According to Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton, Australia is experiencing a golden age due to the diligent regulations of the Australian rooftop solar industry.
Part of the success can be attributed to the state and federal government incentives, and a significant factor is the industry’s growing reputation through a high standard of work.
For many years, the Clean Energy Council’s Accredited Installer, Approved Solar Retailer and Approved Products programs have been pivotal in maintaining the sector’s reputation by improving industry standards, educating installers and retailers, and weeding out those who continually or wilfully fail to meet the required expectations. At G-Solar, we pride ourselves on our professional and reliable reputation.
The recently completed review of the rooftop solar sector by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) means the Clean Energy Council’s role is changing, with a strengthening of legal obligations of installers, retailers and manufacturers and new regulatory powers for the CER.
In the past five years, the sector has installed more than 1.4 million new systems and added more than 11GW of new generation.
This has resulted in rooftop solar accounting for almost a quarter of Australia’s renewable energy generation and more than eight per cent of total generation.
An essential aspect of the Clean Energy Council’s regulatory work has focused on equipping the industry with the necessary knowledge and capabilities that allow it to adhere to best practices and maintain the overall reputation of the industry.
This involves operating and maintaining the Accredited Installer, Approved Solar Retailer and Approved Products programs at the highest level. In addition to their day-to-day administration, these programs encompass an extensive array of activities, including requiring rectification work, technical assessments and support, audits of business practices and advertising, and laboratory testing of solar components.
The organisation also works closely with other regulatory bodies to set and maintain industry standards, running an extensive continuous professional development program to ensure installers’ current knowledge, and representing the industry on specific projects or at relevant forums. The success of these activities means there is a remarkably low level of non-compliance in the rooftop solar sector for an industry of its size.
However, there are times when enforcement measures are required due to a continual failure to meet required obligations or a wilful disregard for guidelines and standards.
These cases come to the Clean Energy Council from various sources, including the CER, state and territory electrical regulators, or direct consumer complaints, and they are thoroughly investigated by a dedicated compliance team.
Between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022, the Clean Energy Council resolved more than 1800 cases against accredited installers, of which approximately 75 per cent resulted in some form of compliance action.
In August 2020, the Federal Government commissioned the CER to review the Australian rooftop solar industry. The study, released in September 2021, found that most Australian rooftop solar businesses do the right thing and that the Clean Energy Council has been diligently undertaking its regulatory role for a long time.
By doing this, the CER can ensure the industry’s current strong growth continues, so the sector remains at the forefront of Australia’s clean energy transition. At G-Solar, we are proud to do our part in maintaining a high professional service.
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