy’s network will
still deliver electricity to your
premises, including when the
solar PV system is not
generating electricity into the
What’s involved in hosting a
• If your property is suitable, and after any required licences
solar PV system?
or approvals are secured, we will contact you to organise
a time for Ergon Energy to install the system.
If you agree to host an Ergon Energy solar PV system, the first
• This will involve some noise and people in your yard and on
step is for us to assess the suitability of your roof.
your roof so please consider this when arranging the time.
An Ergon Energy assessor will check that your property
• A brief outage, of approximately 30 minutes, will occur
meets the minimum requirements of having:
when the new system is connected to the network.
This will be no different from the power being turned
• a structurally sound roof;
off when an electrician does work in your home.
• a minimum of 12 square metres of unshaded area
• As soon as the system is connected it will start generating
between 8am and 5pm; and
electricity during daylight hours on clear days.
• a main switchboard that satisfies wiring rules and
• We will need to visit your property at least once a year
conforms to the Queensland Electrical Safety Act 2002.
to check on the system. However, we will advise you in
If these requirements are met we can install the solar PV
advance so you can reschedule the date if necessary.
panels on your roof.
• If you notice that something is wrong with the system,
The system includes about a dozen solar PV panels of
please let us know as soon as possible.
approximately 1.5 x 0.5 metres. The panels are clamped into
• We ask you to take care of our system and be aware of it
a rack, which is then attached to the roof.
when undertaking electrical works in your house.
Ergon Energy will also need to install, near or in your
• If any maintenance on your roof or house may result in
switchboard, equipment such as:
interference with or the removal of our system, please
• an inverter, which changes the solar PV panels’ output
advise us so we can remove the equipment before work
from direct current (DC) to match the alternating current
(AC) of the electricity grid;
• If there is a power outage in your area that includes your
• another box containing a DC circuit breaker, an AC circuit
premises the system will detect this and stop generating
breaker and a data logger, which measures the solar PV
power. This will prevent damage to your electrical
system output; and
equipment and ensure the safety of our workers and
• wires and cables needed to operate the system.
• If you sell your property you need to let us know. You
Your System Hosting
also need to tell the buyer that Ergon Energy owns the
system and provide them with a copy of the System
A System Hosting Agreement must be signed and agreed
• If the person occupying your property changes you need
upon by Ergon Energy and the host (you) before a solar PV
to let us know. You also need to tell the new occupier that
system can be installed.
Ergon Energy owns the system and provide them with a
copy of the System Hosting Agreement.
If you’d like to host one of these systems and Ergon Energy
agrees, the following will happen:
• When the System Hosting Agreement is terminated
(whether by you or us), we will arrange a time to remove
• We first need to ensure your property is suitable for
the system. If any damage occurs in the process, we
installation. We may need your help for this, for example
will repair the roof so it is functionally equivalent to its
to gain access to your premises, and we will notify you
condition prior to installation (with allowances for normal
if we do.
wear and tear).
Q Will the installation of the solar PV system impact on
my current electricity arrangements?
A No. Entering into or terminating the System Hosting
Agreement with Ergon Energy will not affect your current
arrangements for the purchase and supply of electricity.
Ergon Energy will continue to provide you with
connection services and supply electricity from the
network to your premises. Your retailer will continue to
provide you with retail services and bill you for the
electricity that you consume.
Q Will the details I provide Ergon Energy be kept confidential?
Q When there is an outage or planned interruption, will I
Yes, Ergon Energy’s treatment of any confidential information
still have power?
is governed by the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and
by Ergon Energy’s Privacy Statement which can be found on
A No. In order to prevent damage to your electrical
equipment and ensure the safety of our workers and the
public, the system will stop generating. This is because
Q Who owns the solar PV system?
the solar PV system is fed directly to the electricity
A All the solar PV system equipment remains the property of
network. If the power goes out in your street, the system
will detect this and stop generating power.
Q Why don’t I get free electricity if the solar PV system is on
Q What if the solar PV system needs to be removed from
A Ergon Energy owns the panels and pays for all costs
A When the System Hosting Agreement is terminated
associated with purchasing, installing and maintaining
(whether by the customer or Ergon Energy) a time will be
the system, so you still pay your retailer for the electricity
arranged to remove the system. If any damage occurs in
the process, Ergon Energy will repair the roof so it is
Q Is Ergon Energy required to enter my property?
functionally equivalent to its condition prior to installation
(with allowances for normal wear and tear).
A Ergon Energy will need to enter your property for installation,
operation, maintenance and removal of the equipment.
Q If my circumstances change, do I need to advise
We will notify you before we enter your property, except in
the case of emergency.
A Yes, you must notify Ergon Energy in writing to the
Q What happens if vegetation grows and shades the
following address if you wish to remove the solar PV
equipment - will you remove it?
system, or if there is a change of property occupier or
A Ergon Energy will obtain your approval before removing
vegetation affecting our equipment unless there is a
The Company Secretary
hazardous situation. If you decline permission and the
PO Box 15107
vegetation is affecting our equipment, then we may remove
Brisbane City East
Q Will the solar PV system be supplying electricity directly to
Q If there is a problem with the solar PV system, or I need
more information, who do I contact?
A Because the solar PV system belongs to Ergon Energy we
A Contact Ergon Energy on 13 10 46. Please advise the
will connect it to our electricity network, so the power
person answering your call that you wish to discuss a
generated from the system will be fed into the network.
System Hosting Agreement.
13 10 46
7.00am - 6.30pm Monday to Friday
13 22 96
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Life-Threatening Emergencies only
000 or 13 16 70
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Office of the Customer Advocate
PO Box 15107 City East QLD 4002
Ergon Energy Corporation Limited ABN 50 087 646 062