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Use a CEC Approved Retailer for your solar installation: Choice

Use a CEC Approved Retailer for your solar installation: Choice

The current solar power boom is leading to a rise in complaints according to consumer advocate Choice. Solar installation problems may include low quality solar panels and components, and systems that do not work as promised.

CER (Clean Energy Regulator) inspections also indicate problems in around 20 per cent of solar installations. These include poor solar panel performance, poorly-configured systems, and low safety levels in some instances. This why you may want to use a CEC Approved Retailer.

Buying solar requires a considerable investment, consumers naturally want to ensure they are getting good value-for-money. This includes high-quality installations and products, and long-lasting ongoing tangible benefits. This is where quality standards and accreditation come in.

Importance of CEC Accreditation and Approvals

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is Australia’s accrediting body for the solar power industry. Accreditation covers solar designers, installers, components and retailers.

The CEC also maintains a list of ‘Approved Retailers’ on its database. These are companies that use only CEC-Accredited installers. They also provide 5-year warranties and have signed a Code regarding ethical sales practices. Energy Matters is included on the CEC’s Approved Retailer list.

Solar panels, power inverters and solar batteries should also meet quality standards and be approved by the CEC.

Using accredited installers and products also means you may be eligible for government rebates.

A guide to getting solar value from a CEC Approved Retailer

  • Solar companies: It’s important to look for CEC approved retailers that use accredited installers, and also have a solid reputation and history. Companies that offer ‘rush’ deals or make exaggerated claims should be avoided.
  • Solar modules: Solar panels need to comply with AS/NZS 5033. The CEC holds a list of approved modules. Since modules can be delisted at any time however, compliance should be checked at the time of purchase.
  • Quotes and contracts: Choice says details of all components – including solar panels, inverters, and / or solar storage batteries – should be listed on quotes. The quote should also provide details covering an estimate of performance, warranties, and after-sale services.

Approved solar retailers need to go through a rigorous process to achieve CEC-approval status. As well as signing the Code, they need to submit examples of contracts and warranties, and agree to external assessments.

This helps to ensure customers get good deals on solar panels and energy storage batteries, along with assurances of quality of products and services.

Article provided courtesy of Energy Matters Australia