When choosing a solar retailer, it is vital to consider selecting solar retailers who adhere to regulatory restrictions to protect consumers.
According to the Clean Energy Council, it is imperative to get solar panels from approved solar retailers who have signed the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct and installers.
The approved solar retailers ensure that they follow all the quality standards laid down by the Clean Energy Council.
These retailers commit to sustainable practices in the solar industry and make sure they are providing after-sales support to their customers.
The following post discusses energy council-approved solar retailers and why they are essential.
What is a clean energy council approved solar retailer?
The Clean Energy Council has a Solar Retailer Program through which certain businesses can sell solar and storage products in alignment with the solar industry’s best practices. This program is regulated and authorized by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The CEC is the main body in Australia for the clean energy industry that works with the country’s leading renewable energy businesses for propagating sustainable practices. As a non-profit, the council stands up for good practices in the industry.
This program aims to hold the solar industry fully accountable for its sales and marketing activities while setting specific industry standards that businesses need to meet.
The approved solar retailers under the program have to comply with a specified code of conduct. Failure to meet the standards laid down under the solar retailer program can result in the Clean Energy Council taking action against the general business.
When it comes to an accredited installer, the Clean Energy Council has made it mandatory for the businesses working in the solar power industry to get the proper accreditation.
The company can show consumers that it has proper training and knowledge to design, install, and sell batteries, solar systems, and other renewable energy products through accreditation.
Installers accredited with the clean energy council ensure that they follow the best practices in the solar industry, uphold its standards, and conduct responsible sales.
The Types of CEC Accreditation and Approval
Since its inception in 2007, CEC has focused on safety and quality within the solar energy industry. There are three types of endorsements that the council provides, which include:
- Clean Energy Council Membership
- CEC Approval
- CEC Accreditation.
How do Solar Installers get CEC Approval?
Some businesses become CEC-approved solar retailers. These companies commit themselves to the CEC Solar Retailer Code of Conduct.
Although the code is voluntary for businesses working with solar PV systems, it is still a recommended program, as it ensures the industry is free from unethical sales practices.
As laid out by the CEC, CEC-approved solar retailers must practice ethical sales and marketing activities.
They need to use CEC accredited installers only and must offer a 5-year system warranty on their products like solar panels. They also need to ensure that their directors were not directors of other failed companies.
The list of energy council-approved solar retailers is the main list that many consumers view when buying a solar product, battery storage device, or other products. The CEC also works closely with the government to ensure exclusive opportunities for the Approved Solar Retailers.
A clean energy council-approved solar retailer needs to ensure that it complies with the laws concerning consumer protection. They need to sign the code and show how they are signing a contract with their customers and an overview of their complaints processes, warranties, and other activities.
The annual fees for the approved solar retailers range from $800 to $6000, according to the company’s size.
Companies that wish to apply for this program also need to agree to an assessment of their finances and an integrity check of their managers and directors.
Additionally, companies should not have worked before with the ACCC or the Office of Fair Trading Rules.
Finally, clean energy council-approved companies can promote themselves with the title.
How do Installers get Approved for Clean Energy Council Membership?
When it comes to the Clean Energy Council Membership, this endorsement is specified for businesses only. CEC-approved installers advocate for sustainability and safety within the industry. They also advocate for a proper market framework and effective policymaking.
Any business can apply for this membership as long as they are interested in working for energy efficiency in the country. This membership is for solar companies, but other companies can also become members.
As a clean energy council member, the business can represent its vision effectively in the energy industry and get support from the CEC in building renewable energy policies on the governmental level.
The CEC can also help the business stay updated on how the clean energy industry is changing in the country.
There are five levels of this membership, which include:
- Emerging tech
Except for emerging tech, retail and installation businesses can apply for any category.
How do Solar Installers get CEC Accreditation?
CEC also offers accreditation to individual designers and installers. These CEC-approved installers are eligible for small-scale technology certificates (STC), which they can use to cut down on the initial cost of installing solar panels.
Becoming a CEC accredited installer is quite rigorous, as proper training is required.
In the first phase, companies can apply for a three-month provisional accreditation, after which they can apply for a one-year certification.
Full List of CEC Approved Solar Retailers
All the approved solar retailers have been displayed on the Clean Energy Council website. More than 300 CEC-approved solar retailers are all across Australia.
Its approved solar retailer logo can quickly identify an authorized solar retailer.
Why Should You Choose a CEC Approved Solar Retailer?
A CEC-approved solar retailer is committed to providing the maximum support to its customers after sales and ensuring the business is following all the standards of the solar power industry.
Understanding the importance of renewable energy, the CEC-approved solar retailers are accountable for their operations, as the council keeps a strict check on the companies.
It is also essential to understand that membership in this program is a voluntary scheme. In this way, companies that apply for this program show their commitment to responsible sales in the industry and ethical practices.
Companies must pass a thorough and detailed documentation process to become CEC-approved retailers. The document tests their pre-sale and post-sale processes, procedures to handle complaints, installation practices, marketing and sales activities, and adherence to compliance regulations. In this way, the council ensures that the retailer follows all the industry standards.
These retailers provide a system performance assessment as part of their retailer code of conduct. In this way, the companies offer a bespoke solution according to the customer’s requirements.
According to the Clean Energy Council’s calculations, the retailers identify the peak sunlight hours in the area and then consider your roof. Depending upon the external environmental conditions and your budget, the company then provides a performance estimate in compliance with the guidelines of the CEC.
The companies are also obliged to provide a 5-year guarantee on the entire solar system. This means that in the first five years of installing your solar system if the system is not performing as forecasted, the company will check the equipment, fix the identified issues, or even replace the defective parts with quality equipment without taking extra costs from the customer.
Most importantly, these companies are committed to after-sales support and customer service.
Many companies in Australia do not honour their promises or warranties. Some companies even go out of the business during warranty periods, making it very difficult for the customers to get after-sales support.
However, CEC-approved solar retailers provide high-quality solar sales services. If anything goes wrong with the solar product, the retailer can provide complete support in fixing the problem.
What Happens if You Have a Complaint?
As a consumer, you can submit a complaint either against a CEC-approved installer. The form is available on CEC’s website that can be filled to make a complaint.
CEC accredited solar retailers follow the retailer code of conduct, as set out in the solar industry, and ensure that they fulfil all the regulations laid down by the council. In this way, working with a solar retailer with the CEC approval is imperative.
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.
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.
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