NSW Solar Inspections – Important Announcement
This important news was released today, interesting information for people to be aware of.
Dear solar companies and installers,
Today NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has held a press conference on the findings of recent solar system inspections in Western Sydney. As part of this process the NSW Government will encourage any concerned householders to contact the company from whom they purchased the system. The press conference will be followed up with media and a letter to every NSW solar household in the coming days. You should be prepared for an increase in call volume on this issue, from householders who want assurance from you that their system is safe. In some cases they may demand that you send someone onsite to inspect their system.
The NSW Office of Fair trading has been conducting further audits on PV systems installed in Western Sydney. The inspection report from these audits has been provided to the NSW Government.
The NSW Government will today publicly release this inspection report, which we expect will highlight unacceptable levels of system non-compliance. While the majority of these non-compliances are likely to relate to electrical licensing and building permits, there will also be an unacceptable level of non-compliance on PV installation issues – including DC circuit breakers that have been incorrectly wired.
The CEC has been working with the NSW Government to ensure the communication of this issue to NSW consumers is not seen as being alarmist and that a reasonable solution is offered to consumers. We continue to highlight to the NSW Government and all stakeholders that the most effective course of action on this issue is for consumers not to be unnecessarily frightened by the issue and for the solar industry to continue to resolve the issue, which is well underway.
Nevertheless, the NSW Government is committed to publicising this issue. The CEC has therefore published an information sheet for consumers to attempt to allay their concerns and ensure they do not aggravate the situation by manually attempting to shut down their system. We have also created a site atwww.solaraccreditation.com.au/inspection for those householders who want to find an accredited installer to come and check their systems – for a fee.
The NSW Government will be directing concerned households to contact their system supplier or pay for an inspection by an accredited installer. Some consumers will expect the company or someone else to inspect their system for free. While we expect and encourage all companies to provide this service to protect the future reputation of the industry, we expect this won’t always occur. The CEC is working with Government on how to deal with this relatively small number of cases, and who should coordinate and pay for these inspections. We welcome feedback from members on this approach.
The standard for the circuit breakers is being changed to mandate the use of an alternate device (a non-polarised DC isolator) that cannot be installed incorrectly. Training on the correct installation procedure has also been improved.
We can expect a significant amount of media as a consequence of this issue. We also expect an ongoing greater level of scrutiny of our industry.
Clean Energy Council