Solar Victoria’s Audit Program For Systems & Installations

solarhouse

Solar Victoria intends to raise the bar for safety and quality with a new Audit Program which will coincide with Solar Victoria’s, Solar Homes Program. The Auditing Program aims to ensure solar retailers and installers are meeting CEC standards and hold those accountable that are not.

Retailers and installers found doing wrong by the consumer or not meeting CEC standards may be excluded from the Solar Homes program entirely.

The Audit Program

Solar Victoria will have independent auditors conducting safety and quality inspections for systems installed under the Solar Homes Program. While the number of  installations to be inspected and how frequent inspections will be hasn’t been stated, Solar Victoria has said that they will focus on areas where they believe there has been a rising number of complaints as well as signs indicating risk including;

  • Higher than average number of installations over a given time
  • Length of accreditation or licensing
  • High number of negative public or consumer complaints
  • Compliance history
  • Company age (length of time operating in the industry)
  • Lower than average pricing
  • Misleading advertising
  • Locations with high installation density

See full list of risk factors here

Approximately 70% of the audits will be in Melbourne and the other 30% in regional areas.

Prior to an auditor conducting an inspection the home occupant will be contacted to arrange a suitable day and time to be able to provide access to the household’s roof.

Audit Outcome

Once the system and installation have been assessed the auditor will share their findings with the homeowner. If safety and quality requirements have been met no further actions will be required.

In the instance where a system or installation have not met standards, the solar retailer and installer will be contacted and given instructions as to what will be required from them to the resolve the issues. The installation will continue to be monitored until meeting standards.

All systems and installations that do not meet standards on the first initial inspection will be reported to the CEC and Energy Safe Victoria. This record of non-compliant systems and installations will assist Solar Victoria and the CEC in recognising any consistent trends amongst “dodgy” installers and retailers.

solarhouse

solarhouse

As an extra precaution Solar Victoria is working with WorkSafe and Energy Safe Victoria asking customers to alert them when their installations are going to be carried out, so they can send someone from WorkSafe or Energy Safe Victoria to attend as a work-site visit during the installation.

The Audit Program information was just recently released when Solar Victoria provided updated information on their Solar Homes Program, which will support the installation of more than 650,000 solar PV systems for owner occupiers, 50,000 solar PV systems for landlords and tenants, 10,000 battery storage systems, and 60,000 solar hot water systems over 10 years starting from July 1st.

 

Read About The Solar Victoria’s Home Program Here!

Solar Victoria Homes Program

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

If you’re considering solar for your property or just looking to maximise the savings for your solar system, download a FREE copy of our "Beginner’s Guide To Solar Power".

Become an expert and better understand the ins and outs of solar power and solar PV systems for your property.

Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy saving tips and more!

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.