Solar photovoltaic (PV) retailers are just as involved in the sale and installation of solar PV systems as designers and installers. Consumers need to be confident that their retailer is complying with all relevant regulations and operating in a professional and ethical manner.
What is the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct?
The Clean Energy Council Solar Retailer Code of Conduct is a way for solar businesses to show their commitment to responsible sales and marketing activities and solar industry best practice.
It is a voluntary scheme for retail businesses selling solar PV systems to households and businesses. Authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the code 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.
When authorising the code in 2013, ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said:
"The Code will allow for the regulation of retailers of solar PV systems to ensure that retailers maintain a standard that will benefit consumers and the industry.
"The retail purchase of PV solar systems is generally a one-off, relatively complicated purchase for consumers and may involve dealing with several parties.
"The Code will promote confidence in the PV sector by giving information to consumers to assist in purchasing decisions. The Code will also promote compliance by PV retailers through sanctions and public reporting mechanisms."
The Clean Energy Council manages the code of conduct and ensures that signatories comply with its strict requirements all times.
Find a Clean Energy Council approved retailer
A Clean Energy Council approved retailer is a company that has signed on to the code of conduct and agreed to follow its requirements at all times.
Retailers that have signed the code of conduct can also be identified by the approved retailer logo.
When you buy solar from a Clean Energy Council approved retailer, you can be assured that you are buying a quality product from a company that follows all relevant consumer protection laws and is prepared to back the operation of your solar PV system for at least five years.
The code also has strict requirements that companies must following in pre- and post-sale activities, documentation and general business practices.
Why the code?
The Clean Energy Council established the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct in 2013 on behalf of the solar industry to improve customer service and industry standards.
The Clean Energy Council already upholds industry standards for solar installations through its installer accreditation program.
The establishment of the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct means that the solar retail sector will also be monitored, and in particular companies that engage in misleading or poor sales and marketing practices.
Dealing with complaints
Should you need to make a complaint against a company identifying itself as a Clean Energy Council approved retailer, you should first contact the company directly.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the approved retailer, you can also contact your relevant consumer protection organisation. The Clean Energy Council can also investigate breaches of the code of conduct, but will not resolve customer disputes.