Mentoring partnership to help get safer solar installed sooner

Solar Victoria is partnering with the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) to help more Victorians get safer solar on their homes sooner.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 at 3:11 am

A new mentoring pilot program for Licensed Electrical Inspectors (LEI) will advance technical knowledge and support for LEI’s already working in solar and aims to increase the number of electrical inspectors in the field.

The pilot program is part of the Victorian Government’s $11 million investment in training, including specific training resources to develop, upskill and support the LEI industry, increasing the number of inspectors, and building capability and professional development which will also reduce inspection wait times and increase the quality of safety inspections.

The pilot will see 35 LEIs work with NECA Victoria’s mentors - licensed electrical inspectors who have demonstrated experience, reputation, skills and knowledge in the solar space, and the ability to share this experience with newer electrical inspectors.

Ensuring newer inspectors have the knowledge and skills they need to work in the solar field will increase the number of inspectors available to sign-off on solar installations, shortening wait times and ensuring the highest levels of safety are maintained.

The pilot will run for the next three to six months, with a view to expansion based on the outcomes.

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.

Quotes attributable to Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan

“Supporting professional development in the Licensed Electrical Inspector industry will help improve the timeliness of independent electrical inspections, and households who have installed solar to gain their Certificate of Electrical Safety sooner.”

“It will not only create new jobs in the industry but continue to lift standards and quality by investing in skills and qualifications for the increasingly technical nature of solar and new energy technologies.”

Quotes attributable to NECA Victoria CEO & Executive Director Pawel Podolski

“It is great to see such constructive collaboration between Government and our industry body. Continual professional training is important to not only develop skillsets around new technology, to put LEI’s taking part in this program ahead of the pack, but will also give them the confidence that they are doing their job well."

"This is a great outcome, not just for the solar sector, but the entire electrical industry."