What Will Happen if I Export More Energy?

Hi Guys,

I recently got Solar Panels installed. They are working really well and exporting all the extra energy to the Grid.

My installer didn't tell me anything about export limit neither they set any limit on the inverters. I can see I'm exporting over 7kw at times when conditions are perfect.

Did a bit research and found out there is a 5kW limit on export.

My question is what will happen if I'm exporting more than I'm allowed to? Will I get a fine or what?

How do I even check what's my limit? I saw the approval letter from Essential Energy and it doesn't talk about export limit.
Anyone tried to up their limit to 10kW? What's the process?

I have single phase connection
Distributor is Essential Energy in NSW

I got 8.6kW system.

Just spoke with Essential Energy they said there is no limit on my system, since its under 10kW and there is only so much it can export. So they must have a limit of 10kW in my grid.


  • +1

    I charge my electric car instead of exporting it for free

  • do not confuse kW and kWh;

    You have a 8.6kWp system, what's your inverters output?

    • I see output close to 7.8kw and daily export to grid is About 46kWh.

  • +1

    Export it? (fropanity) that, I try and use as much of my solar as I can during the day. Washing machines on, dryer on, a/c on. I have a wall monitor setup and it displays my PVOutput.org page, so I can keep the red consumption line under the green generation line.

    If you export it, it’s worth about 8~15c/kWh. If you use it to negate off what you’re using during the day, it’s worth closer to 40c/kWh or more.

    • I try to use it but peak output exceeds 7.8kWh, my usage isn't high so 7kW goes to grid.

      How did you setup PVOutput.org page? I tried to setup an account on it but it seems like I manually had to put in each days result. Can I automatically feed in data into that?

      I have Enphase micro inverters.

      • How did you setup PVOutput.org page?

        You will need some sort of monitoring system that covers your consumption and your export. A lot of inverters will come with wifi with generation, but they don’t usually tell you your grid consumption.

        To get both export and consumption, I use an Efergy Engage It’s not the most accurate unit, but it isn’t to far off when compared to what the inverters wifi tells me it’s making.

        The Engage just has induction loop clamps that go around some wiring in your power box. So, you just need to work out what is your deliver wire from the grid for one of the clamps and what wire is your solar export wire.

        The rest is just fluffing about with settings.

        • Awesome, Got it working, I have Enphase that has monitoring built in, below is a link to my PVOUTPUT.ORG


          Also, Just spoke with Essential Energy they said there is not limit on my system, since its under 10kW and there is only so much it can export. So they must have a limit of 10kW in my grid.

          • @kashxpert: I have a 3 phase system, I know I can output more than a standard single phase system. I think the restriction to your system may be that single phase. The grid may only allow "up to 10kWh" to be exported, but with three phase, you can do 10kWh per phase, so essentially 3 x 10.

            Nice work getting the PVOutput working, you just need to get your consumption side working and your all set. (grid consumption may need a separate monitor, as your solar system only monitors export.)

            This is what my PVOutput page looks like with consumption vs generation.

            • @pegaxs: Thank you!

              I do have consumption meter as well but PVoutput isn't taking that data for some reason, when I was in the settings it only gave me the option between "solar or consumption" data or something. I can only choose one or the other.

              I must be doing something wrong, will play around a bit more when I get home.

              I have Raspberry pi and a monitor so I will work out something that shows live monitoring on a wall in kitchen somewhere.

              • @kashxpert: Oh, I think it might be a subscription setting. You may have to be a paid member to get the extra settings on your page. Not sure.

          • @kashxpert: not sure in your state, but at least in QLD, I think you can install up to 10Kw system for a single phase.
            But your export is still limited to 5Kw.

    • I am still getting paid 47c/kWh for exporting.

      • Yeah, I wish I got in at that level years ago. That is when it is worth it to export to the grid.

        Next step for me is batteries and get nothing from the grid. And I think in the next few years, houses will almost be required to have solar and/or a battery system built into them from new…

        • But you would have paid 10x more for the system.

      • Who you with?

        • +1

          its WA's 10-year contracts under 'The premium Feed-in Tariff Scheme'.

  • +4

    Will I get a fine or what?

    Yes… its very illegal, up there with drug and human trafficking.

  • For a single phase connection, your export is limited to 5kw.
    Your installer should have informed you about this before you made decision to install more than 5kw system as it might impact the ROI timeframe.

    What happens to the excess electricity that you generates? it just gone to waste.

  • Don't worry about it.

    It isn't your problem to ensure it complies with the rules. That was your supplier/installer problem and they would have submitted paperwork to the distributor that says it complies.

    If Essential Energy don't like it then they'll contact you soon enough.

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