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Solar power industry safe, heavily regulated and constantly improving

Both the safety and quality of solar power installations continue to improve as a result of initiatives introduced by the industry and the bar has already been set very high, the Clean Energy Council said in response to media reports today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the solar industry was one of the most heavily regulated areas of electrical safety in the country.

“More than 2 million Australian homes have now installed solar, and the majority of these systems are performing well and up to expectations. Obviously no industry is perfect, but the percentage of unsafe systems has declined this decade from 4.2 per cent to 2.7 per cent. This is better than the electrical industry as a whole,” Mr Thornton said.

“The audit report noted that a single element that is not completely up to scratch does not mean a system is unsafe. We will use the report – as we do with similar reports from the Clean Energy Regulator which are published every year – to further improve standards and compliance across the industry.

“Electrical safety is overseen by state electrical safety bodies. The Clean Energy Council has lobbied for some time for a single national electricity body to ensure greater consistency of approach including improved resourcing and consistent inspection programs.

“The report did note the need to improve workplace health and safety for the installation of solar, something we are working on with numerous government agencies,” he said.

Mr Thornton said two ways people can give themselves peace of mind are by choosing one of the Clean Energy Council’s Approved Solar Retailers and making sure that the installer on their roof is a professional who is accredited with the CEC. All accredited solar installers have a photo ID card.

“Approved Solar Retailers have committed to ethical marketing practices, excellence in customer service and a minimum 5-year whole of system warranty. Just like servicing your car, we also encourage people to have their solar power system serviced by an accredited professional every couple of years.”

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.