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Section 1: Requirements for all solar PV rebates DRAFT

This section lists requirements that retailers and installers, systems and products must satisfy across all solar PV rebate streams.

We encourage retailers and installers to also meet the recommended requirements to help deliver the best outcomes for customers.

1.1 Solar PV retail business and workforce requirements

Retail business and workforce requirements apply to all solar PV rebate streams for owner-occupiers, renters, community housing and businesses. They aim to enhance safety and quality by maintaining rigorous standards and developing a level playing field within the industry.

For more information about training requirements in this section, including how to enrol, see Training and workforce development.

All solar PV retailers – mandatory retail business requirements

  • Mandatory: All solar PV retailers must be approved by the Clean Energy Council as a signatory to the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct (Approved Solar Retailer Scheme). More information: solar.vic.gov.au/become-approved-provider

    Why?

    • The Solar Retailer Code of Conduct is a voluntary scheme, authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which sets requirements on sales, marketing practices and documentation, and aims to exceed the minimum set by government and regulations.
    • Signatories undergo a stringent application process and are subject to monitoring and a compliance and sanctions regime.
    • Solar Victoria will consider other equivalent ACCC authorised industry codes as they are developed.
  • Mandatory: No prosecutions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (or equivalent legislation/regulations in other Australian jurisdictions) resulting in a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt in the past three years.

    Why?

    • Compliance with relevant occupational health and safety acts and regulations protect the health, safety and welfare of employees and other people at work.
    • Confirming compliance with relevant occupational health and safety acts and regulations aims to ensure that the health and safety of employees and the public are not put at risk by work activities.
  • Mandatory: Confirmation all workers engaged to install solar PV systems have attained:

    • CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry accredited unit of competency (White Card/construction induction card).
    • VU22744 Work safely in the solar industry training unit certification.

    Why?

    • System retailers are responsible for ensuring workers are appropriately trained to perform high-risk work.
    • Retailers must perform due diligence to ensure all workers meet the regulated and contractual requirements of participating in Solar Victoria’s programs.
  • Mandatory: Compliance with the Victorian Government's ban on electronic waste to landfillExternal Link .

    Why?

    • The Victorian Government has banned e-waste from landfill in Victoria, effective 1 July 2019. E-waste is growing three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia, and it contains both valuable and hazardous materials that can be recovered when they reach the end of their working life.
    • The Waste Management Policy (e-waste)External Link was approved by the Executive Council on 26 June 2018 and gazetted on 28 June 2018. The Victorian Government Gazette e-waste order can be found on pages 1457 to 1463.
    • E-waste describes any device which requires an electro- magnetic current (including anything with a plug, cord or battery) to operate and includes all solar products at the end of their useful life i.e. panels, inverter and energy storage equipment.
  • Mandatory: Confirmation all workers engaged to install systems have successfully completed online mini-training modules as required by Solar Victoria from time to time.

    Why?

    • Solar Victoria’s mini-training modules are industry validated and customised for the solar industry in consultation with subject matter experts.
    • Mini-training modules mandated by Solar Victoria will be available to complete online prior to the mandatory completion date set by Solar Victoria for each module.
    • Solar Victoria will provide reasonable notice of mandatory mini-training modules by way of Solar Victoria’s website.
  • Recommended: Registered with Energy Safe Victoria as a Registered Electrical ContractorExternal Link

    Why?

    • Where a solar PV retailer is also a registered electrical contractor the entity is subject to the Electrical Safety Act 1998. Registered electrical contractors are obliged to provide safety certificates to parties for whom electrical work is carried out.
    • Registration as a Registered Electrical Contractor, places greater responsibility on the retailer to ensure worker and customer safety.
  • Recommended: Main business location listed as “Victoria” according to the Australian Government’s Australian Business RegisterExternal Link .

    Why?

    • A key element of Solar Victoria’s programs concerns driving job creation with strong local content and industry development to build local supply chains. Prioritising businesses with a main business location of Victoria contributes to achieving this.
  • Recommended: Product manufacturer, supplier, retailer and/or installer offers end-of-life management program with service provider/s certified to “AS/NZS 5377: 2013”.

    Why?

    • Solar Victoria’s programs aim to support Victoria’s emerging circular economy by encouraging best practice approaches and outcomes for PV products and materials at the end of their lifecycle.
    • AS/NZS 5377:2013 establishes Australia’s best practice benchmark for the collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment.
    • Future eligibility and installation requirements will be updated periodically. In particular, Solar Victoria recognises the national stewardship approach underway for PV products and materials at the end of their lifecycle.
  • Recommended: Provide solar PV system owners with a financial performance estimate.

    Why?

