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95% of Consumer Solar Rebates could be at risk in Victoria

It’s not widely known that 95% of Consumer Solar Rebates could be at risk. The Victorian Government announced it will only be paying the Victorian Government Solar Rebate for installations sold and installed by Solar companies which sign and comply with the Clean Energy Council’s Approved Solar Retailer program code of conduct. (The Age article)

Based on this requirement more than 95% of all consumers installing solar in Victoria will not receive the State Government Rebate based on today’s level of accreditation. With about 5,000 accredited solar installers in Australia, only about 100 of these are Approved Solar Retailers at the time of writing.

What does this mean for Solar Retailers?

Large retailers will have to sign and implement the Clean Energy Council’s solar retailer code of conduct from July 2019 if they wish to continue participating in the scheme.

Smaller retailers will have until November 2019 to comply with the code.

The code of conduct extends to advertising and pre-sale activities, finance, the provision of a cooling-off period and adherence to warranties.

The code also requires retailers to take responsibility for work done by contractors.

Approved Solar Retailer vs Accredited Installer

Do not be confused. “Approved Solar Retailer” and “Accredited Installer” are different.  All installers of grid-connected solar power systems in Australia must be accredited. Without the “Approved Solar Retailer” accreditation the State Government will not pay the rebate.

To be a CEC approved retailer, however, companies must sign and follow the code of conduct and pay fees which vary from around $800 to $6,000 a year, depending on the size of the company.

ASM Accreditation

The idea behind the Approved Solar Retailer program is excellent – helping to assure potential buyers that an accredited company should be a great one.

Over the last seven years, ASM Money has maintained a robust accreditation program building a network of more than 300 accredited solar installers to partner with to provide finance to their clients – and rejected many more.

Like any certifying scheme, the CEC Approved Solar Retailer program and the ASM program isn’t infallible. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility an accredited company experiences a bumpy period that a buyer may wish to avoid. There is no test of the financial viability or any other ‘hidden’ issues.

Help with accreditation

All ASM Money consumer finance programs, including our ‘Buy Now Pay Later’, ‘Consumer Lease’ and ‘Consumer Loan’ products are fully compliant with the code. If you need help with the finance section of accreditation just contact your local ASM representative for documentation.

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