A new accreditation body has been established and approved by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) as the new accreditation scheme operator (ASO) for solar installers and designers, under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). 

Solar Accreditation Australia is a new entity created to be able to carry out its functions independently while being accountable to the CER.

The SRES provides a financial incentive for the installation of small-scale solar systems. Systems must be installed by a licensed electrician who has been specifically trained and demonstrated as capable of installing rooftop solar.

A rigorous evaluation process was undertaken to approve SAA as the new accreditation scheme operator. SAA has become responsible for the accreditation of electricians who install small-scale solar systems incentivised by the SRES. Accreditation adds an additional level of assurance of quality over and above state and territory requirements for electricians.

The new installer and designer scheme is now in effect. All accredited installers and designers under the scheme must transfer to SAA within three months to remain eligible for small-scale technology certificates.

The Clean Energy Council (CEC), the previous accreditation body for installers and designers, performed its role over the past decade and played a part in supporting the growth of the small-scale solar industry. The CEC did not apply to be an accreditation scheme operator and its services have now ceased.  

The CER’s Renewable Energy Target branch General Manager, Matthew Power, said that CER worked together with both the CEC and SAA to ensure a smooth handover of this function for the benefit of accredited installers, the rooftop solar industry and for consumers.

“Consumers and businesses who are increasingly turning to rooftop solar to control their energy bills can remain confident that accredited installers and designers have the necessary training and skills,” Mr power said. 

“The small-scale rooftop solar sector has been growing in Australia with 3.1GW installed in 2023, well up from the 2.8GW installed in 2022. We believe there is potential for ongoing growth.” 

The CER has said that it looks forward to working with SAA to both maintain and continue to improve the training and performance of accredited installers for high quality installations.

As the accreditation services shift to SAA during the three month transition period, the CEC and CER will be on hand to support SAA as necessary to ensure existing accredited installers can maintain their accreditation.

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