Do I Need To Purchase My Solar System Through a CEC Approved Solar Retailer?
What does a Clean Energy Council accreditation mean?
If you’ve been shopping the market for a solar installer lately and weighing up competitors, chances are you would have come across the CEC Approved Solar Retailer logo before. So what’s it all about?
WHAT IS THE CLEAN ENERGY COUNCIL?
The Clean Energy Council is a not-for-profit organisation that works with the leading renewable energy and energy storage businesses in Australia. This organisation is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia and as such, they are committed to the raising and maintaining standards of safety and integrity in the industry. Working closely with local, state and federal governments, the CEC works to increase demand for clean energy products as well as drive effective policy changes and accreditation requirements to further raise standards in these industries. One of these accreditations is the Approved Solar Retailer program.
WHAT IS THE APPROVED SOLAR RETAILER PROGRAM?
The CEC remains committed to protecting both retailers and consumers alike, and this program works to fulfil that goal. Backed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), this program outlines a code of conduct for all registered members to abide by in regards to responsible sales and marketing activities. This program outlines some general rules and standards that go above current government requirements and regulations including rules around:
1. Pre-sale Activities - Including rules relating to unethical and dishonest advertising strategies and sales tactics.
2. Post-sale Activities - Including rules relating to proper warranty procedures, cooling-off periods and system expectations.
3. Documentation - Including rules relating to providing relevant and required documentation.
4. General Business - Including rules relating to complaint, safety and after-sales procedures followed within the company.
You can read the entirety of the Solar Retailer Code, here.
THE BENEFITS OF CHOOSING A CEC-APPROVED SOLAR RETAILER
Like any industry, there are some outliers who give all solar retailers a bad name. These outliers use unethical sales tactics, install underperforming systems and disappear in time before anyone can make a warranty claim. The CEC has played a leading role in raising standards in the industry to protect both consumer and installer alike from theses issues, and while purchasing solar can be a complex process this accreditation ensures you are purchasing from a retailer who is committed to a high level of service and practices.
There is a strict vetting process to become a CEC-Approved Solar Retailer and these companies are regularly evaluated by this governing body to ensure they continue to comply with the program's code of conduct. If an Approved Solar Retailer fails to comply with these rules and regulations the CEC may take action against them. For those looking to install solar, ensuring your chosen solar provider is a CEC-Approved Solar Retailer arms you with peace of mind and the confidence that these high industry standards are being met.
WHAT IS A CEC-ACCREDITED INSTALLER?
While there are accreditations available to solar companies, there are also higher accreditations available for the installers themselves that further the credibility of your chosen solar provider. Becoming an Accredited Installer is a process, and installers are required to complete higher certification and training to be recognised by the CEC. To obtain this, installers must hold an electrical licence, complete in depth training programs, hold public liability insurance (of at least $5 million) and hold working safely at heights certification. These installers undertake continuous professional development to ensure they remain up-to-date with the latest updates in technology, regulations and industry best practices. There are other accreditations available that require advanced training and learning in order to receive recognition from the CEC, including;
- Grid-connect Design
- Battery Storage
- Grid-Connect Battery Storage Design and Install
- Stand-Alone Power System Design and Install
- View them all, here.
WHAT SHOULD CUSTOMERS LOOK OUT FOR?
Shopping the market for a suitable installer can be tricky and we always recommend getting multiple quotes to find a provider that will prioritise your personal energy goals and that you are most comfortable with. Ensuring your installer is a part of the CEC-Approved Solar Retailer Program is a great start, but there are a few extra things you should look out for when choosing your solar installer in Australia.
1. Professional and Detailed Quote Documents
When you receive your quote take time to read over the the proposal in its entirety. Ensure there is an itemised list of components and products, warranty and system sizing information, and details around what comes next in the installation process. Examine the language used and research the products they are quoting. Are the components from a reputable manufacturer? Is this quote customised around your system and property?
2. Warranty Terms
Make sure you installer has open discussions regarding the terms of your systems warranty and that these are included on your quote. Members of the Approved Solar Retailer Program include additional workmanship warranties and after-sales support.
3. Peace of Mind
The installer you choose should be the one you feel the most confident and comfortable with. They should have answered all of your questions thoroughly, provided detailed documentation and assured you of their after-sales support. If you are unsure of any of these processes from your chosen installer and you are not left feeling confident in their abilities, look elsewhere.
HOW CAN SPRINGERS SOLAR HELP?
At Springers Solar, we are proud of out participation in the continued development and maintenance of quality and safety in the solar industry. We are the only founding signatory to the Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer Program that is based in Queensland. and we are a proudly accredited member of Master Electricians. Our aim and the aim of fellow signatories is always to raise the bar higher than legal requirements and to provide a better standard of service within the solar industry. Our team of 60+ employees is comprised of CEC-Accredited Grid-Connect installers and designers, as well as employees who hold accreditations in Battery Storage Design and Install and SPS Design and Install.
If you'd like to find out more about Springers Solar and the CEC please give us a call today on (07) 3063 4039.
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