Survey shines a light on solar industry experiences

This announcement is for: 
Electrical contractor / workerConsumer
  • Building and Energy seeking input from property owners with solar systems
  • Focus on safety, compliance and experiences of WA’s solar industry
  • Survey closes on 30 June

WA’s electrical safety regulator is seeking feedback from customers who have had solar power systems installed at their properties.

Building and Energy’s five-minute survey aims to improve understanding of the community’s experience with the solar industry.

WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said consumers’ perspectives were vital to build a full picture of trends, compliance and safety.

“The survey results will inform Building and Energy about any issues arising with solar installations and help to improve safety,” he said.

“It also provides an opportunity for the community to engage directly with us regarding any solar-related concerns or queries.”

The survey focuses on photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, which generate power, rather than solar-powered hot water systems.

Questions include whether the installation was carried out by a licensed electrician and whether the customer received an electrical safety certificate.

Mr Abdoolakhan said the survey findings would help compare WA’s solar landscape with the eastern states, where some recent house fires have been linked to solar infrastructure.

“As with all types of electrical installations, Building and Energy’s focus for solar safety is ensuring that work is safe, compliant, uses components that meet relevant Australian Standards and has been carried out and certified by a licensed electrician,” he said.

“The growing popularity of solar energy in WA means it will continue to be a focus of our compliance activities, including vital information gained from this survey.”

The survey is available until 30 June 2021 at www.surveymonkey.com/r/RF28XXL.

Building and Energy is also involved in a number of proactive initiatives to enhance the safety of solar systems installed in WA, including:

  • Work with the Clean Energy Regulator to ensure that Renewable Energy Certificate traders must obtain a copy of the Notice of Completion (NOC) when applying for small-scale technology certificates. The NOC must be submitted via an electronic system that is only available to licensed electricians.
     
  • Work with Western Power’s Embedded Generation Team to implement a new solar disconnection process for unapproved installations.
     
  • Work with the Australian Energy Market Operator to develop a register that will require industry operatives to provide specific details of the solar equipment installed. This will help to ensure that only components approved to Australian standards are used.
     
  • Frequent communications to industry about legal requirements when installing solar systems.

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Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Building and Energy
Media release
17 May 2021

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