Installer Suspended from Victorian Solar Homes Program

A second solar panel installer has been suspended from the Victorian Solar Homes installation program.

Sandarra Electrics was suspended from Solar Homes after a successful WorkSafe prosecution last week.

The company is the second to run foul of the Solar Homes program since it started on August 19, 2018.

Space Solar (Victoria) was banned earlier this month after an investigation found it had used unlicensed electrical workers.

WorkSafe conviction behind Solar Homes ban

Sandarra Electrics was convicted in the Geelong Magistrates Court last Friday of failing to eliminate or reduce the risk of a fall from height.

It also failed to prepare a SafeWork Method Statement for high-risk construction work, the court found. It was fined $120,000.

Both safety matters date from 2017, but Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio told The Age newspaper any installer who had committed a safety breach within three years was automatically excluded from Solar Homes.

Although Sandarra Electrics went into liquidation in May 2019, the Solar Homes ban applies to its director, who has 28 days to appeal before the suspension becomes permanent.

Solar Homes rebate program

The Victorian Solar Homes rebate program provides $2,225 towards the cost of installing solar panels.

The state government program has its critics, including industry members who protested its negative effect on installation numbers.

A monthly quota of 3,333 installations was tripled in August following rallies by solar installers calling for change.

Customers were postponing solar installations until the next monthly quota release, creating a devastating lack of work for installers.

While larger companies were able to weather the crisis, many of the smaller companies were forced to shut up shop.

Solar panels make sense without a rebate

The fact is installing solar panels makes economic sense even without the Solar Homes rebate. Solar panels are the best way to become energy independent and lower your power bills.

Apart from state rebates, there are the national Small-scale Technical Certificates (STCs) awarded to households and businesses that install solar systems.

Depending on the size of the system, these certificates can add up to thousands of dollars off the cost of installation. The scheme is being phased out and the rebate is reducing each year — another reason to install a solar power system this year.

If you want to know how solar panels can lower electricity bills and produce clean power, contact Solaray. We have the experience, size and safety record to deliver better power to the people.

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