Australia commits $19.2m to improve integrity of small-scale solar sector

It follows a review after reports of defective installations, misuse of installer accreditation details and safety and quality concerns

Big Zero Report 2022

The Australian Government has committed AUD$19.2 million (£10.2m) to implement reforms to the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) to better protect consumers and improve the integrity of the rooftop solar sector.

It follows a review by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) into the sector after reports of defective installations, misuse of installer accreditation details and safety and quality concerns.

The government said it supports the recommendations made, including authorising the CER to set eligibility requirements for and oversee the operation of installer accreditation schemes and the listing of approved solar components and implementing streamlined reporting requirements for installers, retailers and manufacturers.

The funding will also support online resources to help consumers make informed purchase decisions about solar power.

The reforms are designed to reduce the number of low quality installations and unscrupulous operators.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said: “Australians are world leaders in the uptake of rooftop solar PV and growth in the sector remains strong. Protecting the integrity of a system that has such a wide-ranging impact on Australian households and businesses is a top priority for the government.

“The solar PV industry delivers consumer and economic benefits and most participants are following the rules. These reforms will ensure that those solar retailers, installers and manufacturers who are found to be doing the wrong thing are held to account.

“We will also empower consumers by providing them with the information they need to make informed choices about rooftop solar PV. Improving the regulatory framework will help put an end to the safety and quality risks plaguing the sector and help ensure the safe and successful rollout of solar PV in Australian homes and businesses into the future.”

The government will consult on regulatory changes to the SRES framework later this year.

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