What we require of your retailer and installer
Stringent quality and safety standards must be met under the Solar Homes Program so that you receive a high-quality and safe system that will deliver many years of service.
We require authorised retailers to provide you with clear and unambiguous information, a high standard of after-sales service, and ensure that the solar system is fit for your household’s needs.
This means that your retailer must, for example:
- obtain pre-approval from the Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP), advise you of any energy export limits, and engage a CEC-accredited solar system designer, or equivalent, to complete a site-specific performance assessment
- provide you with a written statement that the system installed is complete, functional and installed as per design requirements and the customer quotation
- provide you with a minimum five year whole-of-system warranty for all eligible systems under our programs (including quality of work)
- provide you with documentation confirming the terms and conditions of the warranty, and who to contact in the event of a product failure
- for solar panel (PV) and battery retailers, be a signatory to the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC)
- have an internal complaint-handling procedure in place to support you, as required under the NETCC.
If you are interested in applying for credit through your retailer, your retailer must:
- offer you credit through a credit provider licensed under the (National Credit Act) or an unlicensed provider that has been approved by the Clean Energy Council as meeting minimum consumer protections
- ensure any deferred payment plans (including Buy Now Pay Later arrangements) offered to you to part finance the cost of a solar panel (PV) or solar battery installation meet this NETCC requirement.
For more detail about what we require of retailers, you can read:
Some things your solar PV and battery system installer must do include:
- being a CEC and complying with the CEC Code of Conduct for Accredited Designers and Installers
- holding an issued by Energy Safe Victoria or an equivalent Australian interstate electrical licence with mutual recognition by Energy Safe Victoria
- providing you with a where electrical work has occurred.
Some things your solar hot water and heat pump installer must do include:
- holding the appropriate plumbing accreditation issued by the .
- issuing a compliance certificate where your hot water system has been installed to a total value of $750 or more. This also applies to all gas installations affecting gas pipes. Only a licensed plumber can issue a compliance certificate.
- providing you with a Safety where electrical work has occurred.
Customer QR codes are important
Your installer MUST scan your customer QR code on-site on the day of your installation BEFORE starting any work. The QR code step helps to:
- provide an extra level of safety for everyone
- link your installation to an authorised installer
- signal to regulators that your installer is about to start and can be inspected to ensure the highest safety standards are met.
Please help by ensuring your installer does this on the day of your installation BEFORE starting any work.
For more detail about what we require of installers, you can read:
- the Solar Victoria which installers have accepted
- the mandatory requirements they must meet in the .
Our focus on safety and quality
We work with government agencies, regulators and peak bodies to continuously improve safety and quality within the solar industry in Victoria. They include:
As regulators, WorkSafe Victoria, ESV and the VBA can inspect installations during and after installations to ensure they meet safety requirements. We also work with independent auditors to inspect five per cent of systems installed under our programs.
The purpose of these checks is to ensure the safety of customers and workers, and develop an understanding of where retailers and installers in our programs are doing well, and where there is room for improvement.
We encourage you to agree to having your installation inspected if it is selected for a free safety and quality check with a Solar Victoria appointed auditor.
Read more about:
Advertising and sales tactics to be aware of
Under the terms and conditions, authorised retailers must comply with all laws when publicising our programs. This includes laws prohibiting false and misleading representations and not engaging in unsolicited door-to-door sales to market our rebates.
Inappropriate high-pressure sales tactics can include:
- ‘cold' calling and door knocking
- advertising free systems and appliance installations
- pressure selling
- providing false costing information
- providing misleading information regarding eligibility for government rebates
- completing applications on behalf of customers
- claiming endorsement or affiliation with government and public figures.
You have 10 full business days to reconsider agreements made in any circumstances.
This cooling-off period gives you time to ensure you are happy with the decision and that you have all the information needed to make a good choice. It begins on the first business day after the agreement is made. If you cancel the agreement, there’s no penalty.
Tips to protect consumers
Tips to help protect you from inaccurate marketing and high-pressure tactics include:
- Talk with neighbours, friends and family who have recently had solar systems installed, find out who they have dealt with or speak with well-known retailers.
- Ask questions, be vigilant and read the guides produced by and the , as well as our .
- Find online reviews of the retailers you are looking at but be aware of over-enthusiastic reviews or multiple reviews submitted on the same day.
- See if retailer details like their ABN are listed on their website – you can check these on .
- Be wary of traders offering goods or services with significantly discounted prices as this is generally a trade-off for low-quality equipment that may not last.
- Register your phone number with the and consider if you receive a telemarketing call.
- Try to verify details of retailers calling or visiting from an independent source, such as a phone directory – and be aware of fake websites as scammers send links to websites that look real, carrying the logos of well-known organisations.
- Do not rely on Caller ID. Scammers can use internet services to buy local telephone numbers that hide their location and identity.
- Read more about rebate scams on the .
- Report dodgy sales behaviour to .
- Remember: Victorian Government agencies will never ask for personal details such as banking information over the phone.
WorkSafe Victoria is Victoria’s workplace health and safety regulator.
Contact WorkSafe to report a workplace health and safety incident, to report employer-non-compliance or to speak to their health and safety and injury compensation advisory service.
Energy Safe Victoria
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is Victoria’s technical and safety regulator for the generation, supply, and use of electricity, gas, and pipelines.
Contact ESV about safety and quality concerns for electrical and gas installations and equipment, among other things.
Victorian Building Authority (VBA)
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is Victoria’s building and plumbing regulator.
Contact the VBA for information about building and plumbing matters, including safety matters.
Clean Energy Council
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is a peak body for the clean energy sector in Australia.
Contact the CEC about potential breaches of the New Energy Tech Consumer Code by authorised retailers, as well as instances of non-compliance by CEC Accredited Installers.
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Consumer Affairs Victoria is Victoria’s consumer affairs regulator.
Contact Consumer Affairs Victoria about compliance with and enforcement of consumer laws and regulations, as well as complaints relating to potential breaches of these laws and regulations.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets, and financial services regulator.
Contact ASIC for information and enquiries about companies, businesses and individuals, and to report alleged misconduct of companies and organisations registered with ASIC.
Scamwatch Australian and Competition and Consumer Commission
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is Australia’s competition regulator and national consumer law champion, and provides information on how to recognise, avoid, and report scams.
Contact the ACCC for guidance on consumer rights and product safety and to report scams and other consumer issues.
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria
The Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria is Victoria’s dispute resolution service for energy and water issues.
Contact the Ombudsman to lodge complaints about energy and water related matters within its jurisdiction.
Essential Services Commission
The Essential Services Commission is Victoria’s regulator for the price, quality and reliability of essential services.
Contact the Commission for information about electricity, gas and water issues as well as energy saving information.
Consumer Action Law Centre
The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) is a consumer advocacy organisation.
Contact CALC for legal and financial assistance if you are struggling with a range of consumer and financial issues.
Clean Energy Regulator
The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) is an Australian independent statutory authority responsible for administering legislation to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of clean energy.
Contact the CER for information about the schemes it administers, including the Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, Emissions Reduction Fund and Renewable Energy Target.
Reviewed 18 July 2023