Victoria mandates new standards for solar and battery retailers

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State government agency Solar Victoria has confirmed that it will replace its existing mandatory requirement for solar and battery retailers in the state to be signatories to the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, requiring instead that they commit to the recently launched New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC).

Solar Victoria said to remain an authorised solar retailer under the Solar Homes and Solar for Business programs, solar and battery retailers in the state are now required to maintain the status of New Energy Tech (NET) Approved Seller.

Existing Approved Solar Retailers (ASR) will automatically transfer to the new code and more than 1,000 Victorian retailers are now approved and will be able to continue to participate in the Solar Homes program. New businesses interested in participating have been advised to now apply directly to the CEC which will administer the NETCC.

Having been authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the NETCC replaced the ASR program earlier this year. The new code extends the consumer protection standards of the ASR program beyond solar and storage to also cover other new and emerging energy technologies including electric vehicle (EV) charging and home energy management systems.

The NETCC sets minimum standards of practice and consumer protection in relation to all aspects of customers’ interactions with participating retailers. This includes marketing, finance and payments, installation, warranties and complaints handling processes.

Solar Victoria Chief Executive Officer Stan Krpan said the shift to the new code of conduct is important for the integrity and ongoing development of the solar industry in the state.

“It builds on existing protections and broadens them to home batteries and will grow over time to cover emerging new technologies such as smart car chargers,” he said. “It is important that consumer protections keep up with these innovations.”

CEC Chief Executive Officer Kane Thornton welcomed Solar Victoria’s decision to require solar and battery retailers to be signatories to the NETCC, saying it not only puts consumers first but supports better outcomes for the solar industry.

“The NETCC is a safety net for consumers, enabling them to make an informed purchasing decision as well as being assured that they are protected by an ACCC authorised program that amplifies existing consumer protections,” he said.

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