Safety checks of home solar installations

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An inspection program ordered by EnergySafety of home solar installations in WA has uncovered some systems that were potentially unsafe.

In the EnergySafety audit of 260 grid-connected systems, Western Power and Horizon Power inspectors found that 12 per cent had incorrect wiring which could pose a hazard.

EnergySafety's Director Ken Bowron said the defects were subject to orders to make them safe. A second inspection was carried out to ensure the systems had been fixed and complied with strict safety standards.

"The work orders ensure that those homes were made safe. It is vital that the rapidly expanding solar industry lift its performance and maintain the highest safety standards now and into the future to protect owners and their property," he said.

The audit also found that 11 per cent of installations had defects that may pose a future safety risk if not rectified and 27 per cent did not comply with labelling requirements.

"Householders and businesses must have confidence that their solar equipment meets stringent safety standards. These inspections will be stepped up and continued to ensure compliance with the law," Mr Bowron said.

"Only licensed electrical contactors may perform the solar installations and householders should receive an Electrical Safety Certificate stating that their system is completely safe. Installers must also notify the relevant network operator when a new installation is completed."

Property owners concerned about the safety of their solar system should contact the installer and the appropriate network operator (Western Power or Horizon Power).

Please see the Safety of solar systems - advice for home owners page on the EnergySafety site for more information.

The EnergySafety audit report can be viewed at under reports and discussion papers.

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Media Contact:
Alan Hynd
9282 0961 or 0429-078791

Media release
23 Dec 2011

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