Australia, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar

The accreditation provider for installers and designers has changed

The Clean Energy Council reflects on its time as the solar accreditor, and the Clean Energy Regulator’s rigorous application and evaluation process to approve Solar Accreditation Australia for the role.

On 29 February, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) approved Solar Accreditation Australia (SAA) as the new installer and designer accreditation scheme operator under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

How did the CER choose SAA?

The CER undertook a rigorous application and evaluation process to approve SAA.

After operating as an administrator for over 16 years, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) chose not to apply to be an accreditation scheme operator and its services have now ceased. The CEC deeply considered how its technical experts can support the industry amid complex and competing priorities, including standards changes and regulatory reforms.

How is the CEC supporting the transition?

Over the past few months, the CEC has worked closely with the CER and SAA to ensure a smooth handover for the benefit of accredited installers, the rooftop solar industry, and consumers. A successful transition is crucial and the CEC remains committed to supporting the industry.

Important information for installers and designers

Scope of accreditation:

The SAA is now responsible for the accreditation of electricians who design and install small-scale solar, wind and hydro systems incentivised by the SRES

The SAA will accredit battery installers

Make the switch:

If you haven’t transferred your accreditation, you can visit the SAA website (saaustralia.com.au) and apply to transfer by 29 May or before their CEC accreditation expires, whichever is earlier

Accredited persons must transfer to the SAA by 29 May to maintain accreditation and remain eligible under the SRES

Access to the CEC installer portal:

You will continue to have access to the CEC installer portal until May. To allow time to access any details, you may need to transfer your accreditation

myCEC access offering technical information and support has been extended until July, free of charge

CEC reflection

The CEC is proud of the role it has played in building robust installer and accreditation programs, alongside administering the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC) program for retailers, and product listing program for manufacturers.

The rooftop solar industry in Australia is world-leading and over the past 16 years the CEC team has played a critical role in upholding the regulatory framework to drive best practice and improve industry behaviour to ensure customers are treated fairly and honestly.

Together with the industry, it has been building significant social license with communities as they benefit from savings on power bills.

Transitioning out of the role of administering accreditation allows the CEC to focus on strong advocacy for the solar industry, as well as increased support for installers to ensure they have access to quality training, that they are kept up to date on latest industry developments, and that they feel supported to navigate the complex industry standards and requirements. 

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This article featured in the April edition of ecogeneration.

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