    • Typically, customers purchase solar PV systems to reduce their electricity bills. However, under current Australian Standards, system owners are only required to receive an electricity performance estimate with no consideration of estimated cost savings.
    • Greater transparency of the financial benefits of installing solar PV systems empowers customers to make informed decisions.
  • Recommended: All workers engaged to install solar PV systems have attained CPCCCM2010B (or RIIWHS204) Work Safely at Heights accredited unit of competency.

    Why?

    • System retailers are responsible for ensuring workers are appropriately trained to perform high-risk work.
    • The Course in Working Safely in the Solar Industry is an accredited training program and provides vocational outcomes for persons wishing to gain the skills and knowledge required for the safe installation of solar systems.
  • Recommended: Undertake up to four free 90-minute business mentoring sessions from Solar Victoria’s approved provider. See Section 8.2 of this Notice to Market.

    Why?

    • Experienced business consultants have been engaged to help participants in our programs make informed decisions to improve their business through tailored and confidential one-on-one mentoring sessions.
  • Recommended: We recommend solar PV retailers to advise system owners of the Victorian Energy Compare website and to utilise the solar saver tool prior to installing a solar system.

    Why?

    • The Victorian Energy Compare website is a Victorian state government initiative that includes a solar savings calculator using NMI (National Mering Identifier) specific data.
    • The solar calculator can be used by homeowners to compare the proposed solar system to their actual usage and tariff structure.
    • Victorian Energy Compare can be accessed at compare.energy.vic.gov.auExternal Link and the solar calculator at solarcalculator.energy.vic.gov.au

All solar PV installers – mandatory workforce requirements

  • Mandatory: Holds current Clean Energy Council accreditation.

    Why?

    • Accreditation confirms an individual has undertaken industry specific training relevant to the installation of solar PV systems.
    • The accreditation scheme includes continuous professional development requirements and a compliance regime.
    • Accreditation is currently a requirement under the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
  • Mandatory: Holds an unrestricted (A Grade) electrical licence issued by Energy Safe VictoriaExternal Link ; or, holds equivalent Australian interstate electrical licence with mutual recognition by Energy Safe Victoria.

    Why?

    • In accordance with the Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2019 and Electricity Safety Act 1998, complete installation of a grid-connected solar PV system qualifies as prescribed electrical installation work and must therefore be done by a licensed electrician.
  • Mandatory: Has no prosecutions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (or equivalent legislation/regulations in other Australian jurisdictions) resulting in a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt in the past three years.

    Why?

    • Compliance with relevant occupational health and safety acts and regulations protect the health, safety and welfare of employees and other people at work.
    • Confirming compliance with relevant occupational health and safety acts and regulations aims to ensure that the health and safety of employees and the public are not put at risk by work activities.
  • Mandatory: Inverters must be set to comply with Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) connection agreements, including but not limited to, being correctly configured with the “Australia A” setting prior to connection and on-going utilisation.

    Why?

  • Mandatory: Has attained the VU22744 Work safely in the solar industry accredited unit of competency.

    Why?

    • Work safely in the solar industry is a solar-specific safety training unit including customised working at heights, lockout and energisation requirements, identifying and reporting on asbestos, etc.
    • A sector advisory group, led by the Office of the Victorian Skills Commissioner, including WorkSafe, Solar Victoria, the Electrical Trades Union, the Clean Energy Council, the Plumbing Pipes Trades and Employee Union, Master Plumbers, the National Electrical and Communications Association and multiple solar retailers, identified a skills gap in the solar industry and developed this training unit.
    • Completion of Work safely in the solar industry is a work, health and safety control measure.
  • Mandatory: Has attained the CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry accredited unit of competency (White Card/construction induction card).

    Why?

    • White Card training sets out requirements for performing safe work practices, identifying risks and satisfying work requirements.
    • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 state that construction induction training must be undertaken by workers engaged in construction and the installation of electricity services.
    • Completion of White Card training is a work, health and safety risk control measure.
  • Mandatory: Has successfully completed online mini-training modules as required by Solar Victoria from time to time.

    Why?

    • Solar Victoria’s mini-training modules are industry validated and customised for the solar industry in consultation with subject matter experts.
    • Mini-training modules may be mandated by Solar Victoria and will be available to complete online prior to the completion date set by Solar Victoria for each module.
    • Solar Victoria will provide reasonable notice of further mandatory mini-training modules by way of Solar Victoria’s website.
  • Recommended: Has attained CPCCCM2010B (or RIIWHS204) Work Safely at Heights accredited training unit.

    Why?

    • This training sets out the requirements to work safely on construction sites where the work activity involves working above 1.5 metres from ground level and where fall protection measures are required.
    • Completion of Work Safely at Heights training is a work, health and safety risk control measure.
  • Recommended: Has attained 22515VIC Course in Working Safely in the Solar Industry accredited course.

