The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is the main body in Australia that manages industrial operations associated with renewable energy. When you choose to work with a solar installer approved by the Clean Energy Council, you will be able to get a high-quality experience.

The approved solar installers ensure that they meet all the standards laid down by the Clean Energy Council and follow sustainable practices in the industry.

Individuals who wish to get the accreditation need to pass various assessments and take part in proper training modules before their application can be accepted. This ensures that the council only provides accreditation to installers who are capable of providing the best solar-related services.

Want to know more about the accreditation and how the Clean Energy Council maintains the industry’s standards? 

This post will discuss the entire accreditation system in detail. Read on.

What is a Clean Energy Council-approved solar installer?

A Clean Energy Council approved solar installer is accredited by the CEC to install solar panels and batteries.

Regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Clean Energy Council ensures that solar installers, designers, and retailers work in accordance with the industry’s best practices. As a non-profit, the Clean Energy Council promotes sustainable practices in the country.

It is the highest body in the country, made up of over 600 member businesses working in the industry. Businesses and individuals recognised by the CEC show that they know the industry’s best practices and promise to provide the best services in compliance with the national regulations.

The Clean Energy Council has made it necessary for solar installers to get proper accreditation. Through the accreditation, the installers can show the customers that they have the capacities and knowledge to install battery storage systems, solar systems, and other associated technology.

The same is for CEC accredited retailers. The CEC program aims to hold the approved solar retailers accountable while establishing certain industry standards. All the solar retailers approved by the Clean Energy Council have to comply with a specified code of practice. Failure to do so can lead to the approved solar retailer getting their approval taken away. The Clean Energy Council might even take action against the business.

Overall, the council ensures that all businesses, members, and individuals who have been recognised by the council follow the ethical code of conduct in the industry and ensures sustainability in whatever they do. This is imperative to ensure that the Australian solar industry can grow proficiently and efficiently while the customers can continue to enjoy solar power.

How is CEC approval different from accreditation?

The only approval that the CEC gives installers is accreditation. So, a CEC approval for installers is the same as a CEC accreditation. Accreditation can only be given to individuals, not companies. But note that for retailers, the CEC endorses them via approval. So, a CEC approved solar retailer follows the CEC’s code of conduct.

If you choose to work with an installer that does not have CEC accreditation, then you won’t be eligible for government rebates, especially on the federal level. In this way, it can be super expensive to design and install a solar system in your home.

The CEC accreditation for installers is an individual qualification. Accordingly, trustworthy solar companies like Nectr work with CEC accredited installers.

There are various benefits of installing solar with the help of an accredited individual. 

Firstly, when you work with an accredited installer, you will be assured that they follow all the industry standards for solar installation. These individuals provide transparent and high-quality services, together with a customer-centric experience. 

These installers can provide you with the technical information you need to know when running your solar systems or batteries, together with how to maintain them. The CEC installers also offer high-quality maintenance service, so you can continue using your solar systems or batteries without any problem. 

People who wish to benefit from government programs, such as the small scale technology certificates, also need to look for products that are designed and installed by the CEC accredited individuals; else they won’t be eligible for the STCs. This is one way that the government ensures that the consumers also uphold the industry’s best practices.

On the other hand, individuals with the accreditation are also eligible for several benefits from the council. These include:

  • Eligibility for government incentives and rebates like the small scale technology certificate
  • Get access to the council’s support line for any solar and storage-related technical advice
  • Get access to toolbox talks, webinars, and other resources, focused on the solar and storage industry best practice
  • Stay up to date with any changes in the industry’s practices, as well as the council’s guidelines
  • Get the latest information regarding the council’s inspection guidelines around different products
  • Get known as a CEC accredited installer on the council’s website
  • Join the installer reference group where they can get a chance to speak with the government, as well as the solar industry’s regulators
  • Help the council in advocating for best practices in the solar industry
  • Discuss their opinions and reviews on the solar industry and guidelines to the standard committee

How Do Installers Get Approved?

