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New initiative to ensure the installation of genuine solar panels

02 October 2018

The Clean Energy Regulator and the solar industry have partnered to roll out a co-designed Solar Panel Validation Initiative to ensure genuine solar panels are installed in Australia.

The validation of solar panels is done through smart phone apps, which scan serial numbers to instantaneously confirm the panels are genuine. This provides consumers with evidence they are getting a genuine brand that meets Australian standards and comes with the stated warranty.

Executive General Manager for the Clean Energy Regulator Mark Williamson said solar panel validation is a great example of government and industry partnering to solve a shared problem.

"We found some solar panels were not meeting the requirements for Commonwealth incentives under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. We found an innovative solution that aligned with consumer, industry and government interests," Mr Williamson said.

"The benefit of this approach is the industry can self-regulate and it's in their best interest to do so to protect themselves from those seeking to undermine industry integrity."

The Initiative has the support of industry and consumer bodies including the Clean Energy Council, Smart Energy Council and Choice.

"This is a fantastic example of a partnership between the industry and government to make sure that consumers are protected. It is also about protecting the majority of legitimate businesses from those who are trying to undermine the quality of the system for their own gain," said Kane Thornton, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council. 

"This Solar Panel Validation Initiative is where we can lift the bar and improve the integrity of the solar industry, ultimately delivering better outcomes for consumers," said John Grimes, Chief Executive Officer of the Smart Energy Council.

With a successful pilot run over the past year, the wider Australian solar industry can now start using solar panel validation for the following manufacturers:

  • Canadian Solar
  • Hanwha Q Cells
  • Jinko Solar
  • LG Electronics
  • Opal Solar
  • ReneSola
  • Risen Energy
  • Trina Solar
  • Winaico, and
  • Yingli Solar.

These manufacturers cover more than half the 6 million solar panels expected to be installed on Australian rooftops this year.

"Manufacturers participating in solar panel validation have stepped up as leaders to protect their industry, brand and reputation," Mr Williamson said.

"The Clean Energy Regulator and peak industry bodies are expecting a big uptake across all parts of the supply chain in the solar industry. Those who participate can expect to receive Commonwealth entitlements much faster than those not involved in the initiative."

The Clean Energy Regulator would like to acknowledge the important involvement of all app developers and working group members in the journey and the transition of solar panel validation from pilot to full-scale roll out across the wider solar industry.

More information

To find out more, including how to participate, see Solar Panel Validation Initiative.

About the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme creates a financial incentive for individuals and small businesses to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems such as solar panel systems, small-scale wind systems, small-scale hydro systems, solar water heaters and air source heat pumps.

Learn more about the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

Media contact

Clean Energy Regulator
Ph: 02 6159 3448
media@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au

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