The solar industry is unique in that it requires people to make a significant upfront investment to have complex electrical equipment installed on the roof of their homes or businesses. This makes installing solar a big decision, as customers need to be sure that their new system is installed correctly and safely so that it provides all the expected long-term benefits of rooftop solar.
The current record-breaking installation of rooftop solar and household batteries around Australia is testament to the confidence that customers have in the solar industry. While other industries’ reputations have been damaged by poor workmanship and unsafe practices, the solar sector has managed to avoid these concerns by upholding and enforcing strict quality and safety standards.
Through our Accredited Installer program, the CEC has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the solar industry maintains high standards and is committed to safety and excellence. And we continue to raise the bar through a number of new initiatives that are helping to further improve quality in the booming rooftop solar sector and emerging household battery market.
The first such initiative is the rapid expansion of the CEC’s Approved Solar Retailer program, which has grown to more than 100 retailers since it was first established in 2013, accounting for more than 18 per cent of total systems sold in 2017. CEC Approved Solar Retailers are committed to responsible sales and marketing activities, adhere to solar industry best practice and provide a five-year whole-of-system warranty to their customers.
Another initiative recently introduced by the CEC is the Battery Assurance Program, which provides installers with a list of approved home battery products. The products included in the Battery Assurance Program have been independently tested against the industry’s best practice guidelines to confirm that they are up to the necessary electrical safety and quality standards. With the number of household battery installations expected to increase dramatically in the coming years, the Battery Assurance Program will help to drive the uptake of batteries by giving consumers the confidence that they are installing a quality product.
Finally, the CEC has also been strong supporters of and involved in the development of the Clean Energy Regulator’s Solar Panel Validation Initiative. This new program provides installers with an easy way to check that the solar panels they are installing are genuine and approved, preventing the use of counterfeit and non-compliant solar modules. This is an additional level of protection for both consumers and the industry to assure them that they are getting the best quality products when installing a solar system.
The solar industry’s outstanding reputation for safety and quality is extremely important to its continued growth. By introducing initiatives that continually strive to improve the standard of solar and battery installations, the CEC is hoping to further increase confidence in the industry and accelerate the transition to a renewable energy future.