How to find accredited solar retailers and installers
The Clean Energy Council accredits solar retailers, installers and products so you have peace of mind. Here’s how to find a trustworthy solar supplier.
There’s never been greater choice for consumers who are installing rooftop solar, but not every product and tradesperson is equal: in fact, a recent audit by the Clean Energy Regulator found 1 in 6 solar installations in Australia “was substandard” in some way.
This is why it’s important to choose accredited solar products for your rooftop and to work with retailers and installers who have proven their worth. The Clean Energy Council (CEC), one of Australia’s peak bodies for renewable energy, makes this process easier by maintaining lists of accredited personnel and products. These lists are in turn approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Approved Solar Retailers program
For many of us, the most useful list maintained by the CEC is the Approved Solar Retailers list, which comprises more than 300 retailers Australia wide. “These companies have demonstrated their commitment to industry best practice by signing the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct,” said CEC chief executive Kane Thornton.
If, like most residents and small businesses, you’re planning to engage a retailer to manage your rooftop solar installation from start to finish, choosing an approved retailer from this list offers peace of mind. “These retailers are obliged to ensure that the individuals doing your installation are accredited,” Thornton said. “The retailer will also ensure that the products they’re selling you meet the necessary standards.”
Approved Solar Installers list
If you’re purchasing solar equipment directly from manufacturers or need to engage a tradesperson to look at your existing system, the Approved Solar Installers list should prove useful.
“It’s a list of over 5000 individuals who are qualified to undertake the installation of a solar system,” Thornton said. “They’ve done the necessary training and have the right qualifications. We’ve accredited their work in the real world and they are signed up to our continuous professional development program.”
There’s also an Approved Products list of panels and inverters that meet Australian standards. To remain certified, approved solar retailers must use installers and products from these 2 lists.
Finding the right people
Thornton encouraged householders and businesses to shop around and request quotes from retailers after they’ve decided to install solar.
If you’re in an apartment, this quote template can help. Otherwise, try to obtain the following information from each retailer:
what type of panels and inverters will be used
qualifications of installers
retailer’s and installer’s professional memberships
if small or independent, installer references from three similar jobs.
If you are in doubt, Thornton recommended looking for retailers and installers who have been established for several years or more: “Experience counts,” he said.