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Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector

31 January 2024

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Contents


At the request of the then Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER​), with the support of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER)​ conducted a review into the rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) sector.

The review was called following unprecedented growth in the rooftop solar PV sector and a range of reports of consumer issues including defective installations, misuse of installer accreditation details, and safety and quality concerns.

The CER​ made 13 recommendations to the Australian Government (12 accepted, one noted) to improve the integrity of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) regulatory framework. The recommendations cover 3 broad themes:

  • tightening SRES eligibility requirements for installers
  • tightening SRES eligibility requirements for solar panels and inverters
  • promoting better consumer outcomes, including by placing new legal obligations on solar retailers under the SRES.

The government supports the review’s recommendations, including:

  • giving the CER responsibility for setting the rules and frameworks for an installer accreditation scheme and the listing of eligible solar components
  • implementing new and streamlined reporting requirements for installers, solar retailers and manufacturers
  • giving the CER more effective powers to monitor and enforce compliance, including the ability to suspend installers, disqualify retailers and de-list components
  • developing information and an online tool to help consumers ​make informed choices about rooftop solar.

For more details see:

Funding package

The Australian Government has committed $19.2 million to implement the recommendations in the Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector.

The funding will be used to support development of reforms to improve the integrity of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and better protect consumers.

Consultation on amendments to the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations

A public consultation on an exposure draft of proposed amendments to the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 (REE Regulations) was conducted by DISER with the support of the CER ​from 22 October to 12 November 2021.

Amendments to the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations pass into law

The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and Other Measures) Regulations 2021 became law on 17 December 2021.

The updated regulations can be accessed via the Federal Register of Legislation.

The new regulations commenced in various stages throughout 2022. The first phase commenced on 1 April 2022. This included:

  • updated designer and installer written statements
  • new requirements for retailer written statements
  • changes to the eligibility of components
  • ​provision for the CER to disqualify installers, retailers and components from participating in the SRES.

From 1 July 2022, the CER commenced​ the second phase of changes to the ​SRES.

During phase 2 changes, the CER:

  • ​opened an application round and will approve a designer and installer accreditation scheme(s)
  • opened an application round and will nominate a solar panel and inverter product listing body, following solar industry consultation in late 2022.​

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