Solar and battery retailers will be required to maintain the status of New Energy Tech (NET) Approved Seller to remain an authorised solar retailer under the Solar Homes and Solar for Business programs.
Solar Victoria holds high standards for participation under its program and the former retailer code was first mandated in 2019 to protect consumers accessing the program.
Replacing the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, the NETCC is a set of service standards and consumer protections, developed at the request of energy Ministers, that build on the previous code and expand it to new energy technology, beyond solar to batteries, electric vehicle chargers and more. New obligations for buy-now, pay-later providers are also covered by the Code.
The NETCC requires new energy tech retailers and service providers to commit to quality service and stronger consumer protections than those provided by the Australian Consumer Law and the national small scale renewable energy certificate (STC) scheme.
New signatories to the NETCC undergo a stringent application process and are subject to a monitoring, compliance, and sanctions regime. Existing Approved Solar Retailers will automatically transfer to the new code and more than 1,000 Victorian retailers are now approved and will be able to continue to participate in Solar Homes. New businesses interested in participating in Solar Homes should now apply directly to the Clean Energy Council.
As the administrator of the Code, the CEC is supporting existing solar retailers to demonstrate they meet the NETCC standards and become NET Approved Sellers during this transition year. Becoming a NET Approved Seller and authorised solar retailer highlights a commitment to high standards across sales and marketing, quotes and contracts, delivery and installation, and warranties and support.
While administered by the CEC, the NETCC was initially approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and is governed by an independent council of industry and consumer bodies including Energy Consumers Australia, Consumer Action Law Centre and Energy Networks Australia. Compliance with and enforcement of the Code is undertaken by an independent Code Monitoring and Compliance panel.
Solar Victoria will closely monitor and review the implementation of the new scheme and work closely with the NETCC Council, CEC and our Industry and Consumer Reference Group to ensure a smooth transition to the new scheme.
Quotes attributable to Solar Victoria CEO, Stan Krpan.
“Providing the highest possible consumer protections is important for the integrity of Solar Victoria’s programs, the ongoing development of the solar industry and the confidence of our customers.”
“Customers can only benefit from transparent and accountable retail practices. We have been clear on the need to protect consumers since Solar Homes began and first mandated a Code of Practice in 2019. Strengthened requirements related to quoting practices, marketing buy now pay later offers and expanded information on system operations and measures to ensure the installation of fit-for-purpose systems are core to the code.”
“The Code was developed by an independent council comprising Australia’s peak solar energy bodies, consumer organisations and energy networks. It builds on existing protections and broadens them to home batteries and will grow over time to cover emerging new technologies such as smart car chargers. It is important that consumer protections keep up with these innovations.”
Quotes attributable to Energy Consumers Australia CEO, Lynne Gallagher
“Consumers tell us that new energy technologies can be complicated, and they want to be empowered with the information and support to make good decisions and understand the protections available to them.”
“Solar Victoria’s decision to require solar and battery retailers to be signatories to the NETCC means Victorian consumers will be protected by minimum standards of service throughout the process of buying, installing and running new energy devices.”
Reviewed 26 April 2023