To get the CEC accreditation as an installer, individuals first need to complete the required training according to the type of accreditation they want to apply for. Various training organisations in the country provide continuous professional development and learning support required for getting accreditation.

The types of accreditation include:

  • GC design
  • GC install
  • GC design and install
  • SPS design
  • SPS install
  • SPS design and install

Once the installer has completed the training, they can apply for accreditation. There are certain documents that have to be submitted for applying. These include:

  • Certifications showing that they have received the training
  • An insurance plan concerning public liability, with an amount of at least $5 million
  • Any electrical license if they are applying for grid connect install or installation of battery storage
  • Certificate of working safely at heights completed within the last six years (several units are required if applying for SPS or grid connect installation).

Once the application is submitted with all the relevant documents, the Clean Energy Council will go through the application. 

Once the application is approved, the installer will get a provisional accreditation.

Then, they will get 30 days to complete an online assessment from the council, showing their knowledge of the industry and its processes. 

Once the installer has completed the assessment, they will get an accreditation number. 

If they have applied for the design-only accreditation, the solar designer will be able to work as a Clean Energy Council accredited installer after completing the online assessments.

However, if they have opted for Install Only or the Design and Install accreditation, they will have to complete a series of practical installation assessments within 3 months. 

After 3 months, the provisional accreditation will expire, and the installer will have to repeat all the steps again.

The practical assessment allows the Clean Energy Council to identify the installer’s competency in installing the solar or storage systems. They will have to submit the required documents to the Clean Energy Council as proof that they can successfully install solar or battery systems.

To become a fully accredited CEC installer, individuals having the Design Only provisional accreditation can submit an upgrade application to CEC after completing their online assessments.

On the other hand, individuals with Install Only or Design and Install provisional accreditation can also upgrade to full CEC accreditation by submitting the required application and payment to the council after completing online and practical assessments. Once the application is accepted, the individual will be fully accredited.

It is important to note that the accreditation lasts only for one year. A CEC accreditation has to be renewed every year. 

But for the renewal itself, an installer needs to gain 100 points of training. This training is divided into two parts: Elective and Core. 

In this way, CEC ensures that the installers uphold the Australian standards in the solar and storage industry, and that the individuals have all the required information to continue working in the industry proficiently.

Individuals can also apply for additional accreditation to design or install other systems. The process for additional accreditation is the same as described above.

Which Installers Are CEC Approved?

All the individuals who are accredited by the council are displayed on the Clean Energy Council website. You can search for the installers in your area by using their search tool here.

As a national regulatory authority, the Clean Energy Council provides guidelines for solar installers to follow in Australia. 

The CEC accredited installers pass extensive training and assessments from the council. These installers show that they have the right knowledge and understanding to install solar systems, together with the capacity to provide technical support to the customers. 

Nectr only works with approved solar installers and solar retailers to provide the most competent services to people who wish to benefit from solar energy.

Our Guides to Buying Solar and More

We have a series of unique guides to solar, solar finance, batteries and more, if you are looking to do more in-depth research into solar panels check the below:

1. Questions To Ask At Your Solar Appointment
During a solar appointment, you need to enquire about the cost, financial incentives, and warranties. Also, ask about the company’s experience, references, and product types and brands. After choosing your installer, confirm the installation process.

2. In-Home or Phone Solar Assessment – Which Is Better?
Read on, as we provide a detailed guide on how you can conduct a self-assessment of your home. This will help you be more knowledgeable when consulting a supplier for installing solar power. We’ll also provide an outline of the in-home assessment by a residential solar energy company and how it may vary from a phone assessment.

3. Is My Home Right For Solar? Will It Work For Me?
Your home is right for solar if trees and excess shade from nearby buildings don’t block the sun. In short, the amount of sunlight that reaches your roof, your roof’s conditions, your geographical location, and your budget play a critical part in deciding whether a solar system will work for you. 

Next Steps…

Interested in solar? By clicking below, you can use our smart solar calculator to find out just how much you could save with solar, what rebate you are eligible for, and the impact you will have on the environment.

Don’t wait until next quarter’s bloated bill, and get started today!

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