CEC Approved Retailer is a big thing in the Australian Solar Industry. Space Solar is officially an approved CEC solar retailer. CEC Approved Retailers are companies that commit to the Solar Industry’s best practice code of conduct. Unlike the CEC Approved Member, CEC approved retailer is not certified to many companies. Approved companies need to show tangible evidence of compliance, adhere to the industry code authorized by the ACCC, meet warranty, accountability standards, and maintain an exemplary record.
In Victoria, if residential properties’ owners do not purchase solar from a CEC Retailer, they will not be able to claim the Victorian State government $2225 solar rebate even they qualify for it.
Larger solar companies (Top 150) must be retailers for customers to claim the rebates from 1st of July 2019. Smaller solar companies have until Nov 2019 to be a retailer for customers to claim rebates.
It is estimated that over the next 15 years a further 50% of all homes will have solar power installed.
5 of the largest 10 solar companies in Victoria are currently not approved, solar retailers. On average, 40% of companies are knocked back from the scheme when applying and must wait 3-12 months before re-applying.
This high rate of knockback is because there is government money in solar. Hundreds of companies have come and gone in the last few years. The typical story is of companies that offer questionable components and service, have customer service and warranty issues pile up, and then close shop or rebirth as a company with a different name.
The CEC is rejecting many applications based on companies’ dealings with the ACCC, fair trade, complaint volume, shareholder credit history and companies who close and change the name. This helps customers identify good companies. They are rewarding companies who offer better quality, service and support. They are enforcing stricter regulations that protect the customer.
The program is not purely beneficial, however. Many Solar installers will struggle to get this licence, reducing competition. The cost of membership is passed on to consumers and having one severe mistake, even paperwork related, can cost companies their CEC Retailer status decreasing industry stability.
Nevertheless, Space Solar is proud to be a signatory to the CEC Solar Retailer Code of Conduct. We value a program which helps bring peace of mind to people who are making the decision to invest in a solar system, and we look forward to continuing to help raise the bar in the Australian solar industry
-Frank Gao (Staff writer at Space Solar)