Solar Connect T&Cs
Terms and Conditions
Current as at 4 May 2022
The Alice Springs Future Grid – Virtual Power Plant Trial, referred to in branding as Solar Connect, is a joint initiative of Desert Knowledge Australia and its Trial Partners under the Alice Springs Future Grid Project (Project). The Project brings together a number of stakeholders working together with the aim of identifying existing energy system issues in Alice Springs and planning for more renewable energy in the system into the future.
The Trial aims to create what is expected to be the Northern Territory’s first residential Virtual Power Plant (VPP). The Trial seeks participation from Alice Springs households with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery storage systems for a proposed Trial of six months to one year. Households with solar PV only (i.e. without batteries) may also participate, as can those households that intend to install solar PV and/or a battery by the commencement date of the Trial. The eligibility for these are split into two components for “Solar-Only” trial and “Battery” trial.
These terms and conditions set out the framework for conduct of the Trial and apply to all participants, including Home Owners/Small Businesses as Eligible Recipients, and Registered Inspectors/Installers as Eligible Businesses.
Audit means Our right to attend at a Property for the purpose of inspecting the Works to ensure compliance with these terms and conditions and includes Our right to have a third party contractor attend at the Property to inspect and carry out maintenance/changes to the Future Grid Equipment (which will be at Our expense other than where there is a breach of the Home Owner’s obligations under these Terms and Conditions).
Future Grid Equipment means the hardware or software to be installed or updated at the Property for the purposes of facilitating Your participation in the Trial. Requirements will vary depending on the characteristics of the Property, and further details are available on the website.
Eligible Business or Business is a service provider that is suitably qualified to provide the Works (which we will decide at our discretion) and in particular, meets the following criteria:
- is a Territory Enterprise; and
- is a legal entity (a natural person or an incorporated entity), with or without a registered business name; and
- holds a valid active Australian Business Number; and
- was providing its services wholly or substantially in the Northern Territory as at the commencement date of the Trial; and
- has and will maintain during the course of the Trial (and will provide copies upon request), all relevant business, occupation and related permits, licences and insurance coverage required to undertake work in connection with the Trial, including valid public liability insurance policy with minimum $10 million cover, Work Cover, Professional Indemnity (if deemed necessary), and all other relevant insurances to cover its usual business risks; and
- will carry out the Works in accordance with any requirements of the Power and Water Corporation and otherwise in accordance with all relevant laws; and
- holds relevant designer and installer Clean Energy Council (CEC) accreditation and endorsement; and
- will ensure that the Future Grid Equipment is only installed by a person who has been accredited through the SwitchDin online accreditation process; and
- will carry out the Works entirely by itself and will not need to subcontract any part of the Works.
Eligible Businesses will be listed on the Register. Only Eligible Businesses must be used to conduct Works under the Trial.
Eligible Recipient means a Home Owner or Small Business who satisfies the eligibility criteria set out in Section 3 of these Terms and Conditions and has been notified in writing by Future Grid that it has been accepted into the Trial.
Excluded Small Business means individuals including sole traders operating from an address that is not solely occupied by its business, private and public educational institutions, home based businesses, government agencies, government owned bodies, statutory corporations and local government bodies. Businesses that are insolvent or under investigation are also excluded.
Home Owner means the registered proprietor of the Property (or if more than one then all the registered proprietors are deemed to be the Recipient subject to the applicant providing the written authority of other owners). A Home Owner must be one or more natural persons. It must not be a corporate body.
Invoice means a compliant invoice issued by an Eligible Business.
Network means the electricity distribution system to which the Property is connected.
Principal means a proprietor where a business is a sole trader or partnership, or the managing director where a business is a company.
Project Partners means the organisations assisting in the delivery of Alice Springs Future grid, which includes Power and Water Corporation, the Arid Lands Environment Centre and Jacana Energy Pty Ltd, see full list here: alicespringsfuturegrid.com.au/project-partners
Property means the residential address of the Home Owner or business premises occupied by a Small Business in Alice Springs at which the Future Grid Equipment will be installed.
