Australian solar consumers will soon be protected under a single approved solar retailers code covering panel and inverter installations, home batteries and behind-the-meter products.
The new industry-wide code will replace the existing Solar Retailer approval program run by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
It will include a wide range of industry, energy and solar consumer groups. The code will also target retailing practices in the solar industry.
Consumers to benefit from approved solar retailers rules
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission currently oversees the Approved Solar Retailers program.
This voluntary code promotes ethical practice among solar panel system providers. It also gives customers peace of mind when buying a solar or battery product.
CEC Approved Solar Retailers such as Energy Matters helped the CEC establish the code in 2013 to set quality products and service standards around solar energy systems.
Companies with CEC approval will transition into the new system as soon as it is up and running.
Industry-wide involvement builds a strong code
Australian industry associations, energy and consumer groups are behind the new code.
This includes the Consumer Action Law Centre, Energy Consumers Australia, Energy Networks Australia, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Renew, Australian Energy Council, Smart Energy Council and the CEC.
After consulting on a draft code, the group will then seek feedback from industry and community stakeholders.
It also hopes to smooth the transition from CEC Approved Solar Retailers program to the new code to minimise confusion for customers.
Victoria’s Solar Homes program sets high standards
Solar Victoria is managing the scheme. It’s also teaming up with Consumer Affairs Victoria to monitor the Solar Homes roll-out.
A task force has therefore been set up to help eliminate shoddy retail and marketing tactics from the scheme. It will also ensure its solar installers meet the highest possible standards of quality and safety. The Government is also encouraging people to use Approved Solar Retailers when making their decisions on purchasing solar.
The Victorian government is also introducing an energy retailer price freeze. The one-year freeze will stop retailers signing up new customers on special discounts, then upping the price.
The Victorian Energy Compare (VEC) website is helping people find and compare the best energy package for them.