Compliance is a critical part of Clean Energy Council accreditation and our Compliance Procedure ensures guidelines and other regulations are followed.

The procedure outlines what will happen when the Clean Energy Council has evidence that an accredited installer has not followed the relevant standards, accreditation guidelines and/or terms and conditions.

Demerit points

The Clean Energy Council allocates demerit points with the aim of addressing instances of continued non-compliant work.

A total of 20 demerit points can be accrued before accreditation is suspended.

Allocation of demerit points

The Clean Energy Council uses its own dispute and inspection data, the Clean Energy Regulator's inspection data and data from other information sources to allocate demerit points.

Allocation of 20 or more demerit points within a 24-month period will result in the suspension of an installer's accreditation.

Demerit points are allocated if there have been certain breaches of the relevant Clean Energy Council terms and conditions.

The number of demerit points allocated corresponds to the level of risk associated with each item/instance of non-compliance. Instances of non-compliance are categorised by the Clean Energy Council and a demerit point rating is given.

Demerit point categories

CEC category CER category Demerit points Description Examples
Serious non-compliance Unsafe 10 A possible safety hazard which poses an imminent risk of damage to property or persons. The system has had to be shut down.

DC isolator enclosure or cable junction boxes are not suitably installed to prevent water ingress

Insecure mounting structure

Major non-compliance Needs rectification 6 The system has failed to meet key clauses in the standards/guidelines, and though does not pose an imminent safety risk, may lead to premature equipment failure or other issues.

DC isolator is incorrectly rated and not within 20 per cent of actual required voltage rating

DC isolator is incorrectly wired

Mechanical damage to LV cables

Medium non-compliance Medium non-compliance 2 A system does not comply with standards and guidelines and poses a medium risk.

DC isolator is incorrectly rated but within 20 per cent of actual required voltage rating

Use of unapproved products

Important signage missing

Not all wiring installed according to AS 3000

Minor non-compliance Minor non-compliance 1 A system does not comply with standards and guidelines and poses a low risk.

Documentation

Minor wiring

Earthing

Interconnectors are not the same make and model

The ratings are based on:

  • the seriousness of the fault
  • the likely consequence of the fault
  • the likelihood of that consequence happening.

When the Clean Energy Council determines that demerit points need to be allocated to an installer, the following steps will be taken:

  1. The installer will be sent an email outlining the amount of demerit points allocated and the reason for allocation.
  2. Installers will be able to view their own tally of demerit points when logging into the installer-only area of the website. Once demerit points are allocated, they are valid and remain on file for 24 months.
  3. If the Clean Energy Council becomes aware of further non-compliance and determines that demerit points are to be allocated, then those further demerit points will be added to the existing points.
  4. Allocation of 20 or more demerit points within a 24-month period results in the suspension of accreditation. 

Suspensions

An installer's accreditation will be suspended if they have:

If the suspension is for technical issues:

  • a review process will be undertaken by the Clean Energy Council Technical Team to ensure demerit points allocated are fair and to determine the level of suspension. Depending on the outcome of that review, installer may be issued with either:
    • a temporary suspension that allows the installer's accreditation to be reinstated on a probationary basis when the installer contacts the Clean Energy Council to arrange proof of competency. The reinstatement is subject to the installer obtaining the proof of competency, and the initial contact with the Clean Energy Council must be made within seven days or accreditation will be suspended
    • an immediate ongoing suspension until proof of competency is obtained. Accreditation is suspended seven days after letter is issued
  • the installer receives a suspension letter by both email and registered post with seven days' notice
  • installer has six months to contact the Clean Energy Council or accreditation will be cancelled
  • once an installer has obtained proof of competency, accreditation is taken off probation/reinstated and demerit points are reset back to zero

If the suspension is not technical:

  • the installer is suspended until they are able to meet the conditions of reinstatement (e.g. provide necessary information)
  • the installer is sent notification by email and registered post detailing reasons for suspension and the requirements for reinstatement.

Cancellations

In some circumstances an installer's accreditation may be cancelled for serious breaches.

An installer's accreditation may be cancelled if:

  • an installer breaches any of the relevant CEC Terms and Conditions that lead to cancellation
  • an installer receives three suspensions within a three-year period
  • an installer has been suspended and is unable to fulfil the requirements for reinstatement within a 12-month period
  • an installer has been suspended and then had their licence reinstated after agreeing to take certain actions to prove competency, but has failed to fulfil those agreed actions (e.g. not completing a training course in time or not submitting a case study on time).

All accreditation cancellations must be approved by the Clean Energy Council Accreditation Manager, and a letter containing the reasons for cancellation will be sent to the installer via email and registered post.

The installer will be able to reapply for their accreditation after 12 months from the cancellation date. Demerit points are not carried over onto new applications.

Proof of competency

Obtaining proof of competency is a key component that underpins the demerit point procedure. It aims to address instances of non-compliance by recommending appropriate training and giving installers the opportunity to improve upon their skills and, in doing so, help lift the standards of the solar PV industry.

An installer will need to obtain proof of competency if they have been suspended and wish to reinstate their accreditation.

Reinstating accreditation after being suspended

All installers who have had their accreditation suspended are required to contact the Clean Energy Council to undertake a verbal assessment with technical staff.

Based on the outcomes of this verbal assessment, the installer will then be required to fulfil actions to obtain proof of competency as determined by the technical staff.

Actions could include the following:

  • completion of a Clean Energy Council online assessment
  • completion of an allocated training course (or equivalent on approval)
  • submission of a case study.

All installers are required to provide details of their next three installations for possible inspection.

The Clean Energy Council will reinstate the installer's accreditation on a probationary basis subject to completion of the course, assessment or case study by a determined date. Once the installer has fulfilled all requirements, they are taken off probation and demerit points are reset back to zero.

Note: training courses that are undertaken to reinstate accreditation or reduce demerit points do not contribute to CPD points.