Register means the register of Eligible Businesses.
Registered Inspector means an inspector of the existing Renewable Energy System at a Property for the purpose of determining the suitability of such system to interface with the Future Grid Equipment, who is listed on the Register.
Registered Installer means a business that is suitably qualified to install the Future Grid Equipment and is listed on the Register.
(a) in relation to a company:
i. a director or member of the body or of a related body corporate; or
ii. a Relative of a director or member; or
iii. a Relative of the spouse of a director or member; or
iv. an employee of the company or a Relative of an employee of the company.
(b) in relation to any other kind of legal entity,
i. a proprietor, partner or any other person exercising control (whether on their own or jointly with others) over the management of the Business; or
ii. a Relative of any person falling within (b)i. above; or
iii. an employee of the Business or a Relative of an employee of the Business
© in relation to a person, means a Relative of that person.
Relative in relation to a person, means the spouse, parent or grandparent, child or grandchild or brother or sister of the person.
Renewable Energy System means the system comprising some or all of the following components:
- (a) solar photovoltaic panels;
- (b) inverter;
- © battery;
- (d) internet of things device;
- (e) remote monitoring and control device; and
- (f) any other hardware and software that We may require to be in place at the Property
which was installed (or partially installed) at the premises prior to the Commencement Date.
Small Business means a Territory Enterprise that satisfies the following criteria:
- has no more than 20 employees (including all proprietors of the business who are engaged by it as employees or in its management);
- Is actively trading in the Northern Territory, and provides its goods or services to the public from a physical location situated on land in Alice Springs;
- Earns an annual revenue of at least $75,000.00 and less than $10 million; and
- Is a private entity (i.e. a Pty Ltd company, partnership or sole trader); and
- Is not an Excluded Small Business.
A Small Business must either own the Property from which it operates its business, or be able to provide Us with the written authority of the Owner/s of the Property to participate in the Trial.
Supported Inverters means the inverter within the Renewable Energy System that will it to be active in the VPP Trial. These inverters are listed on the website.
SwitchDin is the owner of the VPP Platform.
A Territory Enterprise is a business that satisfies all of the following:
- operating in the Northern Territory — the enterprise is currently engaged in productive activities out of premises within the Northern Territory (i.e., production of goods or delivery of services); and
- has a significant permanent presence — the enterprise maintains an office, manufacturing facilities or other permanent base within the Northern Territory; and
- employs Northern Territory residents.
Trial or VPP Trial means the solar only trial, the battery trial or both as the case may be, as outlined in the Introduction.
User Data means:
- data generated or transmitted by parts of the Future Grid Equipment, including the amount of solar PV electricity generated, used, exported to the Network and stored, the amount of electricity imported from the Network (including as generated or measured by your electricity meter(s) and inverter(s)); and
- any data or other information relating to generation management at your premises; and
- information relating to battery state of charge (where applicable), voltage, active power, reactive power, current and frequency,
both on a net and a real-time basis.
Virtual Power Plant (VPP) means a network of distributed solar batteries and photovoltaic (PV) systems, which are connected and can be operated as one by a retailer or network operator, using a central cloud-based platform (VPP Platform).
Voucher means a payment instrument or preloaded debit card issued by Us to an Eligible Recipient for personal use. Each Voucher will carry a value commensurate with the list of payment entitlements set out on the Website.
We, Us, Our are references to Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) acting in its role as lead consortium member for the Alice Springs Future Grid Project, and, if the context permits or it is explicitly stated, are also references to our Project Partners.
Website means www.alicespringsfuturegrid.com.au
Works are the:
- inspection of the Property to ensure it has a compatible Renewable Energy System by a Registered Inspector (Stage 1), and
- supply, installation and commissioning at a Property of the Future Grid Equipment (as required) by a Registered Installer (Stage 2); and
- conduct of further checks to ensure the Renewable Energy System at the Property is capable of meeting requirements for the VPP trial and that conditions of a new or existing Connection Agreement are met, and that all Works have been carried out in accordance with all relevant laws and have received all relevant permits and approvals, such as (but not limited to) Certificates of Compliance (Stage 3).
3. Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible to participate in the Trial a Home Owner or Small Business must:
- be an Active Residential or Business Customer of Jacana Energy with an electricity account registered in their name at the Property;
- consent to having the Future Grid Equipment installed at the Property;
- either have solar panels already installed at the Property or be prepared to acquire solar panels;
- declare that the Property is not registered for life support in connection with life support medical equipment or other critical needs and is not expected to be during the course of the Trial;
- have and maintain continuously throughout the Trial a valid and active internet connection service at the Property.
- execute a contract with Jacana Energy for Trial participation;
Both Home Owners and Small Businesses are eligible for the Solar-Only trial. For this trial the applicant must:
- have a PV system installed no later than 2016, or acquire a PV system prior to commencement of the Trial, with an inverter from the supported inverter list.
- be within the Basic size range, per Power and Water Corporation’s PV and battery energy storage (BES) system class requirements. That is, systems up to 10kVA per phase are eligible, and will be assessed on application.
Only Home Owners are eligible for the Battery trial. For this trial the applicant must:
- have a Renewable Energy System within the Basic size range, per Power and Water Corporation’s PV and battery energy storage (BES) system class requirements.
- have a PV system installed no later than 2016, or acquire a PV system prior to commencement of the trial, with at least a 4.5kW inverter; and
- have a battery installed, or acquire a battery prior to commencement of the trial, and an inverter (or hybrid inverter) from the supported inverter list. Preference will be given to systems with over 7kWh of useable energy.
4. Participant’s Obligations
The Trial is open to Home Owners and Small Businesses who meet the eligibility Criteria in Clause 3 and have been notified in writing that their application is accepted to participate in the Trial.
- Check the basic eligibility criteria
- Follow the link to start a new online application
- Fill out the required details
- Make the Declaration; and
- Submit application.
The Home Owner or Small Business must also complete and electronically sign the declaration contained in the application form. Applications by Small Businesses must be made by a Principal of the business.
For assistance with online applications, applicants may phone or email email@example.com or 1800 ALICE VPP (1800 254 238) and a response should be provided within five business days.
We will make all enquiries about the Home Owner, the Small Business and the Property, as relevant, that We deem necessary, through the information provided and from third-party information. The Home Owner or Small Business will provide any written authorisations that We may require to carry out due diligence. If it does not, it may become ineligible to participate.
The application will be referred by Us to Jacana Energy and the Power and Water Corporation. The Home Owner or Small Business must enter into a supply contract with Jacana Energy on such terms as it requires. Once Jacana Energy confirms to Us that all its requirements have been met, the application will be approved and the Home Owner or Small Business will participate in the Trial on Jacana Energy’s and these terms and conditions (as amended from time to time) and any other terms that We may notify on the Website from time to time. Once a contract is signed the Home Owner or Small Business will move to Stage 3.
The Home Owner or Small Business will need to ensure that an inspection of the Property by a Registered Installer is undertaken and that any Works required are completed. The Home Owner or Small Business may arrange an inspection directly with the Register Installer, or agree that a Future Grid Project Partner (such as ALEC) to arrange the inspections on their behalf.
The Registered Inspector will invoice Us directly for the inspection and works relating to the Future Grid Equipment only. If site works are required, the Eligible Recipient will need to provide consent for these works. A quote will be provided to the Eligible Recipient for Works, We will cover costs relating to the Future Grid Equipment and its installation. However, where additional works are required we will consider these and may request that the Eligible Recipient pays for these additional works.
If the Registered Installer reports to Us that the Property is suitable to participate in the VPP Trial, the application will move to Stage 4.
Eligible Recipients will be activated in the Solar Connect VPP.
Once the Home Owner or Small Business is formally enrolled and active in the VPP platform, managed by Jacana Energy, a “sign on” incentive payment will be provided to the Home Owner or Small Business in the form of a Voucher.
