CEC Flags Changes To Approved Solar Retailer Program

CEC Approved Solar Retailer

Changes to the Clean Energy Council’s Approved Solar Retailer Program will see suspended or cancelled participants publicly named.

The CEC’s Approved Solar Retailer program seeks to provide added assurance to solar buyers in Australia. Companies wanting to participate in the program are required to jump through a bunch of hoops, sign a Code of Conduct and pony up some extra cash to attain the status. You can learn more about the differences between CEC accredited installers, approved retailers and members here.

The program has grown rapidly over the past year. As at January 31, 244 applications had been approved out of 449 submitted, and 233 Approved Solar Retailers are listed.

Last week the Clean Energy Council announced the program’s complaints procedure has been revised and these changes will be implemented beginning on March 4 this year.

“The new procedure is tougher on retailers who are doing the wrong thing,” said the CEC in its latest Installer News. “This change gives greater transparency around compliance with the Code and is a tough but fair way to address non-compliance.”

Suspended/Cancelled Retailers To Be Publicly Named

The Council says the changes include making it easier to suspend or cancel program participants that breach the Code of Conduct. Another major change is retailer suspensions and cancellations will be permanently listed on the Approved Solar Retailer website.

“This evolution of the program is another step in contributing to keeping the crap out of the industry and better protecting consumers,” states the CEC.

Currently, 14 complaints are being investigated by the Code Administrator. These relate to allegations of either misleading marketing and advertising, non-compliant workmanship, poor after-sales service, quoting practices, terms and conditions or unethical behaviour.

There’s little detail on signatories that have resigned from or been removed from the program, other than that the number was 11 as at January 31 according to the CEC’s reports and statistics page.

Not The Be-All And End-All Of Getting Good Solar

As mentioned in The Good Solar Guide, there are thousands of solar businesses in Australia that are not Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailers, some of which are excellent operators. And while very useful to solar buyers doing their due diligence, the program isn’t infallible. For these reasons, it’s a good idea for prospective solar power system purchasers to also check out SQ’s solar installer reviews while doing their research.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. It still does not provide what is needed to make the industry of solar retailers and installers, reputable.

  2. Above, is a link to the web page;


    You can learn more about the differences between CEC accredited installers, approved retailers and members here.

    that includes reference to
    “CEC Accredited System Designers”

    Do they actually exist, or, are they like the square root of negative one?

    I have done a search for “CEC Accredited System Designers”, and no list of them, is findable, indicating that they do not really exist.

    If they do really exist, are they supposed to do a site inspection before designing a system, and, are they supposed to provide a layout picture of solar panels, on each system that they design?

    Or, are system designs to be done on the “make it up as you go” principle?

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