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Replacement of non-genuine solar panels

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30 November 2016

As a result of an ongoing investigation into the activities of a former solar retailer, the Clean Energy Regulator has identified that a small number of non-genuine Canadian Solar branded small-scale solar panels have been installed in New South Wales and Queensland.

Information on this page is for system owners affected by the installation of non-genuine Canadian Solar branded solar panels.

The Clean Energy Regulator has notified all system owners who are affected by this issue.

Replacement of your solar panels

Greenbank Environmental Pty Ltd has offered to replace your existing panels with genuine Canadian Solar panels, at no cost to you.

To take up this offer, visit the Greenbank Environmental website or call their hotline during business hours on (03) 9845 3030 or after hours on 0497 573 08 or 0484 601 968. You must respond to Greenbank Environmental by 15 December 2015.

The work to replace your panels will be arranged by Canadian Solar on behalf of Greenbank Environmental, and the panels will come with the manufacturer’s full 25 year warranty.  The warranty will start from the date of the new installation. Further information is available on the Greenbank Environmental website.

If you agree to take up the offer to remove your existing panels and replace them with genuine Canadian Solar panels, a licenced electrician accredited by the Clean Energy Council will carry out the work. The Clean Energy Council is the accreditation body for installers under the Renewable Energy Target. They also approve which solar panels and system components are eligible under the Renewable Energy Target.

Replacing your existing non-genuine panels will ensure that you receive the panels you expected, which are recognised by the Clean Energy Council and have met the appropriate Australian standards for quality.

Frequently asked questions

How do I organise to get my panels replaced?

To take up this offer, visit the Greenbank Environmental website or call their hotline during business hours on (03) 9845 3030 or after hours on 0497 573 708 or 0484 601 968. You must respond to Greenbank Environmental by 15 December 2015.

The work will be conducted by Canadian Solar on behalf of Greenbank Environmental and the panels will come with the manufacturer’s full standard 25 year warranty.

How long do I have to accept or reject Greenbank Environmental’s offer to replace my panels?

You must respond to Greenbank Environmental by 15 December 2015 and either accept or reject their offer to replace your panels.

What does non-genuine mean?

Your panels are described as non-genuine because they have been falsely branded as Canadian Solar.

They have been created to appear like genuine Canadian Solar panels, including the use of the Canadian Solar logo, but they have not been manufactured, sold or installed by Canadian Solar Pty Ltd.

How long will it take for my solar panels to be replaced?

Greenbank Environmental is responsible for managing the replacement of impacted solar panels, and expect this process to occur within six months.

If you agree for Greenbank Environmental to replace your panels, they will be in contact with further information regarding the process and timing to carry out the work.

Greenbank Environmental will organise for a Clean Energy Council accredited installer to come to your home and replace your current solar panels with new genuine Canadian Solar branded solar panels.

Who is Greenbank Environmental?

Greenbank Environmental is the company that submitted the paperwork to receive the government incentive for your system.

Greenbank Environmental, was not responsible for your system being installed with non-genuine panels.

Greenbank Environmental has voluntarily agreed to take on the role of replacing your panels and have entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Clean Energy Regulator to do so

For further information, please visit the Greenbank Environmental dedicated website or call their hotline during business hours on (03) 9845 3030 or after hours on 0497 573 708 or 0484 601 968.

How do I know if my system has been generating expected electricity?

The Clean Energy Regulator does not have any information regarding whether or not your current solar panels are generating the expected amount of electricity, or whether they will last as long as genuine Canadian Solar panels. 

Are my current panels safe?

As part of its investigation to establish the authenticity of the panels installed, the Clean Energy Regulator arranged for 20 systems to be inspected by an accredited electrician. As part of that process, we did not identify safety concerns with those non-genuine panels.

As solar panels are an electrical product, it is important that you do not inspect your own system. Any inspection of your solar panel system should be undertaken by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer. You can search for an accredited installer on the Clean Energy Council website.

We recommend you advise any person you ask to inspect your solar panel systems that the panels are not genuine and that they may not comply with Australian Standards.

What if I don’t want my panels replaced?

The offer to replace your panels is optional.

If you choose to not take up this offer from Greenbank Environmental , please notify them so they can surrender number of renewable energy certificates to the Clean Energy Regulator.

It is important to note that if you choose not to have you panels replaced you may not have a valid warranty for your system.

Will the replacement panels come with a new warranty?

Yes. Your replacement Canadian Solar panels will come with a manufacturers full 25 year warranty. Information regarding the warranty is available on the Greenbank Environmental website.

The Clean Energy Regulator does have no information or involvement in, any warranty you may or may not have received for the non-genuine panels installed on your rooftop.

For further information about the warranty for your non-genuine panels you may wish to contact your state fair trading office:

NSW Fair Trading

Phone: 13 32 20 (8.30 am to 5 pm, Mon - Fri)

Website: NSW Fair Trading website

Queensland Fair Trading

Phone: 13 74 68

Website:Queensland Fair Trading website

How will I know if my replacement panels are actually the genuine Canadian Solar model?

Your panels will be installed by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer who will clearly identify themselves and the reason they are replacing your panels.

Following installation, you will be given information that confirms the authenticity of the panels installed.

I haven’t received a letter from the Clean Energy Regulator but I’m worried my Canadian Solar panels aren’t genuine. What should I do?

The Clean Energy Regulator has notified all householders who are affected by this issue.

System owners who have Canadian Solar PV systems installed on their rooftops but have not received correspondence from the Clean Energy Regulator about this issue are not impacted by this investigation.

What are small-scale technology certificates?

Individuals and small businesses that invest in or generate electricity from a small-scale renewable energy system may be eligible for a financial incentive under the scheme. This financial incentive is offered in the form of tradable certificates—called small-scale technology certificates.

The number of small-scale technology certificates that can be created per system is based on geographical location, installation date, and the amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh) the system generates or displaces over the course of its lifetime.

Owners of eligible systems may be eligible to receive either an upfront discount off the total cost of their system, or a quantity of small-scale technology certificates which can be created and sold following installation to recoup some of the cost.

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