The Future Grid Equipment installed as part of the Works will be acquired by Us from SwitchDin and provided to the Premises at no cost. During the Trial We will retain ownership and We will maintain (at our cost) the Future Grid Equipment during the Trial, to the extent required because of:
- ordinary wear and tear incurred during the Trial;
- Our need to upgrade or replace the Future Grid Equipment to support the Trial; and
- faults in the Future Grid Equipment which are occurring due to the manner in which the Future Grid Equipment was manufactured or installed.
We will not be responsible for the cost of maintaining or repairing the Future Grid Equipment in any circumstances other than those described above, including where the Future Grid Equipment:
- is damaged by the Home Owner or Small Business or other third parties visiting the Property;
- becomes faulty due to any unauthorised work done to the Future Grid Equipment including by an unauthorised person; or
- is damaged by events beyond Our control, including but not limited to flood, fire, theft, lightening, earthquake or extreme hot or cold weather.
If the Future Grid Equipment becomes faulty or damaged during the Trial you must notify us immediately and provide us with all information that We might request in order to attend to repairs and maintenance issues.
If We require you to transport the Future Grid Equipment for service We will pay the reasonable costs of doing so.
At the end of the Trial the Home Owner or Small Business may elect to return the Future Grid Equipment to Us or take ownership of it. We will liaise with participants towards the anticipated end of the Trial in relation to this.
The Home Owner or Small Business must notify Us if:
- It adds, or intends to add, additional PV generation or battery storage capacity at the Property. Any added component or capacity must be compatible with the VPP Platform and the Future Grid Equipment;
- if the Battery or PV system will be unavailable for a period of time; or
- the Property will be vacant for a period of more than 14 days in any given month.
Note: Stage 2 and 3 may occur in parallel, or in reverse order. This will depend on what equipment is already installed at the property. If new Renewable Energy System components are added to sites, works are expected to be completed within 90 days of signing a Jacana Energy contract, and no later than 31 January 2022.
4.2 Warranty by Business carrying out Works
By submitting a quotation, a Business warrants to Us and to the Eligible Recipient that it will carry out the Works in accordance with any requirements of the Power and Water Corporation, (save and except for dispensations allowed for this Trial), and otherwise in accordance with all relevant laws. The Business and staff it employs to carry out the Works will hold, in addition to all other requirements in the eligibility criteria, relevant Clean Energy Council (CEC) accreditation and endorsements and will only install CEC approved products (where works are required at the Property beyond the Works described here). Businesses must also ensure they have the relevant accreditations for the equipment that they manage and install. For example, if completing works at a Property with SwitchDin or Tesla equipment the installer must be accredited by those businesses.
4.3 Obligations of Small Business and/or Home Owner
All Home Owners and Small Businesses participating in the VPP Trial warrant to Us that they:
- will properly and safely keep and maintain the Future Grid Equipment at the Property;
- will not take any steps to alter or damage the Future Grid Equipment, nor attempt to remove or interfere with any controls, functionality, connections or hardware;
- will not take any steps to prevent the User Data being transmitted to Us;
- will ensure that:
- a valid and active internet connection is maintained at the Property at all times, including wi-fi connectivity, from the commencement date of the Trial until the date on which the Trial is notified to be at an end; and
- agree that We may use a reasonable amount of bandwidth (at no cost to us) to support their participation in the Trial;
If any information provided to Us by a Home Owner or Small Business changes, they must tell us within ten (10) business days of them becoming aware of any such change. This includes if they vacate or sell the Property, or if they no longer meet the eligibility criteria for any reason whatsoever.
If We become aware of any changes that alter the suitability of the Home Owner or Small Business to continue participation in the Trial (in our complete discretion) then We will notify the Home Owner or Small Business that their participation will terminate.
A participant Home Owner/Small Business hereby consents to Us remotely accessing, controlling and monitoring the Future Grid Equipment, and to the collection, storage and use of User Data for the purposes of the Project.
We may at any time during the Trial share User Data with any of our Project Partners. Our Project Partners will only use User Data for the purposes of the Project.
