Explaining Accreditation – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Lets face it, we all know about someone who has been ripped off by dealing with an unscrupulous solar company.  The fact of the matter is that consumers are still falling into the trap of picking the ‘wrong solar company’. I for one can’t blame the consumer as I too have been caught out using a company for a service where I was led to believe they were an ethical and legitimate business operation.

The reason we get caught out is that we fall for snazzy marketing campaigns whether that be flyers in the post, adverts in the local newspaper, or web deals. Too often we look at good branding as belonging to a company that has good ethics. This is so far from the truth.

Consumers need to know how to research businesses better and it’s not that hard. Looking for a good accreditation is one of the first steps.

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is the governing body that oversees the solar industry in Australia. The CEC  launched an initiative in 2014 to better protect consumers from rogue solar traders. This initiative is called 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.

The Clean Energy Council manages the code of conduct and ensures that signatories comply with its strict requirements all times. 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. 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.

It’s important to note that being an approved solar retailer is completely different to being a Clean Energy Council Member. There are literally hundreds of solar companies who are members of the Clean Energy Council. Consumers must know that any solar company can sign up to being a ‘member’. There is no approval process necessary!

The CEC member logo is below. This does not mean the solar retailer is a CEC approved solar retailer.

Clean Energy Council Member

There are only 23 solar companies as of the 01/01/2016 who are endorsed by the Clean Energy Council to sell solar energy. Coffs Solar Energy is one such company.

For more information visit http://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/retailers/approved-solar-retailers.html

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