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Solar Retailers

07 November 2022

RET​ ​

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) product listing consultation

Learn how you can have your say on our solar product listing consultation. Consultation is open from 7 November to 6 December 2022.

Contents

What is a solar retailer?

A solar retailer is responsible for the procurement, sale and arrangement of the installation (including grid connection, where applicable) of a solar PV system for a consumer either by contracting a party to do so or using its own employees.

Requirements for solar retailers

From 1 April 2022, solar retailers will need to provide a written statement to their registered agent for the systems they retail to be eligible for small-scale technology certificates. The written statement will need to include:

  • the name of the accredited installer of the unit and whether the installer is an employee or subcontractor of the solar retailer
  • that the unit will perform in accordance with the contract (or the quote accepted) for the sale of the unit to the owner of the unit (except to the extent where that performance is prevented by circumstances outside the solar retailer’s control)
  • that the unit is complete and generating electricity, or is capable of generating electricity
  • that the solar retailer has, for grid-connected systems, completed its obligations under the contract for the grid connection of the system
  • that the solar retailer has provided information in writing to the system owner about feed-in tariffs and export limits relevant for the system
  • that the solar retailer has provided information in writing to the system owner about one or more of the following:
    • the expected payback period
    • the expected energy savings, or
    • the expected cost savings.
  • that any actual or potential conflicts of interest of the solar retailer relating to the sale or installation of the unit, or the creation of certificates for the unit, including any conflicts of interest in relation to persons or entities related to the solar retailer, have been disclosed to the owner of the unit and managed appropriately
  • that a declaration under Regulation 20AH of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations – Regulator can declare solar retailers ineligible to make statement – is not in effect on the day the statement is given, and
  • that statements are true and correct.

To assist retailers in creating a written statement we have developed a sample form that can be used as a guide.

The inclusion of solar retailers into the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme regulatory framework and the provision of a written statement does not replace any obligations under Commonwealth, State or Territory laws particularly in relation to Australian Consumer Law.

Who can sign the solar retailer written statement?

The solar retailer written statement should be signed by a representative of the solar retailer who has the authority to make statements on behalf of the company. The representative will need to understand and make the undertakings in the statement as it relates to the specific installation.

The solar retailer representatives’ details (name and position) will need to be provided to the registered agent that will create the small-scale technology certificates.

Expected capabilities and standards of practice for solar retailers

Documented procedures and records

Solar retailers must have documented written evidence of:

  • the contract (or quote accepted) for the sale and installation of the solar PV system, including the solar retailer’s obligations relating to the grid connection of the unit
  • the circumstances outside the solar retailer’s control where the unit may not perform in accordance with contract (or quote accepted)
  • the name and details of the accredited designer and installer of the unit and whether they are employed by the solar retailer or a sub-contractor
  • information provided to the solar PV system owner about any feed-in tariffs and export limits relevant to the system
  • information provided to the solar PV system owner about one or more of the following for the unit:
    • the expected payback period
    • the expected energy savings, or
    • the expected cost savings
  • any potential conflicts of interest relating to the sale or installation of the unit, or the creation of certificates for the unit, including any conflicts of interest in relation to persons or entities related to the solar retailer, have been disclosed to the owner of the unit, and managed appropriately.

Solar retailer must have a record keeping system to collect, secure and store (for at least five years) documents that assure the credibility of, and support their written statements used in the creation of small-scale technology certificates.

Best practice standards

Solar retailers are expected to apply best practice standards to protect themselves and their customers by:

  1. Maintaining up-to-date knowledge and ensuring business practices meet their responsibilities under relevant legislation, including (but not limited to) the:
    • Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, and associated regulations
    • guidance and policies of the Clean Energy Regulator, including email alerts and updates
    • taxation law and GST treatment of STCs
    • Australian Securities & Investments Commission requirements around Australian Financial Services licenses and business practices, and
    • Australian and state and territory consumer laws relevant to your business.
  2. Providing customers with clear information about:
    • how the solar PV system works and its expected performance, and
    • system warranties and maintenance
    • the scheme, particularly the eligibility requirements for the creation of certificates, and guiding them through the process of assigning the right to create certificates.
  3. Using accredited designers and installers.
  4. Identifying their business risk and exposure to third party fraud and applying due diligence in checking the background and capabilities of business partners, contractors and clients.
  5. Maintaining a training and monitoring system that ensures all staff follow procedures to ensure all information is true, correct and complete.

Ineligible solar retailers

From 1 April 2022, the Clean Energy Regulator may declare solar retailers (and associated key management personnel, such as the authorised representative making the statement) ineligible to make written statements for STC eligibility if satisfied that the solar retailer has made 3 or more false or misleading statements in relation to solar PV systems for a period of up to 3 years.

A declaration of ineligibility by the Clean Energy Regulator in effect means that the solar retailer is not able to sell solar PV systems eligible for small-scale technology certificates. Ineligible solar retailers will be published on the Clean Energy Regulator’s website.

More information

We have developed a number of example forms and resources relating to solar retailers’ written statements. You can also contact us on 1300 553 542, or email enquiries@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au.


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