After years of delay, Australia has taken a big step towards finally implementing a battery installation standard that should protect customers and the reputation of the industry by driving out high-risk dodgy batteries. This is a major win for a safe and credible battery industry and puts an end to the risk from poor quality battery installations in Australia.
This standard is the result of five years of consultation by the 42-member-strong EL-042 Committee. A huge range of industry stakeholders have been involved, plus two rounds of public consultation were undertaken.
Delays in the standards process would leave the industry and consumers at risk of incorrect installs and homemade batteries, that could take years to address.
The standard's acceptance also means that batteries may be included in the next amendment of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000, which is vital for our industry.
An up-to-date standard will limit dodgy home-made and high-risk battery installations in Australia by ensuring that products meet the requirements of the Battery Best Practice Guide, which was developed for industry by industry.
The standard will result in a set of national rules. It also provides a consistent set of rules for installers to work to, meaning that industry bodies, technical professionals, government agencies and regulators will all be on the same page.
Ultimately it will reduce the risk of confusion for installers.
By taking the lead as an industry and putting in place appropriate safety measures to protect both installers and consumers, state regulators will not be going it alone and introducing controls through other means. And as we know, regulation state-by-state often happens in an uncoordinated manner with negative consequences.
The CEC will continue to engage with EL-042 and the industry to work on the aspects of the standard that are not yet perfect. The standard strikes a balance between the issues raised by safety agencies and the concerns of battery manufacturers and suppliers.
We know the standard is not perfect and does not suit all industry stakeholders however, Australia needs an up-to-date battery installation standard.
We are on a mission to accelerate Australia’s transition to a clean energy future. To achieve this, it is critical that we, the small-scale solar and storage industry, earn and maintain the trust placed in us by energy consumers to ensure the industry's continual growth.