The Victorian government has introduced a bill into parliament to make it easier for households to connect solar to the grid.
The National Electricity (Victoria) Further Amendment Bill 2015, introduced by energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio, will switch the state to national arrangements for solar connections, which requires electricity distributors to follow shorter timeframes when they receive a connection request.
Ms D’Ambrosio said the bill was part of an election commitment to provide fairer access to the grid for customers generating renewable energy.
If passed, distributors must supply a basic contract to small customers and generators who want to connect to the grid. Those who want to connect to the grid must receive a connection offer within 10 business days, down from the current of up to 55 days.
“We’re putting the interests of Victorian consumers at the front and centre of our energy retail policy,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“We’re delivering on our promise to protect the interests of Victorian energy consumers and ensure greater transparency in the market so customers can make informed choices.”
In cases of complex connections, distributors will have to provide information on the process to its customers, and will still have to meet a specific timeframe.
Customers will also be able to access a dispute resolution process.
The government said the new arrangements were supported by distributors and small-scale renewable energy proponents, including the Clean Energy Council.