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What you need to know if you are installing solar panels

22 February 2023
RET ​​​

One in 3 suitable homes now having rooftop solar panels, making Australia the country with the highest uptake of household solar in the world.

There are incentives and rebates available to assist with some of the costs associated with the install.

Before installing solar panels

  • Read our information on Buying solar panels? Information for consumers.
  • Consider your current electricity needs. To check your energy usage, refer to a recent energy bill. If you don't have a bill available, you can estimate your electricity usage based on your postcode and household size from the Australian Government's Energy Made Easy website.
  • Choose a system size that is fit for your needs, and consider any future needs (such as changing heating or hot water to electric). Your energy retailer can help you with this.
  • Understand the financials. Determine any incentives or rebates you may be eligible for, calculate the payback period, talk to your retailer about who will own any feed-in-tariffs or small-scale technology certificates (STCs), if they apply. Consider whether using solar will affect your current electricity rate.
  • Check if your solar provider is an Approved Solar Retailer. Approved Solar Retailers are signatories to the Clean Energy Council's Solar Retailer Code of Conduct. This code requires providers to disclose clear and accurate information.
  • Check that your solar retailer can provide you with evidence that your new solar panels have been validated as genuine, meet Australian Standards and have a warranty you can trust.

The Clean Energy Council's Buying Solar guide exp​lains technical information that will help you decide on the solar system that is best for you.

On the day of installation

On the day of installation, you should check that your installer is the person you were told they would be and ask to see their accreditation and licence details. If your installer is not on site for the whole installation (that is, they are overseeing the installation), then your installer should be on-site for at least the job setup, mid-install and commissioning.

After the installation is complete, you should check that the installation is satisfactory and operational and be given instructions on how to operate the system. You may be asked to sign a paperwork. Please ensure you review any documentation and understand what you are signing.

You may also be invited to participate in the Clean Energy Regulator’s solar panel inspection program. This program offers a free inspection of your system using a qualified inspector. This may occur up to 12 months after the installation and is by invitation only.

Solar panel validation - a government and industry initiative

The Solar Panel Validation Initiative is a partnership between the Australian Government and the Australian solar industry. The initiative aims to protect consumers from non-genuine solar panels.

Solar panel validation has been available from July 2018. There are a number of solar businesses participating in the Solar Panel Validation Initiative with more signing up every month.

Find a list of participating solar panel brands.

Why do I need my solar panels validated?

Unfortunately, a small number of businesses have been importing and installing substandard solar panels.

To be confident that your new solar panels meet Australian standards and have a warranty you can trust, ask your retailer to provide you with evidence that your solar panels have been validated as genuine.

The evidence should provide confirmation that your installed solar panels have been verified as genuine. The record should also include information such as the make and model of your solar panels, their serial numbers, the time and date of validation and a reference number for your record.

How do I find more information about consumer protections?

For information about consumer protection and solar panel purchase agreements, see Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) purchasing a solar system​.

For more information visit

  • The Australian Government Your Energy Savings
    Provides a search function to find the incenti​ves or rebates which may be available to you, and information about the types of systems you can install.
  • Choice
    Provides a solar panel buying guide and has tested solar panel performance for major brands.
    The CSIRO has a Home Energy Saving Handbook that can show you what you can do to cut energy use. This is a paid product.
  • The Clean Energy Council
    Provides a guide to installing solar PV on households and businesses.
  • Smart Energy​ Council
    Provides information to consumers about installing solar panels.

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