So you’ve decided that a solar system is for you, and you’re deciding how to go about getting one. No doubt you’ve been faced with industry terminology that might as well be in another language for all the confusion it causes. ASR, C.E.C, Retailer, Installer, Solar Victoria, STCs… the list goes on. When it comes to going solar, there are a few important acronyms and jargon to note. Understanding the main ones will quickly help separate the good from the bad when you’re searching for a quote. So, here’s what matters:
Clean Energy Council Accreditation, or C.E.C. accreditation
This is the peak body for clean energy in Australia. Their signatories commit to their Code of Conduct, requiring higher standards across their operations. This protects you from poor installations services, both pre and post installation. There are two types of claims to note:
Approved retailers vs. accredited installers
Only A-grade electricians can apply for their installation accreditation. This ensures you have a proven, experienced and top quality electrician for the job. The installation can make or break even the best of solar panels themselves.
In contrast, anyone can apply for their C.E.C. retailer approval, and become an ASR. Although they must still comply with the C.E.C approved products in order for you to obtain your rebates, retailers are not necessarily electricians. They still need to employ an accredited electrical installer to actually fit the panels they’ve sold to you. In this instance, the installers are handed panels and a design from an ASR and are told to fit them.
Why does this difference matter?
As a Victorian this difference is very important, as solar incentives from the Victorian Government mandate that you purchase your system from an ASR to be eligible for their incentives. You can apply if:
* you are the owner/occupier,
* you have a combined owners income of under $180,000,
* your property is valued under $3 million, and;
* you do not have an existing solar system
You could save up to $1,850 in rebates! This makes choosing an ASR essential if you intend on claiming the Victorian Government incentive. You can also receive a further $1850 interest free loan paid off over 4 years from Solar Victoria.
Now, let’s say you are in fact not eligible for the Victorian rebate – perhaps you already have a solar system installed and are looking to upgrade. You are still likely to be eligible for the Federal solar incentive.
If I intend to claim the Federal incentive, do I still need to buy from an ASR?
No. As long as your system is installed by a C.E.C accredited installer, you can access the Federal solar incentives. This incentive deals with STC’s, which are certificates you gain for switching to solar, and your installers will often trade them in for cash. This trade is reflected in the price quoted to you, so the savings are passed on!
A potential caution on ASR’s…
As mentioned previously, ASR’s can sell you a rebate-eligible system, but they will also need to find an accredited installer to complete the installation for you. That is where problems can arise. ASR’s can sometimes push a system onto you, but as they aren’t A-grade electricians themselves, don’t always sell you the most appropriate system. This can end with sub-optimally designed systems, lower quality and longer installations which can cost you more in the long run.
The N.G. Cabling Solutions difference…
Recognising this common problem, our N.G. Cabling Solutions team became a C.E.C. approved retailer ourselves, eliminating the disconnect between retailer and installer. Our team of A-Grade Electricians can confidently advise the right system for your property, needs and budget.
You gain transparency and peace of mind dealing directly with the A-grade electrician that will design your system and complete the installation, who knows what will best serve your requirements. We can access the Solar Victoria rebate. We provide an end-to-end solar system service – one contact for it all!
Compare this to a larger retailer that isn’t involved in the installation process: the labourers are working with what they’ve been given and are often less involved – leading to a lower quality installation that will cause headaches for years to come.
To learn more about our streamlined and transparent process, you can request a free, no-obligation quote where we use our proven processes to help you maximise your solar savings. We promise you realistic savings and quality products, getting it right the first time.