5. Participation Rules and Process for conduct of Works by Business
To carry out Works for an Eligible Recipient, the business must be an Eligible Business and must be listed on the Register.
5.2 Registration Process
Suitably qualified businesses who wish to carry out Works for the Trial should:
- Complete an application form, with required details including the technologies they are accredited to work with, business declarations and documents. This will be provided directly to you or can be requested from 1800 VPP ALICE.
- Complete installer training by SwitchDin and provide written evidence that they are accredited to work with their product(s).
We will carry out all enquiries that we deem necessary or desirable and advise whether an applicant Business has been accepted to participate as an Eligible Business or not. Our decision as to whether a Business will be placed on the Register is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
5.3 Conduct of Works, Invoicing and Payment
Once a Business is listed on the Register it may provide quotation/s to an Eligible Recipient and, if the Eligible Recipient accepts a quotation, carry out the Works. Details are provided on the website, see Schedule 1: Site Requirements and Schedule 2: Deliverables.
The dispensations from Power and Water’s Basic Micro EG Connection Specification, to allow the works to proceed and for the site to participate in the VPP will be provided to Eligible Businesses.
The SwitchDin droplet will be provided by the Us at no cost to the Business or Eligible Recipient, on request by the Business.
Where a consumption meter is required to be installed at the Property, it must be provided by the Eligible Business and DKA will pay to the Eligible Business an amount equal to the cost of the meter plus 10% such installation:
We will pay for Works completed on a per hour basis. It is anticipated that each stage of Works will take up to two (2) hours to complete at rates of no more than $150.00 per hour (excluding GST).
Businesses should note that they must not carry out Works for:
- an Eligible Recipient that is Related to or a Relative of the Business without first having the written consent of Us.
- A solar-only Eligible Recipient where the Business installed and commissioned the system without first having the written consent of Us.
At each Stage the Eligible Business must carry out the Works required and in accordance with the installer checklist on the Website and any other approvals/requirements of Us or Jacana Energy or Power and Water Corporation, and once Works are completed must submit its invoices in respect of each Stage of Works to Us, and if in order, we will pay the invoice/s.
Tax invoices containing the following information:
- Business name
- Australian Business Number
- Contact person and contact details
- Invoice date
- Address of works (the Property)
- Person(s) invoiced (Recipient) and address/contact details
- Description of Works undertaken for Alice Springs Future Grid VPP Trial
- Confirmation of Renewable Energy System site details, including make and size of battery and, as relevant, make and size of inverter and solar PV panels
- Connection agreement and certificates of compliance, as applicable
- Total price (clearly showing materials, labour and any GST component/s separately)
- Payment terms and conditions
- Breakdown of the amount covered by the Project, including showing GST amounts separately as well as the GST for the total invoice
The Business will be paid directly on their invoice/s, for Works directly related to the requirements of the VPP Trial (including the installation of Future Grid Equipment). Any other or further works undertaken at the request of the Home Owner or Small Business that are not directly required for participation in the VPP Trial must be paid to the Business by the consumer.
5.4 Time limits on Works and Conduct of Audit
In order to be eligible to receive a Voucher, Works must be arranged by the eligible Home Owner or Small Business and completed by Eligible Businesses within 12 weeks of acceptance into the VPP Trial and in any event by no later than 31 January 2022).
We may conduct an Audit at any time during the course of the VPP Trial and during the twelve (12) months following the conclusion of the Trial.
Outsourcing and/or sub-contracting by an Eligible Business is not permitted.
7. No Incentives
A Business must not offer to a Recipient, and a Recipient must not ask for or accept from the Business (or anyone acting on behalf of the Business), any offer of a benefit (whether monetary or otherwise) to the Recipient or any third party, as inducement to the Recipient to accept a quotation, other than the completion of the Works set out and described in the quotation.
8. Works and participation in Trial at Risk of Recipient
We give no warranties, express or implied, as to the suitability or calibre of any Business to conduct the Works.
