Energy Safe Victoria audit blitz of solar installations

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) will continue its blitz of auditing solar installation work across Victoria over the weekends.     

Thursday, 26 November 2020 at 9:12 pm
Energy Safe Victoria audits

Their blitz responds to increased activity following the changes to restrictions as part of the Third Step of the Roadmap to Recovery. 

The ESV Renewable Energy Team carries out field-based audits of solar system installations to verify licensing of workers, effective supervision of workers and apprentices, and technical compliance. 

As part of the weekend blitz, ESV has inspected 50 sites over the last three weekends and will continue over coming weeks. The blitz has found that while compliance is generally high at most sites visited, enforcement action was taken at a small number of sites: 

  • two instances of unlicensed work 
  • one instance of a system left energised before verification by an inspection. 

In all three instances, ESV says it will be issuing infringement notices ranging up to $4000. 

ESV’s weekend blitz is an extension of usual field auditing program and complements compliance activities carried out through the working week. 

The top issues included: 

  • DC connectors: the importance of correctly matched connectors of the same make 
  • Apprentice supervision: understanding what your apprentice can and can’t do 
  • What work is licensed work: non-licensed workers, often referred to as a trades assistants, can fetch and carry tools and materials, erect solar panel support frames, attach panels if ELV (less than 120V d.c.) and other mechanical tasks. They cannot install, attach or connect cables or wiring associated with PV modules, inverters or earthing systems. 
  • Energising PV systems: systems upon installation and commissioning must be left in the off position, after completion the system can only be energised after it has been inspected and certified by a licensed electrical inspector. 

To help maintain focus on safety and quality, Solar Victoria’s independent auditors will also be inspecting installations as soon as six weeks post-installation. You can see what they assess by downloading the PV audit checklist

Useful resources 

ESV and WorkSafe have developed a safety guide for installing PV systems

Solar Victoria has published ten opportunities to improve safety and quality. These aim to help solar installers avoid common errors and to install solar systems that meet the standards for the Solar Homes Program, and without the need to make rectifications later.  

More information 

ESV’s announcement on weekend blitzes: 

Solar Victoria’s audit program: