Our audit program is helping to ensure that all solar PV systems installed as part of Solar Homes are safe. Auditing helps us to hold solar retailers and installers to account, coordinate with government regulatory authorities and the Clean Energy Council, and develop a deeper understanding of how the program is being delivered by the fast-growing solar industry.
We have engaged independent auditors to assess the safety and quality of solar installations as part of our rebates process. We also require every system to be checked by a licensed inspector and the issuing of a Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) prior to connection of the solar system to the distribution network.
Under Victoria’s workplace health and safety, electrical safety and consumer protection laws it’s the role of the solar retailers and installers to ensure systems are safely installed, and to rectify any issues identified.
Where companies are found to be doing the wrong thing we will considering excluding them from the Solar Homes program.
What do our auditors look at?
Our auditors are looking at a range of matters including:
- Electrical safety
- Ensuring PV modules and inverters are on approved products lists and installed to ensure manufacturers’ warranties are intact
- Ensuring solar PV systems have been designed appropriately with correct sizing, aspect and shading tolerances, and that they are operating as expected
- Checking that installers’ accreditations, licences and required installation documentation are correct
- Speaking to customers about the professionalism and conduct of solar retailers and installers, as well as their broader customer experience
What does the audit program look like?
Our audits are risk-based, which means that we focus our audits on areas where we believe there may be emerging challenges or complaints, to get a hand of any issues. This will drive improvement in the solar sector and will stamp out issues before they emerge. Approximately 70 per cent of audits will be in Melbourne and 30 per cent in regional areas.
As part of the rebates process, we have asked householders to register for safety visits by WorkSafe during installation. The Clean Energy Regulator also performs selected post-installation audits 12 to 18 months after installation.
Households in both Melbourne and regional Victoria will be contacted by auditors to arrange a suitable time and date for the audit. Auditors will require access to your roof and bring their own equipment to perform the audit.
What happens after the audit?
Once the audit is complete, the findings of the audit will be communicated to the property owner, as well as the relevant regulators and the Clean Energy Council, if required.
The report will confirm if safety and quality standards for the installation have been met. If these standards have not been met, the solar retailer who sold the solar system and the installer who installed it will be contacted.
Retailers will be:
- advised about how the installation does not comply with safety and quality standards
- given detailed instructions as to what is required to resolve this noncompliance
- advised that the matter has been referred to Energy Safe Victoria and the Clean Energy Council, which will determine whether further action is needed
The installation will continue to be monitored until the issue has been satisfactorily remedied.
Need more information?
If you have any concerns with the way the audit is conducted, you should address the matter with the auditor in the first instance. If you’re unable to resolve your concerns, please email email@example.com
When looking at factors that inform the risk-based ranking of a site, the following may be considered:
|Broad Risk Category||Installer factors||Retailer factors||Location / Install factors|
- Length of accreditation or licensing
- Company age (e.g. short start-up period)
- Multiple installations in a single day and distance between installations (E.g. greater than 50 km apart metro, 150km rural. Also supports identification of CEC installer rules relating to presence at install at start, middle and end)
- Compliance history shows a high number of medium non-compliance
- Retailer is a Registered Electrical Contractor with Energy Safe Victoria
Remote location with low installation density
- High number of positive public complaints (e.g. Solar Quote, CAV, Product Review, Google Review)
- Approved Clean Energy Council Retailer
- High density location characterised by above average levels of compliance