CBOS Solar Services Rollout

Any one who has had a solar system on their roof for a while may have already received a letter from CBOS or Consumer Building and Occupational Services department. They are a government department and they run the Techsafe inspections and are basically the body that runs electrical licensing and compliance around Tasmania.


This letter has been issued due to the high number of solar systems installed on roofs around Tassie that have been up for a long time and with no one ever checking them to see how they are weathering and wearing.


Regular listeners would know that DMS Energy is strong on the messaging to get your solar system checked over regularly. This is to make sure cables are not laying on the roof and that panels are not loose or in danger of blowing off the roof. Making sure Dectites and penetrations haven’t perished. Also isolators get the most attention as these are the most problematic parts of a solar system.


To try and prevent solar installers like us from getting overwhelmed, CBOS are only releasing 5,000 letters at the end of every month so if you haven’t got your letter yet, you will eventually.


In regards to not overwhelming us, that hasn’t exactly worked out.


The CBOS letter has driven a lot of interest and we have over 60 systems booked in for inspection.


This is our busiest time of year and we have a hell of a backlog from a wet winter and spring where we just haven’t had safe access to anyone’s roof for days at a time. We are just trying to squeeze these in between other jobs but it’s got to the stage I’ll have to consider employing another person just to do these.


We have been still punching through a few of them each week and I I thought everyone might be interested in what we have found so far.


There’s been more deteriorated isolators than we can count so we have replaced a ton of those. We have found 1 broken panel, countless panels with hot spots or micro cracks and those are on the downhill run. Lots of rotten nylon cable ties that have allowed the DC cables to drop on the roof. Only 1 perished Dectite, which is the rubber boot we use to make the penetration of where we bring the conduit into the roof cavity watertight.


Lots of inverters with bleached out screens. These inverters are still working but as these have been installed in the full sun the screens are toast and we cannot see what the inverter was doing. 2 actually had active fault lights displayed but because the screens were kaput we couldn’t tell what the inverter was trying to tell us so that meant a ground up diagnosis to work out the issue which cost more money.


One thing we have noticed is all the ‘sickest’ systems have been the cheap and cheerful specials you see on TV from various supposedly “BIG” mainland companies that have long since disappeared, leaving the low quality and poorly installed gear to its own devices.


While it does sound like terrible news, the bulk of the systems we have inspected have been okay with only the need for little, to zero, intervention. But, we have seen enough issues to say the CBOS letter has been a very good initiative and will definitely make homes safer. It has to be remembered some of the systems are pushing 10 to 15 years on the roof so it is a harsh environment.


If you do want your solar system serviced, keep DMS Energy in mind but be warned it will take us a while to get to you as the service and inspection list is growing more quickly than we can get them done at the moment but we will get to everyone.


Lastly didn’t the COP Glasgow Climate Change Conference go well?


France spat the dummy, the USA threw our Prime Minister under a bus and now Australia is the laughing stock of the whole world. It went about as well as I thought it was going to go to be honest but at least we showed up unlike China or Russia.


Forget about waiting for a political solution as it would take a change of government to achieve that, so it’s still only up to us as individuals to continue to lead the way and make the difference. The states have been forging ahead despite the best laid federal plans to stymie our transition to renewable energy at every turn.

Ground root support at the community level is going to be ultimately what sets the agenda and our progress. DMS Energy nearly always has the best part of half a megawatt of renewable energy projects in front of us at any given time which just goes to show how invested the North West Coast of Tasmania is in making a difference. Makes sense Electric Eric Reece was a Braddon man and his vision and action gave us the hydro network which has put Tasmania in the box seat for generations to come. Though climate change had absolutely nothing to do with that decision process, he could see clean and readily available renewable energy just made sense. Climate change just reinforces that position today more than ever.