The New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC) was introduced last year to replace the previous Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Solar Retailer program, expanding the scope of consumer protections to include a wider range of new and emerging technologies. These technologies now covered by the NETCC include electric vehicle (EV) charging, home energy management systems, and community batteries.

Launch and Scope of NETCC 

Launched on February 1, 2023, the NETCC sets out minimum standards of practice and consumer protection across various aspects of customer interactions with participating retailers. The key areas addressed by these standards include marketing, finance and payments, installation, warranties, and complaints handling processes. By establishing these standards, the NETCC aims to provide a consistent and transparent framework for consumer protection in the evolving energy technology market.

Administration and Governance 

The CEC is responsible for administering the NETCC program. According to the CEC, Australia is recognized as a leader in small-scale renewable energy generation, with expectations for continued growth and diversification in the energy market. The introduction of technologies such as microgrids, virtual power plants (VPPs), community batteries, and home energy management systems is driving this expansion.

The NETCC program has been developed in collaboration with peak industry and consumer bodies to build upon the mandatory consumer protection regulations established by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The program is overseen by the NETCC Council, which includes representatives from the CEC, the Australian Energy Council, the Consumer Action Law Centre, Energy Consumers Australia, Energy Networks Australia, and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Renew.

Voluntary Participation and Transition 

Participation in the NETCC program is voluntary, with retailers able to apply to join. However, all previously approved solar retailers have automatically transitioned to become New Energy Tech Approved Sellers under the NETCC. These Approved Sellers had until August 1, 2023, to update their practices and ensure compliance with the NETCC requirements.

Supporting Consumers and Retailers

NETCC Council Chair Clare Petre has highlighted that the code aims to help providers achieve high standards of service and consumer protection. Additionally, it aims to assist consumers in navigating the growing range of new energy tech products and services. The code is seen as a key tool in supporting consumers as they adopt new energy technologies within the framework of a renewable energy future.

Choosing A Reliable Retailer

Choosing a solar retailer is just as important as choosing the system you want to install. Even with the high standards of the NETCC, it’s still important to do your background research on solar suppliers and installers. We recommend shopping around and looking online at reviews from previous customers as well as ensuring a retailer is a New Energy Tech Approved Seller.

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