    Why?

    • The Course in Working Safely in the Solar Industry is an accredited training program and provides vocational outcomes for persons wishing to gain the skills and knowledge required for the safe installation of solar systems.
    • Training content includes Work safely in the solar industry (a training unit developed and customised for the solar industry), White Card/construction induction training, first aid and working at heights.
  • Recommended: Install ‘Non-load break DC disconnection points’ where appropriate, in lieu of rooftop DC isolators, in accordance with AS/NZS 5033:2021.

    Why?

    • Non-load break disconnection devices’ may in certain cases provide increased consumer safety outcomes over rooftop DC Isolators.
    • Rooftop DC isolators if installed incorrectly (or damaged over time) can suffer from internal arcing due to water ingress and subsequent fire risks.
    • AS/NZS 5033:2021 offers a choice to installers to either instate a rooftop DC isolator or a DC ‘disconnection point’ according to the requirements set out in the Standard.

Other on-site solar PV workers – mandatory workforce requirements

  • Mandatory: Has attained the VU22744 Work safely in the solar industry accredited unit of competency.

    Why?

    • Work safely in the solar industry is a solar-specific safety training unit including customised working at heights, lockout and energisation requirements, identifying and reporting on asbestos, etc.
    • A sector advisory group, led by the Office of the Victorian Skills Commissioner, including WorkSafe, Solar Victoria, the Electrical Trades Union, the Clean Energy Council, the Plumbing Pipes Trades and Employee Union, Master Plumbers, the National Electrical and Communications Association and multiple solar retailers, identified a skills gap in the solar industry and developed this training unit.
    • Completion of Work safely in the solar industry is a work, health and safety control measure.
  • Mandatory: Has attained the CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry accredited unit of competency (White Card/construction induction card).

    Why?

    • White Card training sets out requirements for performing safe work practices, identifying risks and satisfying work requirements.
    • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 state that construction induction training must be undertaken by workers engaged in construction and the installation of electricity services.
    • Completion of White Card training is a work, health and safety risk control measure.
  • Mandatory: Has successfully completed online mini-training modules as required by Solar Victoria from time to time.

    Why?

    • Solar Victoria’s mini-training modules are industry validated and customised for the solar industry in consultation with subject matter experts.
    • Mini-training modules may be mandated by Solar Victoria and will be available to complete online prior to the completion date set by Solar Victoria for each module.
    • Solar Victoria will provide reasonable notice of further mandatory mini-training modules by way of Solar Victoria’s website.
  • Recommended: Has attained CPCCCM2010B (or RIIWHS204) Work Safely at Heights accredited training unit.

    Why?

    • This training sets out the requirements to work safely on construction sites where the work activity involves working above 1.5 metres from ground level and where fall protection measures are required.
    • Completion of Work Safely at Heights training is a work, health and safety risk control measure.
  • Recommended: Has attained 22515VIC Course in Working Safely in the Solar Industry accredited course.

    Why?

    • The Course in Working Safely in the Solar Industry is an accredited training program and provides vocational outcomes for persons wishing to gain the skills and knowledge required for the safe installation of solar systems.
    • Training content includes Work safely in the solar industry (a training unit developed and customised for the solar industry), White Card/construction induction training, first aid and working at heights.

1.2 Solar PV system and product requirements

Solar PV inverters – mandatory requirements

  • Mandatory: Listed on Solar Victoria's Approved Solar PV Inverter ListExternal Link

    Why?

    • This listing confirms inverters meet additional requirements, above minimum industry standards, to be eligible to participate in Solar Victoria’s programs.
  • Mandatory: Listed on the Clean Energy Council’s Approved Inverter ListExternal Link

    Why?

    • This listing confirms, via certified evidence, inverters meet minimum product standards for usage in Australia.
    • Listing is a requirement under the federal government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
  • Mandatory: Inverter(s) must have internet capability (the ability to share data via the World Wide Web) and an on-board communication port that can be used for a physical connection to another device (e.g. via ethernet, USB or RS-232).

    Further, if an inverter can communicate wirelessly in a manner similar to an on-board communication port (for example by providing a secure Application Programming Interface or API over Wi-Fi) that can be used for a connection to another device, this may be utilised in lieu of a physical communication port.

    Why?

    • Internet capability and an on-board communication port (or equivalent) are minimum infrastructure requirements to enable communication between inverter energy systems and third parties.
    • Systems with these minimum requirements may participate in future energy markets and/or dynamic connection arrangements.
    • Approximately 99 per cent of solar PV inverters installed in the Solar Homes Program since 1 July 2019 satisfy these requirements.
  • Mandatory: Inverter(s) must comply with AS/NZS 4777.2:2020.

    Why?

