CEC accreditation means you get safe and reliable solar product standards and best installation practices. If you are going for a solar panel system, make sure you hire a CEC accredited solar retailer and installer. Here’s everything you need to know about CEC and its accreditation in 2022.

What Is the Clean Energy Council?

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is a non-profit, membership-based organisation that represents and regulates the growth of renewable energy in Australia. It ensures the quality, reliability and safety of the solar PV industry and other renewable energy systems. The council does it by maintaining and developing the standards for all renewable energy products and services.

CEC aims to transform the energy market into a smarter, cleaner, and consumer-focused system and works with other leading energy industries to ensure it reaches its goal. Currently, CEC has over 800 members that are big companies and players in the renewable energy industry.

What Does CEC Do?

  • Advocates the renewable energy industry
  • It works on improving the clean energy standards
  • Provides support to various players in the clean energy industry to help the sector grow
  • It offers valuable and up to date information on clean energy for businesses and to the general public
  • Works closely with the government to campaign and increase demand for clean energy products
  • It develops and promotes the clean energy policy to meet the Renewable Energy Target
  • Advocates for clean energy council members

Apart from these, CEC also prepares the Clean Energy Report that shows the developments in clean energy at both states and national levels.

What Is CEC Approved Solar Energy Retailer?

The CEC Approved Solar Retailer Program ensures the commitment of solar and storage businesses to make responsible sales, marketing activities and industry best practices. Since it is authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the program sets the standards higher than the minimum government requirements. Hence it provides a better standard of service. That’s the reason why you must purchase a solar panel system from an accredited solar retailer.

How To Become a CEC Approved Solar Retailer?

To become a CEC approved solar retailer, you must follow the below steps:

  1. A proof that you have operated in the solar industry for over 12 months
  2. A proof that you have adhered to the Approved Solar Retailer Code of Conduct
  3. Go through an integrity assessment that also includes checking financial integrity
  4. Disclose any past or present sanctions from state consumer affairs agencies or the ACCC
  5. Provide examples of customer documentation
  6. Meet all the requirements on the given application form

Further Steps For CEC Approved Solar Installers

An accredited solar installer goes through various tests and applications to become one. Here are the steps to becoming a CEC approved solar installer in Australia:

  1. Must complete a training program through an RTO (Registered Training Organisation)
  2. Apply for a provisional CEC accreditation
  3. Complete all online assessments within 30 days
  4. Complete a real solar installation for practical assessment
  5. Submit full CEC accreditation application
  6. Receive full CEC accreditation
  7. Renew accreditation every year

What Is CEC Approved Solar Energy Installer?

An approved solar energy installer means your solar installer has undergone all the training required for solar panel and battery installation and design and follows industry best practices. It means your solar energy installation is in safe hands. Also, you receive government solar rebates only if you install your solar panel with an accredited solar installer.

Now you know why accreditation is important.

Need a CEC accredited solar installer in NSW? Contact our team at Always Energy for solar energy system installation in the Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Nambucca Heads, Taree and Coffs Harbour areas of NSW.

Solar panels can be a big investment but that does not mean you can’t install one at your home or business in NSW. Both federal and state government offers several rebates to help homeowners and businesses get easy access to solar energy and cut down their electricity bill.

Australian Federal Government Solar Rebate 2022

The federal government offers solar rebates for solar panel installations under the Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme. According to the scheme, homeowners and small businesses receive financial incentives in the form of small scale technology certificates (STCs) that helps reduce the total cost of your solar panel installation by up to 33%.

STCs are tradable certificates that you can sell on the STC open market or STC clearinghouse. The number of STCs you receive depends on:

  1. The size of your solar power system
  2. The STC zone you live in
  3. Installation date

As of 2022, the value of an STC costs around $39. That means if you have purchased a 5kW solar panel system, you can expect a discount of around $2,420.

How To Apply?

