Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme Inspections

Information for Homeowners

Introduction

Every year the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) conducts inspections of newly installed solar PV system across Australia. The purpose of these inspections is to ensure that PV system installers are installing systems according to all relevant Australian Standards, industry guidelines, and State/Territory or local government requirements.

The CER has commissioned ITP Renewables to manage these inspections. Our role includes:

  • Conducting inspections across Australia via our network of qualified electricians and solar installers
  • Receiving comments from installers, designers, and agents
  • Submitting final reports to the CER for review and dissemination to relevant stakeholders

The Process

The CER provides us with details of randomly selected PV systems to inspect. We then make an initial contact call to confirm interest in the inspection and answer any questions. Once interest has been confirmed, an ITP inspector makes contact to book a time for the inspection.

When the inspection occurs, the inspector will provide appropriate ID on arrival and ask the homeowner or nominated representative to sign a consent form providing permission for the inspection to go ahead. Inspections typically last around an hour; however, the duration depends on of the size of the system. Larger systems (over 10kW) may take longer than an hour.

The data collected by the inspector is then reviewed by ITP’s team of engineers. We send the results to the PV system designer, installer, and agent, and give them 14 days to provide comments on the inspection findings. Any comments received are compiled and included in the final inspection report submitted to the CER. The CER provide a copy of the final report to all relevant stakeholders. This includes the owner of the system, the person occupying the premises, the designer, the installer, and the person who created the small-technology certificates (STCs) for the system.

If you have received a letter or email regarding an inspection you can fill out our form here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in it for me?

This inspection, paid for by the Clean Energy Regulator, is much more thorough than the inspection that is done when the system is installed. The inspector checks all system components for any signs of damage from incorrect installation, or anything that could cause damage or wear on the system in the long term. So, even if there are no issues with your system at the moment, this inspection can identify issues before they cause a fault. Under this inspection program, the installer is strongly incentivised to fix issues like this. Thanks to these thorough checks and repairs, future faults can be avoided before your warranty expires, and before the installer or retailer is no longer in business.

Do I need to pay anything?

No. The inspection is paid for by the Clean Energy Regulator and there is no cost to you.

What happens if the inspector identifies issues with my system?

If installers are found to be incorrectly installing PV systems the CER may declare them ineligible to design and install such systems for 12 months, and may publish this information publicly. This creates a strong incentive for installers to rectify any issues identified in order to maintain their accreditation as a CER registered solar installer. If you are not satisfied with the response from your installer, please consult the Clean Energy Council’s Complaints and Disputes website  for advice on dispute resolution procedures.

What happens if an inspector finds a safety risk?

If the inspector finds that the installation presents an imminent safety risk, they will take immediate action to make the installation safe. This may involve either disconnecting or shutting down the system. The inspector will inform you of the extent and nature of the risk on the day. They will also inform the relevant State/Territory regulator for electrical safety. The inspector has no authority to rectify faults in the installation during the inspection. The installer or related company may return to rectify the non-conformance issues identified in the final report; however this does depend on the installation warranty. The Clean Energy Council’s Complaints and Disputes website lists relevant State/Territory regulators to contact if you have concerns regarding electrical safety or warranty issues.

Will my system be turned off if there are problems with it?

Systems are only turned off if they are found to be unsafe (i.e. if there is a risk of fire or electrocution). Otherwise the system will be left running in its initial state.

My installer has gone out of business, what happens then?

The Clean Energy Council’s Complaints and Disputes website contains information on contacting the company’s administrators to try to arrange for issues with the system to be fixed.

I’ve already had an inspection done, why do I need another one?

You may have already had an inspection from your state regulator: this inspection only checks basic safety and the system’s connection to the grid. The CER inspection is more comprehensive. The inspectors will get on the roof and check the mounting and wiring. They will inspect all safety switches to ensure they have been sized and installed correctly. The inspector will also check for any recalled components. The comprehensive nature of this inspection is to ensure installers are following all relevant Australian Standards and guidelines.

Do I need to be home for the inspection?

We require someone over the age of 18 to be present to give written consent for the inspection to occur and allow access to any system components inside the house/roof space.

Can I still have the inspection if I am working full time?

Most inspectors can schedule inspections on weekends or early in the morning if you are unavailable during business hours. Alternatively, you can nominate a representative to be present for the inspection on your behalf.

How can I prepare for the inspection?

It is helpful to have ready any documentation you received after the installation of the system.

How do I change or cancel a booking?

If your circumstances or schedule change, you can call the inspector directly or contact ITP Renewables on 1300 206 986 to cancel and re-book the inspection.

What happens if there is poor weather on the day of the inspection?

If there is rain, storms or high winds forecast on the day of your inspection, the inspector or ITP Renewables may call to reschedule your booking. Alternatively, the inspector may complete the parts of the inspection which are at ground level and return at a later date to inspect the rooftop components.

I am yet to receive a report, what do I do?

System owners can expect to wait up to five weeks before receiving the final inspections report. This allows time for the reporting process involving ITP and the CER to be completed. If your PV system was inspected more than five weeks ago and you have not received the final inspection report, you can contact the CER for assistance.