The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has recently announced a massive increase in the Solar Panel Validation (SPV) program. Designed to ensure more high-quality solar panels in the Australian market, this increase is great news for all reputable solar installation experts on the Sunshine Coast and beyond. It’s also providing plenty of benefits for Aussie homeowners.
What is Solar Panel Validation?
The Solar Panel Validation program was introduced in 2018, designed to protect Australians against unapproved solar panels being sold in the local market. Essentially, approved solar panel manufacturers must comply with certain regulations. That is, their products must be of a certain quality before they can be approved under SPV.
The program was introduced for that reason, to ensure consumers get genuine brands that comply with Australian standards. It also protects installers, as they too can be assured they’re only installing approved products. Solar installers on the Sunshine Coast can now use smartphone apps to scan serial numbers of solar panels. The app confirms straight away that the panels are approved.
SPV also helps strengthen the integrity of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), for which there were calls to phase out by 2021 partly due to so many dodgy solar panels in the Australian market. SPV helps to address this issue, and the scheme is on track to finish in 2030.
Clean Energy Regulator Reports Huge Uptake of SPV
Recent reports from the CER suggested that this time in 2019, only about 5% of Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) claims were using SPV. In the space of a year, that figure has climbed to 50%. The increase is proof that more installers are using SPV to verify their products, and consumers are getting more approved solar panels.
In addition, the CER reports that STC claims without SPV endorsement can take between four to six weeks to be finalised. However, those with SPV are being approved within 24 hours subject to meeting all other requirements. With the SRES program paving the way for a huge increase in solar uptake throughout Australia, the increase in SPV use should give buyers even more confidence.
What Does it Mean for the Future of Solar Energy in Australia?
As more and more solar retailers and installers start using SPV, the future of the industry is bright. Not only can claims be finalised faster, but consumers are getting better products. Currently, around 95% of solar panels eligible under the SRES can be verified using SPV. There are around 40 brands already on the approved list, with several more seeking to be included.
Ultimately, the increase in approved, quality solar panels is a great result for the Australian solar industry and consumers.