Understanding CEC Accreditations
Understanding CEC Accreditations
The Clean Energy Council, otherwise known as the CEC, is the peak regulatory body for the clean energy industry in Australia. They are a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation who represent and work with Australian renewable energy and energy storage businesses, as well as rooftop solar installers, to further the development of clean energy in Australia.
As part of their efforts to increase the uptake of renewable energy in Australia, the CEC runs a membership program, an Approved Solar Retailer program, provides accreditation of solar installers across Australia, and develops guidelines and contributes to the development of Australian Standards, amongst other activities.
CEC membership, Accredited Installer and Approved Retailer titles are often spruiked by solar retailers and installers as proof of legitimacy, but they are not equal, and many people do not understand what the difference is between them.
If you are thinking of purchasing solar for your home or for your business, it is important that you understand what each title means, so you can make an informed decision about the company you choose to buy from.
Clean Energy Council membership is open to any organisation and there are varying levels of membership each with an associated annual fee. Membership levels include:
- Emerging Tech
Infinite Energy chooses to support the work of the Clean Energy Council by being a Corporate Member, which allows us to be part of the conversations that will drive Australia’s renewable energy future and gives us access to various working groups and industry briefings.
It is important to note that buying from a company that is a Clean Energy Council Member doesn’t provide you as a customer with any benefits or assurances of quality and after sales processes.
You can read more about CEC Membership here.
CEC Accredited Installer
CEC accreditation for designers and installers is a qualification that demonstrates competence in design and/or installation of solar PV systems and is only available to individual solar PV system designers and installers, not organisations.
To gain this accreditation, individuals must go through an accreditation process with the CEC which includes specific training units.
To claim STCs on a solar installation, it must have been designed and installed by a CEC accredited installer. Given that every customer who purchases a solar PV system would want to take advantage of the government incentives available, you are highly unlikely to find an installer that is not CEC Accredited.
All Infinite Energy systems are designed and installed by CEC Accredited Installers.
Because CEC accreditation is expected of all installers, it is not necessarily something a solar provider should be proclaiming to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Always make sure to check that the installers on the day of install are actually CEC Accredited Installers, as a way that some solar installers operate to reduce install costs is to get labourers or roofers to complete the majority of an install.
It is also important to note that there Is no such thing as a CEC Accredited Business.
As we have mentioned, the CEC only accredits individual people as installers and designers, so if a solar business that claims to be A CEC Accredited Business, be very wary. At best they are confused, but at worst they are trying to deceive their customers.
You can read more about CEC Accreditation here.
CEC Approved Retailer
The Clean Energy Council Solar Retailer Code of Conduct is a voluntary scheme for solar retailers, enabling them to show their commitment to responsible sales and marketing activities and solar industry best practice.
Authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the code of conduct aims to lift the bar higher than the minimum requirements set by government and regulations and bring about a better standard of service within the solar industry.
Being an Approved Solar Retailer is very different from an Accredited Installer; while there are over 8,000 accredited installers throughout Australia, there are currently only 241 CEC approved retailers.
Customers who purchase from a CEC Approved Retailer gain peace of mind knowing that the company will adhere to the following practices:
- ensure that sales representatives act ethically at all times
- not engage in any dishonest or misleading advertising and sales tactics
- provide you with the necessary information in writing to enable full education about your purchase prior to entering into any contract
- respect your legal rights in relation to cooling-off periods and refunds and give you the opportunity to cancel a contract and obtain a full refund where changes are made after contract that are not approved in writing
- provide a standard minimum warranty period of five years on the operation and performance of the whole solar PV system including workmanship and products, and address any problems arising during this period
- fully inform you of the process between system installation and network connection or will facilitate this process on your behalf
Documentation and general business
- ensure that you are provided with the required documentation before and after the solar PV system is commissioned
- adhere to all existing legislation and regulations, and maintain effective internal cancellation procedures
- be fully accountable for the actions of any subcontracted parties, including CEC-accredited installers/designers
- maintain a fair and transparent complaints process, and get back to you within 21 days of making a complaint
You can read more about the CEC Solar Retailer Code of Conduct here.
As well as holding CEC membership, Infinite Energy has been a proud signatory to the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) Solar PV Retailer Code of Conduct and holds Approved Retailer Status since February 2015. We believe this recognition sets us apart from many of our competitors and is one of the many reasons you should choose Infinite Energy as your preferred solar power provider.
If you would like to learn more about what our CEC accreditations mean or if you would like to learn more about how solar power can help to save you money while you reduce your carbon footprint, contact us today by requesting a call-back or calling us on 1300 074 669 to speak to one of our experienced energy consultants.