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Frequently asked questions

This page is dedicated to providing more information on the most commonly asked questions about the New Energy Tech Consumer Code program.

New Energy Tech Consumer Code FAQs

What is New Energy Tech?

New Energy Tech refers to small-scale (residential or small business) products and systems that generate, store or trade energy away from Australia’s main transmission and distribution energy networks, or that serve as distributed energy resources connected to an energy network.

Examples of New Energy Tech include, but are not limited to, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, wind turbines, hydro and bioenergy generators, microgrids, energy managements products, energy storage products, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and electric vehicle charging services.

What is the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC)?

The New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC) sets a minimum standard of service for customers looking to purchase New Energy Tech products, systems and services.

New Energy Tech providers who have been approved by the Code Administrator as a NETCC Signatory are bound to comply with this Code when providing New Energy Tech to their customers.

The NETCC has been authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and seeks to raise consumer protection standards in the renewable energy sector, strengthen consumer confidence when purchasing New Energy Tech, and encourage innovation within the industry.

What is a NETCC Approved Seller?

A NETCC Approved Seller is a business that provides New Energy Tech products, systems and services to residential and small-business customers and that has successfully demonstrated to the Code Administrator that they have the processes and procedures in place to ensure ongoing compliance with the standards outlined by the NETCC.

To remain on the program, NETCC Approved Sellers are required to uphold the standards of the NETCC in all their interactions with consumers.

Who governs the NETCC?

The NETCC program is governed by a Council of representatives from key industry and consumer protection bodies. This includes representatives from the Australian Energy Council, Smart Energy Council, Clean Energy Council, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Energy Consumers Australia, Energy Networks Australia, Renew and Consumer Action Law Centre.

The Clean Energy Council has been appointed as the Administrator and Steward of the NETCC. A Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel (to be appointed) will oversee the administration of the NETCC program, as well as oversee the monitoring, compliance and enforcement of the NETCC.

Has an Administrator for the program been appointed?

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has been appointed by the NETCC Council as the Administrator and Steward of the NETCC program. As the Administrator, the CEC is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NETCC program.

Does the NETCC program offer a dispute resolution scheme?

The NETCC program is not equipped to offer dispute resolution services to consumers. Approved Sellers must follow the complaints handling principles outlined in the Code.

The Administrator will investigate allegations of non-compliance made against Approved Sellers in accordance with the NETCC compliance procedure. Where allegations are substantiated and within jurisdiction, the appropriate compliance action may be taken by the Administrator. Decisions of the Administrator may be appealed to the independent Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel.

How does the NETCC program raise consumer protection standards?

The purchase of New Energy Tech products, systems and services can be a complex and confusing experience for consumers. The NETCC program seeks to provide consumers with clarity and assurance throughout this process.

When purchasing from a NETCC Approved Seller, consumers can have confidence that the business they are engaging with is committed to good practice standards surrounding responsible sales and marketing activities, clear and comprehensive quotation and contract material, and exemplary after-sales service. Where a consumer feels that these standards have not been adhered to, the Administrator may investigate their complaint and if substantiated, take the appropriate compliance action.

The NETCC program will also supply a range of Consumer Information Products (CIPs) to provide independent information to consumers that will assist them in navigating New Energy Tech products and in making informed purchases.

In recognition of the program’s benefits to consumers, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted authorisation to the NETCC for a period of five years. Further information about this authorisation can be found on the ACCC's website.

Has the NETCC program commenced?

The NETCC program will commence in February 2023. At this time, applications to become an Approved Seller will open.

Is the New Energy Tech Consumer Code authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)?

After extensive industry consultation, the draft Code was submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for authorisation. This application has been published by the ACCC on its public register.

On 5 December 2019, the ACCC granted conditional authorisation of the NETCC until December 2024. Further information about the final determination can be found on the ACCC’s website.

On 30 December 2019, Flexigroup Limited applied to the Australian Competition Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) for a review of the ACCC’s determination on the application for authorisation of the NETCC. You can read more about Flexigroup’s application for review on the Tribunal website.

Following extensive review, the Tribunal made its determination on 15 September 2020. This determination can also be found on the Tribunal website (Application by Flexigroup Limited (No 2) [2020] ACompT 2).

The Tribunal varied the ACCC’s determination and granted conditional authorisation to the NETCC for five years from the date of its determination. The Tribunal’s determination stands in place of the ACCC’s determination.

What is the difference between the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct and the NETCC?

The Solar Retailer Code of Conduct and New Energy Tech Consumer Code are two distinct programs authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The Solar Retailer Code of Conduct is a voluntary scheme which promotes industry best practice standards for businesses selling solar photovoltaics (PV) to residential and small business consumers.

The NETCC program furthers these consumer protection goals by defining industry good practice surrounding the provision of a range of New Energy Tech products and services, including solar PV.

I am an Approved Solar Retailer, am I required to apply to join the NETCC program?

Participation in the NETCC program is voluntary. Existing Approved Solar Retailers seeking to join the NETCC program will be assisted to transition to the NETCC from February 2023. This will not require an additional application to be submitted. Further information about this transition process will be shared with Approved Solar Retailers in the months leading up to the launch of the program.

All Approved Solar Retailers should be aware that the ACCC authorisation of the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct will expire on 31 July 2023. Approved Solar Retailers that do not wish to transition over to the NETCC should note that after 31 July 2023, their access to existing government programs and tender opportunities which currently require Approved Solar Retailer status may be affected.

I am a New Energy Tech provider, when can I apply to join the program?

Applications to become a NETCC Approved Seller will open when the program commences in February 2023. Further information about the application process and requirements will be available closer to this time.

How can I stay up-to-date with developments to the NETCC program?

A dedicated NETCC website is currently under construction. Whilst this is being developed, updates to the program can be found on this webpage.

If you are interested in receiving further updates on the program’s development, please subscribe here.