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New accreditation for solar installers: What you need to know

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A hot topic at this year’s Smart Energy Conference was the unveiling of the new Solar Accreditation Australia (SAA) scheme.

Installers and designers have until 29th May 2024 to transfer their accreditation over to the new scheme to maintain eligibility. Read on to find out exactly what you need to do.  

Why the need to change? 

After 16 years, and with the continuing growth in the solar industry, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) decided to discontinue its accreditation services this year to focus on other core priorities. 

A collaborative, whole-industry approach was taken to design the new SAA scheme. Established by Masters Electrician Australia and the Smart Energy Council, SAA is a not-for-profit, independent body whose sole purpose is to ensure high standards and support members through accreditation and training. 

For end customers who want to see reliable and high-quality installations, a dedicated governing body is a greater assurance of quality and compliance.   

Do all installers need to worry about this?

All electricians who design and install small-scale solar, battery, wind and hydro systems incentivised by the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) must be accredited with the SAA in order to be eligible for small-scale technology certificates (STCs).

Within these categories, you can choose to apply for design only, install only, or design and install accreditation.

What do you need to do to transfer your accreditation?

  • Visit the SAA website to start your application. 
  • You will need to provide your details, ABN, proof of ID, electrical license number, existing CEC accreditation details, and a photo of yourself. 
  • Applications must be in before 29 May 2024 (or earlier if your expiry date is before then if you want to remain eligible for STCs. 
  • Once your application is approved, you will get a new accreditation number. This number is needed to claim all future STCs. 

What fees do you need to pay?

There is no cost to transfer accreditation. However, if your existing CEC accreditation is expiring, you will have to pay a renewal fee. 

SAA has increased the accreditation period from one year to three years, so renewal is only required every three years.

What about your CPD points? 

SAA will continue to honor any points you previously accumulated at the full value (30 points for core units and 10 points for elective units). To maintain accreditation, 100 CPD points annually are required. 

New essential learning modules will continue to be added in the coming months, and point-earning mentoring programs will become available to support new entrants. 

For more information, visit the SAA website.