What to know about solar sharing technology

Solar sharing technology allows electricity generated through solar to be equitably and safely distributed to participating apartments.

It is relatively new compared to other solar technology and there are additional things to consider.

The type of system

To be eligible for a Solar for Apartments grant the system must meet the eligibility criteria. An eligible system may include multiple solar systems and/or technologies. For example, it can be a solar sharing system servicing most of the apartment complex, with direct connect systems servicing some households. You can learn more about different systems for apartments here.

If the installation requires multiple solar systems and/or technologies, your authorised solar retailer may need to check the compatibility of the technologies before finalising the funding agreement.

Some solar sharing technologies include an inverter power sharing device (IPSD). An IPSD takes the power from the inverter and shares it equitably with participating households.

If the solar sharing system you want to install includes an IPSD, you will also need to ensure that an interface protection device is installed as part of the overall system to be eligible for a Solar for Apartments grant. It must be installed regardless of the system’s size and should be included in your invoice.

The needs of residents

You should check with your retailer that the power generated from the proposed solar system meets the needs of participating households. Consider how the system’s design and the location it will be installed will impact residents. You should also ask how the system will be configured to deliver energy equitably to participating households.

Costs

Be sure to understand what the upfront costs are during the installation process. If you are installing a solar sharing system through the Solar for Apartments Program, you should ask about the payment model so you can align installation milestones with grant payments. You should also ask about any ongoing service charges and maintenance requirements.

Service arrangement

The service arrangement offered by your retailer should also be clearly explained. The service arrangement covers what will be provided to you, after sales service and who owns the system among other matters.

After installation

Ask what protocols will be put into place for post installation proof of performance monitoring so each participating household can track their benefits and costs. Also ensure there is a clear process for households to opt in/out post installation.

Warranties and protections

Confirm the system warranty. To be eligible for the Solar for Apartments program a minimum 5-year whole-of-product and whole-of-system warranty for solar sharing technologies and major components is required.

Before you contact a retailer

If you are considering applying for a grant, read the Solar for Apartments Eligibility Requirements document before you contact a retailer. You will need to engage an authorised Solar Victoria retailer to take part in the program. Authorised retailers are signatories of the New Energy Tech Consumer Code which covers the code of conduct for solar retailers, including any financial arrangements they may offer.

More information

Our Solar for Apartments Program is offering funding to eligible owner corporations on behalf of residents for eligible buildings in Victoria. For more information, see Solar for Apartments.

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