    • The latest release of AS/NZS 4777.2 includes key new inverter capabilities related to increased grid support features, disturbance ride-through capabilities and test procedure clarity, as well as product requirements for inbuilt DC isolation devices.
    • This Standard was prepared by the Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee EL-042, Renewable Energy Power Supply Systems and Equipment, to supersede AS/NZS 4777.2:2015, Grid connection of energy systems via inverters, Part 2: Inverter requirements.
  • Recommended: Includes remote monitoring (proprietary or third party) via secure connection.

    Why?

    • Monitoring facilitates greater consumer energy management and engagement.
    • Monitoring facilitates system fault and performance analysis.
  • Recommended: Product manufacturer, supplier, retailer and/or installer offers end-of-life management program with service provider/s certified to AS/NZS 5377: 2013.

    Why?

    • Solar Victoria’s programs aim to support Victoria’s emerging circular economy by encouraging best practice approaches and outcomes for PV products and materials at the end of their lifecycle. AS/NZS 5377:2013 establishes Australia’s best practice benchmark for the collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment.
    • Future eligibility and installation requirements will be updated periodically. In particular, Solar Victoria recognises the national stewardship approach underway for PV products and materials at the end of their lifecycle.
  • Recommended: Includes a communication protocol.

    Why?

    • Communication protocols support third party (e.g. aggregator, platform provider, distribution network service provider, distribution service operator, etc) visibility, communication and orchestration.
    • Systems with communication protocols may participate in future energy markets and/or dynamic connection arrangements.
  • Recommended: Inverter energy system capable of switching external loads (via inverter or third-party device).

    Why?

    • The functionality to switch loads facilitates increased self-consumption of generated solar power resulting in better financial outcomes for households and optimises integration with the grid.
  • Recommended: Arc Fault Protection Equipment (AFPE) to IEC 63027 where a string inverter system is installed.

    Why?

    • Arc fault protection can reduce the likelihood of sustained Arcing through early detection and protection, increasing safety outcomes.
    • The IEC 63027:2019 standard applies to equipment used for the detection and optionally the interruption of electric DC arcs in photovoltaic (PV) system circuits.

Solar PV modules – mandatory requirements

  • Recommended: Provision of an electronic customer record confirming installed solar PV modules are verified as part of the joint CER and industry Solar Panel Validation Initiative.

    Why?

    • Validation provides customers with an electronic record of confirmation that their installed solar panels are verified as part of the initiative.
    • The record includes information such as the make and model of the solar PV modules, serial numbers, the time and date of installation and the location.
    • Validation via this initiative confirms solar PV modules are genuine, approved (as per the Clean Energy Councils approved products list), backed by manufacturers warranties, meet Australian Standards, and are eligible for Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and rebates under Solar Victoria’s programs.
  • Recommended: VDE Quality Tested or Certified to IEC 62941.

    Why?

    • VDE quality tested and IEC 62941 certified solar PV modules are those that have demonstrated a higher degree of quality assurance, predominately in the manufacturing process.
  • Recommended: Certified to IEC 62804 (for crystalline modules).

    Why?

    • Certification to IEC 62804 ensures solar PV modules offer greater durability against forms of accelerated degradation resulting in better long-term performance and reliability.
    • This standard only applies to crystalline solar PV modules. That is, other topologies (technology types) are not covered. This standard is especially relevant in higher voltage solar PV arrays.
  • Recommended: Product manufacturer, supplier, retailer and/or installer offers end-of-life management program with service provider/s certified to AS/NZS 5377:2013.

    Why?

    • Solar Victoria’s programs aim to support Victoria’s emerging circular economy by encouraging best practice approaches and outcomes for PV products and materials at the end of their lifecycle. AS/NZS 5377:2013 establishes Australia’s best practice benchmark for the collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment.
    • Future eligibility and installation requirements will be updated periodically. In particular, Solar Victoria recognises the national stewardship approach underway for PV products and materials at the end of their lifecycle.
  • Recommended: Solar PV systems are recommended to have the capability to conform to an API in accordance with Australia’s Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP-AUS) and the IEEE 2030.5-2018 standard, via either direct inverter integration, an external control system or via a vendor cloud - or equivalent.

    Why?

    • An industry adopted communications protocol will help to standardise the interoperability approach. Interoperability is seen as the key enabler to unlock future energy markets through widespread aggregation and orchestration of DER.
    • Australia’s Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP-AUS) previously referred to as the ‘Australian Implementation Guide’ of open communications protocol IEEE 2030.5, was released in September 2021.
    • The guide is accessible at: arena.gov.au/knowledge-bank/common-smart-inverter-profile-australia/External Link
    • Solar Victoria will strongly consider mandating compliance to CSIP-AUS at an appropriate time, in consultation with industry.

Reviewed 29 September 2022