Choose a Clean Energy Council approved solar retailer
The Clean Energy Council Solar PV Retailer Code of Conduct was set up to help consumers choose a solar retailer that has committed to offer a high level of quality and service. It is a voluntary code of conduct authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Selecting an Approved Solar Retailer that has signed on to the code of conduct is one way to make sure you will be dealing with a company that:
- uses ethical pre- and post-sales practices;
- provides its customers with a minimum 5-year whole of system warranty;
- is accountable for the work of its sub-contractors; and
- uses CEC accredited designers and installers.
To see which companies have signed on to the code, visit approvedsolarretailer.com.au.
Find an accredited designer and installer for your solar system
If you are looking to install solar panels on the roof of your house or building then the job needs to be done by an accredited installer. If you choose a solar PV retailer that has signed the Solar PV Retailer Code of Conduct, then they will only use CEC accredited designers and installers. If you go with a different retailer, then you will need to check yourself that the designer and installer are accredited.
The Clean Energy Council has accredited around 4500 installers of solar PV (photovoltaic) systems who are certified and trained to ensure your system meets industry best practice standards and all relevant Australian Standards. To find an accredited installer near you visit the CEC solar accreditation website.
Questions to ask your retailer/designer/installer
When signing a contract with your retailer/designer/installer, you need to be informed.
Important questions to ask include:
- Are they a Clean Energy Council Approved solar retailer?
- Will they be available to troubleshoot and fix problems?
- If something goes wrong, who is responsible for repair or replacement costs?
- What performance guarantees do you get for the system as a whole?
- Do they provide some kind of optional service agreement?
- Who organises all the necessary metering changes and what are the associated costs?
- If problems arise with your system, what services will they provide and for how long?
- What workmanship and product guarantees do they offer?
- Is the designer accredited?
- Is the installer accredited?
- What are their accreditation numbers? Ask to see their accreditation photo ID card.
- Check the list of accredited installers on the Clean Energy Council website to confirm.
- Ask for the designer/installer business references, and check them, especially if the company’s reputation is unknown.
- Contact the designer/installer’s former customers to find out if they were knowledgeable, easy to work with, and took the time to explain the systems operation. Also find out if their systems are working well, if there have been any problems, and, if so, if their installer returned to fix them.
- How many systems has the designer/installer completed?
- How many systems similar to your system has the designer/installer completed?
- When was the last time the designer/installer completed a system?
New products are constantly entering the market.
A designer/installer who has completed several recent installations will probably be up to date on the newest products and the latest regulatory issues.
Quality of Products – Australian Standards
- Do the modules you use meet the Australian Standards? Check the Module List on the CEC solar accreditation website to confirm.
- Do the inverters you use meet the Australian Standards? Check the Inverter List on the CEC solar accreditation website to confirm.
- Clean Energy Council
- Feature image credit to ©iStock.com/temis