The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is an industry body for the renewable energy sector in Australia. As a non-government body, they do not write laws but set guidelines and best practices for the industry and their members.
Although there is no legislation in place requiring adherence to the rules set by the CEC, many of the government incentives are aligned to rules set by the CEC, so it almost becomes almost a necessity from a financial perspective for an Australian solar business to follow CEC procedures.
What is particularly important for solar installers and designers is the CEC Solar Accreditation. This is a qualification provided by the CEC when you’ve met their accreditation requirements. It demonstrates that you can design and/or install solar to the standard that they’ve set.
Now you’ll likely be asking yourself, “Why do I need CEC Accreditation?” - and good question! The most important reason involves government incentives - primarily Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
STCs can become complicated quickly, so for a more in-depth look read our blog on STCs.
In short, STCs are created when installing solar which can then be sold and drastically lowers the cost of the solar system. There are huge financial benefits for claiming STCs and are necessary to remain competitive in the solar industry.
One of the criterion to create STCs is that the solar system must be designed and installed by a CEC accredited designer and installer. This means that you must be CEC accredited in order to acquire STCs for the solar systems you install.
RENEWABLE ENERGY (ELECTRICITY) REGULATIONS 2001 - REG 20AC
(2) The unit was designed and installed by a person or persons:
(a) if the unit is a stand-alone power system–accredited for stand-alone power systems under the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy accreditation scheme (the ABCSE accreditation scheme ) or the Clean Energy Council accreditation scheme (the CEC accreditation scheme );
(b) if the unit is a grid-connected power system–accredited for grid-connected power systems under the ABCSE accreditation scheme or the CEC accreditation scheme
There are also state government incentives aligned towards CEC accreditation. The Solar Victoria “Solar Homes Program” also requires “Solar PV installer: Holds a current Clean Energy Council accreditation”(1) to claim the rebate.
Head over to the CEC website for a full list of benefits that they provide.
To become CEC Accredited you’ll need to complete the required training and apply through the CEC for accreditation.
Read our full easy step by step guide to becoming CEC Accredited here.
Alan Lam is a solar specialist with over 5 years of experience supporting solar businesses in Australia. Alan understands the nuances of government incentive schemes for solar in Australia and beyond in detail and has a wealth of knowledge to give solar installers.
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