We will not carry out any specific enquiries in relation to a Business other than those We deem necessary in Our absolute discretion. The Home Owner or Small Business must make all enquiries he/she/it thinks necessary to ensure that the quoting Business is suitably qualified and experienced to undertake the works, and We take no responsibility whatsoever for any works or conduct by the Business which may not meet the Recipient’s expectations, including without limitation works that are of unacceptable standard, quality or workmanship. Further, We take no responsibility for any damage or loss of any kind accruing to the Recipient in the event that the quoting Business fails to complete the work by the cut off dates (or at all).
We also take make no warranty as to the savings a Home Owner or Small Business may or may not make in relation to the cost of power consumed at the Property by participating in the VPP Trial.
9. Due Diligence, Audit and Compliance with Law
All participants in the Trial acknowledge:
- that We will conduct such due diligence enquiries as We see fit in order to ensure the integrity of the Trial. Such enquiries may include (but are not necessarily limited to) company and business name searches on Home Owners, Businesses and Properties, onsite inspections of the Property, checks on Works, searches of the courts and/or the trustee in bankruptcy, checks with licensing authorities and the like; and
- that it is a condition of participation in the Trial that Businesses and Recipients comply with all relevant laws.
By applying to participate in the Trial, and without limiting any specific rights We have under these Terms and Conditions, Businesses and Recipients declare that they agree to Us having access to any private register of information in relation to the Business or Recipient, and to Us using, storing and releasing for all lawful purposes, their information, including personal information.
10. Use of Data and Privacy
10.1 Data Use
- We will monitor your User Data through the VPP, including but not limited to, the generation and export of electricity from your PV system, electricity storage, charge and discharge in the Battery, and your household electricity usage;
11. Use of Intellectual Property
All Intellectual Property which is created as a result of, or in relation to, the VPP Trial (including your User Data and any intellectual property in relation to your Data), vests in Us on its creation. You agree that you have no rights in relation to this intellectual property or to any of our existing or future intellectual property that we contribute to the VPP Trial.
12. Release and Indemnity
By applying to participate and as a continuing obligation throughout any period of participation in the VPP Trial, all Eligible Businesses and Eligible Recipients declare and warrant to Us that they have read, understood and fully accept these terms and conditions and fully release and indemnify Us against any loss or damage he/she/it/they may suffer of any nature whatsoever (including without limitation personal injury or death) caused or contributed to by participation in the VPP Trial, the conduct of the Works or otherwise, including loss or damage caused (or to the extent contributed to) by Jacana Energy or the Power and Water Corporation.
13. Disputes and Complaints
We are not responsible for resolving any disputes between Recipients and Businesses. Recipients and Businesses must conduct their own due diligence with regards to their contract to carry out Works on the Property and must take their own independent legal advice in relation to any disputes that may arise.
14. Changes to Terms, Withdrawal from and End of Trial
We reserve the right to:
- vary these terms and conditions, the eligibility criteria or any other documented rule or procedure relating to the Trial at any time
- accept or reject any application for participation in the Trial and/or any application for issue or redemption of a Voucher in its absolute discretion
- decide in its discretion whether a business, an applicant, a property or works does or does not meet the intent of the eligibility criteria for participation (notwithstanding that it may meet the requirements of the relevant definition)
- remove a Business from further participation in the Trial where We have reasonably determined that the Business is no longer an Eligible Business, is in breach of these terms and conditions or is otherwise not complying with the objective, intent or expectation of the Trial, or
- cease the VPP Trial at any time should VPP Trial policy change (or for any other reason that DKA may determine in its absolute discretion) in which case no further Vouchers will be issued.
The Trial is expected to continue for 1 year, subject to any decision to end it before it completes. The opening date for applications will be published on the Website, and the Trial will cease upon notification being published on the Website.
Home Owners or Small Businesses may withdraw from the Trial by notifying Us at firstname.lastname@example.org. before signing a Jacana Energy contract. Once enrolled in the VPP Home Owners or Small Business will be able to withdraw only in accordance with the conditions contained in their supply agreement with Jacana Energy.