Positive Energy Solutions commits to raising the bar in the solar industry
Positive Energy is a proud signatory of the Clean Energy Council Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, a voluntary scheme developed to provide consumers peace of mind when deciding on which solar company to choose, and to help them avoid the many cowboys within the industry.
However, this CEC Approved Solar Retailer stamp of approval, should not be confused with similar-looking CEC logos that we often see advertised. In this blog, we’ll explain the differences between:
- CEC Member
- CEC Accredited Installer
- CEC Approved Solar Retailer
Clean Energy Council membership can be obtained by any organisation simply by paying a fee. A CEC Member can then participate in working groups and forums, attend networking events, vote at the Annual General Meeting, and have access to sponsorship/marketing opportunities.
CEC Membership does not provide customers with any benefits or assurances that a solar company is more reputable than a non-CEC Member.
CEC ACCREDITED INSTALLER
Firstly, CEC Accredited Installers are people, not companies. But for a solar company to claim STC’s on behalf of their customer, the system must be installed by a CEC Accredited Installer. In order to gain this accreditation, a licenced electrician must go through an accreditation process with the CEC which includes specific training units.
Considering that a CEC Accredited Installer is required for every solar installation claiming STC’s, it is not really something that a solar company should be spruiking as a selling point. It would be like Salon Express claiming to be the best because their hairdressers have a Cert III in hairdressing.
Just like a cheap Hair Salon, some solar companies cut costs by hiring inexperienced workers on low wages. The result is often a bodged rooftop. In fact, a recent audit of over 24,000 installations found that nearly 25% were sub-standard or unsafe, despite being installed by CEC Accredited Installers.
CEC Accreditation also does not provide customers with any guarantees that the solar company is reputable, or the system will be installed neatly or safely.
CEC APPROVED SOLAR RETAILER
CEC Approved Solar Retailers have agreed to adhere to a strict CEC Code of Conduct and undergo annual audits to prove the company is conducting their business in a professional and ethical manner.
While there are thousands of solar companies in Australia, only a few dozen or so in each state are CEC Approved Solar Retailers.
Customers can expect that a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer will:
- Ensure that sales representatives act ethically at all times.
- Not engage in any dishonest or misleading advertising or sales tactics
- Educate consumers about their purchase by supplying essential information about the system in writing before entering into a contract. This includes site-specific full system design and an average daily performance estimate for each month of solar generation.
- Uphold consumers’ legal rights relating to cooling-off periods and refunds. They will give customers the chance to cancel a contract and obtain a full refund if any changes are made that are not approved in writing (including variations to system design)
- Provide a minimum five-year warranty covering the operation and performance of the entire solar system.
- Fully inform customers about the processes involved between system installation and network connection, or facilitate this process on their behalf.
General business practices
- Provide consumers will all required documentation after the system is installed.
- Adhere to all existing legislation and regulations.
- Be fully accountable for the actions of any subcontracted parties, including Clean Energy Council-accredited installers/designers.
- Have a fair and transparent complaints process, and respond to customers within 21 days of them making a complaint.
The CEC Code of Conduct is a much-needed step in the right direction for the solar industry, despite it not being mandatory for every solar company to abide by it. At Positive Energy, we’re proud to have made the commitment to follow industry-best practices to ensure our customers have a Positive experience.
So, if you’re interested in getting a quote from a solar company you can trust, think Positive and contact us today.