CEC to no longer oversee solar accreditation, product listing contract up for grabs


The process is part of a significant round of changes for Australia’s solar industry, which involves shifting who manages solar designer and installer accreditations and who takes care of approved product lists – both of which have formerly been the remit of the Clean Energy Council (CEC).

The CEC has indicated it will put in an application to continue as product lister, but will not seek to hold its position operating Australia’s solar installer accreditation scheme. 

Until recently, the Regulator seemed hesitant about whether it would even seek to take the product listing role away from the CEC, but results from its consultation process last year garnered overwhelming support for change. 

On its website, the Regulator published results from its industry survey on the question, illustrating 86% of respondents supported the move, while just 14% implicitly said the responsibility should stay with the Clean Energy Council.

What is changing and why

The CEC has published and maintained lists of Australian Standards-compliant approved modulesinverters (and more recently, batteries) for more than a decade.

But as a consequence of recommendations from the Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector, the Clean Energy Regulator has been reconfiguring how Australia’s solar industry and its rebate program, the small-scale renewable energy scheme (SRES), is governed. 

The application round for bodies interested in the product listing contract will last three months and is expected to officially open in May or June this year, the Regulator said.

It remains unclear exactly how expansive the listing role will be following the changes, with speakers from the Regulator at an information webinar last June hesitant to confirm whether the role would would involve actually choosing which equipment gained approval and running tests, or whether it would simply involve publishing and keeping these product lists up to date.

Until the Regulator makes its decision, the CEC will continue in its role.

Installer accreditation changes

The more consequential change looming for the solar industry concerns which body will oversee solar installer and designer accreditations.

Applications to take over that contract closed on the 15th of this month, with the Regulator expecting to notify applicants of the outcomes in May 2023 and publicly announce them in June 2023.

Again, the CEC has held this position for over a decade in Australia, but recently said it will not reapply for the contract.

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