CEC Updates PV Module Approved List to Meet New International Standards

CEC Module Approved List

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has announced significant updates to its Photovoltaic (PV) module approved lists’ application requirements, aligning them with the 2021 edition of the IEC 61215 Standards series. These changes are expected to have a considerable impact on the solar energy industry in Australia.

Are you looking to save money on your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint? Solar energy is the perfect solution! Energy Matters can help you get up to 3 FREE quotes from pre-qualified and vetted solar firms in your area.

Energy Matters has been a leader in the renewable energy industry since 2005 and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence. With Energy Matters, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal on solar energy. We only work with reputable solar firms with a proven track record of delivering high-quality solar systems.

What is the IEC 61215 Standards series?

The CEC’s PV Module Approved List is a list of PV modules tested and certified to meet the IEC 61215 Standards series. Solar installers use the Approved List to ensure they use only high-quality, safe, and reliable PV modules in their installations.

The IEC 61215 Standards series is a set of international standards that cover the design, testing, and certification of PV modules. The standards are regularly updated to reflect the latest technological advances and to ensure that PV modules are safe and reliable.

Implementation timeline

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is updating its all-new solar PV modules installed in Australia under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) must meet the new 2021 version of the IEC 61215 Standards series from 1 July 2024. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the key points and implications of these updates:

From 1 October 2024

All PV modules approved by the CEC must comply with the 2021 edition of the IEC 61215 series.

Grandfathering extension

PV modules certified to the 2016 version of IEC 61215, set to expire between 1 April 2024 and 30 September 2024, will receive an automatic extension until 30 September 2024 to allow the clearance of obsolete stock.

Labelling and certification

PV modules certified to the 2021 IEC 61215 Standards will include an (IEC 61215-2021) suffix on the CEC listing. However, manufacturers are not required to print this suffix on labels or documentation.

PV module labels will generally indicate the version of IEC 61215 they comply with. Consumers are advised to contact their supplier or the PV module manufacturer to ensure compliance.

The new standards include many significant changes, such as

  • More rigorous testing requirements for fire resistance, mechanical loads, and environmental conditions.
  • New requirements for traceability and documentation.
  • A new classification system for PV modules based on their performance and durability.

Implications for industry

The transition to the 2021 IEC 61215 Standards will have several implications for the solar industry:

Non-compliant PV modules after 1 October 2024 will lose CEC approval, potentially affecting eligibility for STCs.

Retailers and installers are advised to account for the time needed to clear existing stock certified under the 2016 standards.

Manufacturers, importers, and distributors should note that the CEC offers reduced fees for PV module applications certified under the 2016 standards submitted before specific deadlines. After 1 April 2024, the CEC will no longer accept applications with 2016 certification.

To maintain CEC approval beyond 30 September 2024, manufacturers and importers must submit new applications for PV modules certified under the 2021 IEC 61215 Standards.

Clear communication throughout the supply chain is crucial to manage the transition effectively and to clear obsolete stock.

Enhanced listings requirements

In addition to the changes in PV module application requirements, the CEC is also updating its requirements for enhanced listings of PV modules:

An updated enhanced listing checklist is available on the CEC website.

The assessment of enhanced listing requests submitted with a PV module application will remain free of charge.

Updates to approved PV module listings with enhanced listing features will now incur an update fee.

Contact information

For inquiries about the transition process or enhanced listings, industry stakeholders can contact the CEC Products Team at products@cleanenergycouncil.org.au.


Source: Clean Energy Council News

Benefits of the new standards

The new IEC 61215 Standards series offers several benefits for Australian solar PV owners, including:

  • Improved safety: The new fire test is more rigorous than the previous test and is designed to ensure solar PV modules can withstand a fire without spreading the flames.
  • Increased reliability: The new standards include several changes designed to improve the reliability of solar PV modules, such as stricter testing requirements for mechanical loads and environmental conditions.
  • Enhanced performance: The new standards include a new minimum efficiency requirement, which means that new solar PV modules will be more efficient and produce more electricity for the space they occupy.

What does this mean?

For solar panel owners

If you plan to install a new solar PV system after 1 July 2024, you must ensure that the modules you choose meet the new IEC 61215 Standards series. You can check whether a solar PV module meets the new standards by checking the CEC’s list of approved modules.

You do not need to take any action if you have an existing solar PV system. Your existing solar PV modules will still be eligible for the SRES and will continue to operate safely and reliably.

After 1 October 2024, only PV modules labelled as compliant with the 2021 version of IEC 61215 will be eligible for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), impacting the economic viability of PV installations.

PV modules displaying compliance with the 2016 version of IEC 61215 must be installed before their CEC listing expires for the 2016 version.

The changeover to the 2021 version of the IEC 61215 Standards series will give solar panel owners peace of mind knowing that their PV modules meet the latest international safety, performance, and durability standards. This will help them to get the most out of their solar investment and reduce their energy costs.

For PV module manufacturers and importers

The changeover to the 2021 version of the IEC 61215 Standards series will help PV module manufacturers and importers ensure that their products meet the latest international safety, performance, and durability standards. This will help them maintain their quality reputation and compete in the global solar market.

For solar installers

The changeover to the 2021 version of the IEC 61215 Standards series will help solar installers use only high-quality, safe, and reliable PV modules in their installations. This will help them to reduce the risk of warranty claims and to protect their reputation.

type of solar panel is right for you

Still can’t afford to switch to solar power?

Are you considering getting solar panels but are currently short on funds? You can still invest wisely, and Energy Matters can help you. 

Powow and Energy Matters have teamed up to provide consumers with an alternative to switching to solar power and battery storage. 

The biggest obstacle to installing solar and battery storage is typically finance. With Powow’s PPA and VPP, our customers will have a $0 upfront option and financial stability in the uncertain energy market.

Get up to 3 obligation-free quotes by getting in touch with us right away. Find out what payment plan options suit your needs and budget!

Why choose Energy Matters?

  • We’ve been in the solar industry since 2005 and have helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence.
  • We’ve pre-qualified and vetted our installers for their track record of delivering Australia’s best business and household solar systems.
  • We’ll match you with installers who are local to you, so you can get a quote that’s tailored to your needs.

Benefits of going solar with Energy Matters:

solar quotes

Get up to 3 FREE quotes

We’ll connect you with 3 different solar installers so you can compare prices and services.

installing solar panel system

Work with trusted installers

We only work with solar installers who have been pre-qualified and vetted for their track record of delivering quality solar systems.

solar quotes

Get peace of mind

We’ll support you every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the final installation. Our team will assist you with the information you need to go solar!

Get a quick solar quote, or contact us today toll free on 1800 EMATTERS or email our friendly team for expert, obligation-free advice!

Other Energy Matters news services: