This article shows the importance of state regulators and the need for inspections of electrical work.
It shows that solar and battery installations (at least) need to have 100% inspections. This has worked well in Tassie, has cleaned out the ‘3 x 5kW in a day roof monkeys’ and levelled the playing field so that reputable installers can charge a sustainable price for a proper job. Unfortunately the state regulators were under the impression that the CEC/CER regime had the solar industry sorted. They clearly haven’t.
Removal of STCs (or at least a move to metered STCs) will encourage proper design.
Mandatory inspections will ensure proper installation.
John Howard set up the Business Council for Sustainable Energy which morphed into the Clean Energy Council.
Voting rights are set up so that 20 corporate sponsors, including Adani and other foreign owned fossil fuel companies, can outvote all the other members.
5000 solar installers have no vote at all.
The CEC set themselves up as industry regulators, writing ‘installation guidelines’, accrediting installers and removing accreditation when guidelines are breached.
When they’re held to account for the plethora of cheap , broken landfill solar systems they claim they’re not regulators at all and it’s all someone else’s fault, namely the state inspection bodies.
The state inspection bodies were also victims of neoliberalism, for example Joh sacked all electrical inspectors in 1989. Other states followed.
State regulators thought the CEC were looking after solar standards, but in fact they were not – they just made noises as if they were.
Solar installers have been trying to get the CEC or state regulators to do something about poor quality, dangerous systems for years. State regulators refer us to the CEC and the CEC refuse to listen to our complaints because ‘they’re likely to be motivated by competitor rivalry’.
Left with nothing else solar installers started a FB page ‘Crap Solar,’ which has over 5000 members. A page called ‘CEC Installers working together’ was started so we could talk about our concerns. It was quickly changed to ‘Solarcutters working together’ because nobody wanted the CEC in the name. It has nearly 2000 members, which illustrates the contempt the CEC is held in.
The discovery by Angus Taylor this week that a large proportion of solar installations are dangerous came as no surprise to us in the industry. None of this would have happened if the state regulators were allowed to regulate and enforce the rules. Responsible industry members have been calling for 100% inspection of all solar and battery installations by state inspectors for some years now..
The CEC has gone into denial. The CEC response is to ramp up their ‘Approved Retailer Scheme’ which, apart from requiring an annual payment of up to $6000 pa to the CEC for a shiny badge does very little in terms of quality assurance.
The state of the industry makes you wonder whether the CEC are truly incompetent or whether they’re doing exactly what they’re paid to do by their fossil fuelled owners.
If you’re looking for a new, safe solar system contact Positronic Solar – we’ve been doing solar and batteries for 30 years.
If you have concerns about your existing system, contact us for an inspection and clean – it’s about $300 for a 5kW system, plus any repairs or replacements that are needed.
Most importantly, ensure that any installation or maintenance of your solar system is done by a reputable company using gear backed by solid manufacturers with real warranties.