To apply for the federal government solar rebate, you need to do the compliance paperwork to join the REC Registry, which is a little bit complicated. The best way to apply is to ask your accredited solar panel installer to do the paperwork for you.

NSW State Government Solar Rebate

The NSW state government offers solar rebates for homeowners through three programs.

1. Empowering Homes Program Solar Rebate

Through Empowering Homes Program, the NSW government provides interest-free loans to help homeowners get easy access to the solar battery system in the eligible postcodes.

The program offers:

  • A $14,000 loan for a solar panel battery system— to be repaid over a range of terms up to 8 years
  • A $9,000 loan for a retrofitted solar battery system— to be repaid over a range of terms up to 10 years

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Households with an income of no more than $180,000 per year
  2. Must own and live in the grid-connected home, and most importantly, have the authority to install the solar energy system
  3. Must satisfy the loan criteria

How To Apply?

  1. Get quotes by contacting several solar installers from the list of Clean Energy Council accredited installers
  2. Review the quotes and choose the best offer
  3. Go to the Accept Your Quote portal and enter the required details

Once the loan is approved, the solar installer you chose will contact you to install your solar battery system.

2. Low-Income Households Solar Rebate

The solar for low-income households provides eligible households with a free solar PV system of 3kWh. According to the NSW government, this plan could save households up to $600 per year.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Only people who live in the eligible location
  2. Currently receiving the low-income household rebate and agreeing not to receive the rebate for 10 years
  3. Must hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or DVA Gold Card
  4. Must own the house with n solar

How To Apply?

  1. You can apply online via the NSW Government Energy Saver Website.

To apply you will need:

  1. A Councils rate or notice or similar proof to confirm that you own your home
  2. A recent electricity bill to confirm you are receiving the Low Income Household Rebate
  3. A copy of your Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card

Once approved, your accredited solar installer will organise a site visit and arrange for solar panel installation.

3. Solar Feed-in Tariff NSW

Solar feed-in tariffs allow you to earn money in exchange for the excess solar energy that you generate and send back to the grid. However, the amount of money you earn depends on your energy provider. In general, you can expect to earn anywhere between 7 c/kWh to 18 c/kWh, while some may not offer any. Compare the prices and choose the best deal.

Contact our team at Always Energy for further information on solar rebates and solar panel installation in NSW.

Yes, your home or business will benefit from solar installation in Australia. There is no doubt Australia receives a burst of good sunshine throughout the year, ideal for residential solar installations and commercial solar installations. However, how much solar energy you can generate and how that can benefit your savings depends upon several factors.

Here are a few things to help you check if your home or business is a good fit for solar.

1. Climate

The climate of your location or area is the first factor you should check if your home or business is an ideal candidate for solar power. Though solar panels are effective in most climatic conditions, a sunny location has better benefits. Fortunately, Australia receives plenty of sunlight throughout the year— regardless it is summer, spring, or winter.

A sunny location also means the amount of direct sunlight your area receives. It’s because solar panels are most effective in areas with a good amount of direct sunlight (peak sun-hour) of at least 3 to 4 hours a day.

For instance, Port Macquarie receives 7 to 8 hours of sunlight a day, wherein it gets 4.8 hours of peak sunlight, making it a perfect location for solar power. However, solar panels also work fine in indirect sunlight conditions, but it’s just about performance. The more direct sunlight the roof gets, the more solar panel efficiency.

2. Shade

Shading has a huge impact on the performance of solar panels. So, you must check if your roof is being shaded by surrounding trees, buildings, chimneys, or other structures.

The shadow cast on a single panel or just a part of the single panel affects the performance of your entire solar system. Your house or business may not be an ideal candidate for the solar panel if it has shading. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t go for solar power as there are other solutions like ground mounting systems to utilise solar power.

3. Roof

Your home’s roof is the next most important factor to consider while going solar. It includes the size, angle, and type of roof. To check these conditions, you need an expert solar installer.

