For many years we have been trying to get the message out on how to avoid a negative solar experience and last week the Clean Energy Regulator has announced there is to be some sweeping changes on how solar installer accreditation will be managed.
Up until now solar installers and designers have had their accreditation’s managed and controlled by the Clean Energy Council and they held a monopoly position. This unfortunately meant there was never any competitive or regulatory pressure to actually do the job properly. So guess what they didn’t.
The Clean Energy Regulator has announced they will be taking back the overall control and the management will be subcontracted out to numerous industry representative bodies.
Time will tell if this will be a good thing or not but it cannot be much worse than the farce we had before.
This came out of a review that finally announced what we all knew.
There are poor quality installers and shonky operators in the solar industry.
The current bodies, policies, structure and processes have failed to control or eliminate them
And that change is required.
One of the alarming findings from the review is that 6% of the 4,500 accredited installers were signing off on 37% of all solar installations in the country.
This was obviously because they were never onsite installing solar and the companies involved were at best utilising teams of apprentices but more often as not teams of unskilled labour such as back backers doing electrical works and attaching panels to houses.
These changes might finally go some way to levelling the playing field for those doing the right thing versus those intent on doing the wrong thing. This also reinforces our consistent message here and that is stick local. Local providers who have nowhere to hide, will not last long in our community doing shoddy work or installing sub standard materials.
While we are talking about the impact of speaking out, one of our articles called “Dodgy Door Knockers Are Back” has been picked up by the ABC 7.30 Report and this week I will be doing a story with them on how to avoid door knocking solar scams this week to aired sometime in the future across the country.
DMS Energy have also been working behind the scenes trying to get some legislation put in place at a state level to make it harder for these rogues to go around conning nana’s out of their life savings.
We are finally getting some traction and the Master Electricians Association have thrown their weight behind our campaign to protect our most vulnerable from these vultures.
Lastly we have some new installation standards on the cusp of being released with public comments finally closing and the final revision under way. At this point in time it’s looking like rooftop isolators may come optional now. The 600v max domestic DC voltage cap will be lifted. There are a few things in these new standards that are going to make it a bit spicy for installers to contend with but all in all we are starting to see some movement in the right directions in the solar industry. The new AS5033 solar installation should be released early next year.
So there you have it, the current behind the scenes wrap up of the solar industry and all its goings on. Some good stuff there for consumers and the industry and keep an eye out on the ABC 7.30 report to see why it’s said I have a face for radio.