New rules rolled out for Victoria’s solar industry

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In its latest notice to market, state government agency Solar Victoria has outlined a raft of new mandatory requirements and recommendations for participants in the Solar Homes program as it seeks to ensure grid stability and enhance installation quality.

Solar Victoria, which oversees the Solar Homes program that has delivered more than 257,000 rooftop solar systems totalling 1.7 GW since it was introduced in 2018, said it will be mandatory from 1 July 2024 for PV systems and batteries installed under the scheme to have an active internet connection installed as part of commissioning “where practicable to do so.”

“This will help to support more solar to be installed on the grid and allow customers to better participate in the grid of the future,” the agency said.

The notice to market also requires all new inverters bigger that 30 kVA installed under the solar and battery rebate scheme to be fitted with an interface protection system.

The nine new mandatory requirements and four recommendations also require retailers to provide a minimum five-year whole-of product warranty on all major components provided for solar sharing technology.

Retailers will also need to ensure installers are equipped with battery labelling kits compliant with Australian Standards, and remove replaced solar systems, or system components from the premises, unless otherwise agreed with the customer.

Customers investing in solar and home energy storage systems will also be provided with a financial battery system performance estimate by their retailer.

Other new rules include a ban on high-pressure sales tactics, and a requirement for all hot water heat pump installers to have the appropriate refrigerant handling licences,

The new recommendations relate to installer accreditation, e-waste record keeping, and increasing household access to hot water during a power outage.

Solar Victoria Chief Executive Officer Stan Krpan said the new mandatory requirements and recommendations are aimed at strengthening consumer protections, supporting Victoria’s circular economy, contributing to energy grid stability, and enhancing installation quality under the Solar Homes program.

“Meeting these requirements will help deliver the best safety and quality outcomes for Victorians who are enthusiastically making the switch to more energy efficient all-electric homes,” he said.

The release of the notice to market comes as the state government announced it will inject more than $43 million into the Solar Homes program.

The state said it will invest $37.7 million to deliver 35,000 rebates for energy efficient electric hot water systems and a further $6 million for interest free loans on solar and battery storage systems.

Solar Victoria said the program has in the past six year supported the installation of 257,000 rooftop PV systems, delivered 19,000 energy efficient hot water systems and almost 17,000 solar battery systems for Victorian households.

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