Let’s begin with the size of your roof. You may have to measure your roof to check if your roof will accommodate the number of solar panels you need. For instance, a 3kW system includes 12 to 15 solar panels that require anywhere between 205 to 300 square feet.

Secondly, it’s the angle of your roof. In Australia, the ideal solar panel tilt angle is 30 degrees. If you have a flat roof or if your roof is not pitched at the right angle, you may have to consider mounted brackets to place solar panels at the right angle. You can also go for ground-mounted solar panel systems.

When it comes to the direction, north-facing panels are most effective and generate greater solar output. Nevertheless, an east or west-facing rooftop works fine as well.

4. Roof Strength

Finally, it’s the roof type. In Australia, almost all kinds of roofings are suitable for solar panels, except the slate, as they are fragile.

Solar panels weigh heavy and will be sitting on your roof for the next couple of years, may be next 30 years. A typical solar panel system with mounting brackets would weigh approximately around 20kg per square metre. Therefore, it is highly essential to check your roof condition whether they are strong enough to support the weight of solar panels. If your roofs are too old, it is best to install new roofs before solar panel installation.

We know it’s kind of too much work. That’s why we suggest you call our team at Always Energy to do all this work for you. So contact us if you are located in Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and the surrounding areas of NSW.

Utilising free electricity from rooftop solar panels serves as a promising solution for hundreds and thousands of households and businesses in Port Macquarie to save from soaring electricity bills. And technically, Port Macquarie already has 21% of households with rooftop solar power systems enjoying the benefit of free sunshine in NSW. However, there is still a long way to go to meet the clean energy needs and become solar self-sufficient.

Average Solar Power Generation in Port Macquarie

An average rooftop in Port Macquarie receives 4.8 hours of peak sunlight per day throughout the year. So, assuming you have a 5kW system with 80% efficiency, your solar panel system will produce 19.2kWh per day in good conditions.

An average household in Port Macquarie consumes just 15 to 20kWh per day. Hence installing a 5kW system is more than sufficient to meet the daily electricity needs of an average household. You can also make use of this more effectively by installing a solar battery to power your home during the night-time. Installing a solar battery also helps you during power outages and reduces your dependency on the grid. So, installing a good quality solar panel system will help you save on your electricity bills.

How Much Do Solar Panels Save You on Electric Bills?

To begin with, solar panels do save on your electricity bills, but “how much does it save” depends on various factors. Mainly, it depends on your electricity usage.

Typically, solar energy helps you save around $400 to $500 on an average in NSW. If you have a quarterly electricity bill of more than $500, you can make a decent amount of savings on your electricity bill. The more your electricity bills are, the more you can save from solar power.

The other factors include solar panel efficiency and the size and angle of your roof. It also includes the local electricity rates. You can contact a local solar installer to determine these factors, compare the average savings you can make and help you make an informed decision.

Solar Rebates and Incentives in NSW

Another reason why you should consider going solar is the solar rebate you receive from the federal government. The rebate enables you to cut the solar system cost by up to 33% when you purchase and install a solar panel system in Port Macquarie.

The NSW government offers solar rebates through small scale technology certificates (STCs). STCs are tradable certificates that you can sell to save as a discount for your residential solar installation.

The number of STCs you will receive depends upon the size of your solar power system. The larger the size, the bigger the rebate. It also depends on your location (zoning), STC value and the deeming period.

The average solar rebate in NSW is currently $600 for a kW of solar panel installed. However, bear in mind that the government rebates keep reducing every year. So, act quickly!

Solar Energy in Port Macquarie

If you already have solar panels installed on your roof, consider taking the next step towards energy independence by installing a solar battery and storage system.

An effective solar panel and battery system will pay for itself in a few years. So, going for solar power in Port Macquarie is worth it and is a solid investment in every way.

Need help finding out your roof’s solar potential and how much you can save in Port Macquarie? We are here to help you. We are a local accredited team of solar power installers in Port Macquarie. Contact us now for any queries or free solar quotes.