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Lifting safety standards across the solar industry

Solar Victoria’s safety focus in its landmark Solar Homes Program is helping make the state a national leader on solar standards.

23/06/21 0.10am
Lifting safety standards

An ongoing, targeted audit program and a whole-of-government focus on regulatory compliance and enforcement is lifting standards across the industry.

Solar Victoria undertakes carefully targeted risk-based audits of solar installations, with a focus on potential safety risks, and has seen a 67 per cent drop in the rate of serious concerns since the program commenced in 2018.

Most recent data shows that less than one per cent of all audited systems have been found to be unsafe and require action. This rate is better than the national average and joint efforts with industry and regulators will continue to drive this rate lower.

Unsafe systems are immediately disconnected and Solar Victoria works with the retailer to rectify issues and take any other necessary actions.

Solar Victoria does not hesitate to act if expected safety standards aren’t met, with compliance action taken against 20 retailers and 29 installers for failing to meet safety and quality obligations since the program began.

Action can include suspension and permanent disqualification from the program.

The government’s $1.3 billion Solar Homes Program is responsible for around 80 per cent of residential solar installations in the state.

Focusing on safety and compliance through this program has lifted standards across the industry, benefitting all Victorian workers and householders.

The Solar Homes Program was designed with safety in mind - only accredited, approved retailers and products can be used in any Solar Homes installation, installers undertake mandatory training and an independent inspector signs off on the safety of all systems - the only state to require this. 

Solar Victoria is also investing $11 million in training, including specific training resources to develop, upskill and support the Licenced Electrical Inspector industry, increasing the number of inspectors and building capability and professional development which will also reduce inspection wait times and increasing the quality of safety inspections.

Since its launch in 2018, the Solar Homes Program has provided more than $270 million in rebates to help Victorian households install solar systems, making solar accessible, driving down energy prices and helping to tackle climate change. More information including eligibility criteria and authorised retailers can be found at solar.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan

“Customers deserve to know their solar installations are completed to the highest standards and that’s why we have the strictest audit regime in the country.”

“We’ve increased site inspections and audits across three agencies with Solar Victoria, WorkSafe and Energy Safe Victoria undertaking almost 1,500 inspections, including seven weekend blitzes with over 200 inspections.”

“The majority of solar retailers and installers do the right thing – we’re acting to protect their reputation and uphold the standards of our world-leading solar industry.”

Reviewed 28 June 2021