Clean Energy Council - Solar Retailer Code of Conduct

Summary

On 15 May 2020, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) lodged an application for re-authorisation of the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct (the Solar Retailer Code).

The Solar Retailer Code sets minimum standards that retail businesses selling solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems must comply with when interacting with consumers. Retailers who are signatories to the Code must comply with standards covering advertising, contract documentation, finance and payments, design and installation, and complaints handling. The Solar Retailer Code was first authorised in 2013 and was re-authorised in 2015.

The CEC’s intention is that the Solar Retailer Code will be replaced by the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC) and that Solar Retailer Code signatories will transfer across to the NETCC (which covers a range of products beyond solar photovoltaic systems).

The commencement of the NETCC was delayed pending the outcome of a review of the ACCC’s NETCC determination by the Australian Competition Tribunal.

The Tribunal made its Determination on 15 September 2020, which can be found on its website (Application by Flexigroup Limited (No 2) [2020] ACompT 2). The Tribunal varied the ACCC’s Determination, and granted conditional authorisation for five years from the date of its Determination. The Tribunal’s Determination now stands in place of the ACCC’s Determination.

On 13 August 2020, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional re-authorisation for two years.

On 1 October 2020, the ACCC granted interim authorisation for the Solar Retailer Code authorised in 2015 to continue until the final determination comes into force or is revoked.

On 12 November 2020, the CEC submitted the finalised, amended version of the Solar Code for which it was seeking authorisation.

On 19 November 2020, the ACCC issued a final determination granting re-authorisation to this amended Solar Code, until 31 July 2023. If no application for review of the determination is made to the Australian Competition Tribunal, the authorisation will come into effect on 11 December 2020. The full authorisation document is available below.

A timetable is set out below for your information:

Indicative date

Stage in assessment process

15 May 2020

Lodgement of application and supporting submission.

26 May 2020

Public consultation process begins.

16 June 2020

Closing date for submissions from interested parties.

July 2020

Applicant responds to issues raised in the public consultation process.

13 August 2020

Draft determination.

August / September 2020

Public consultation on draft determination

1 October 2020

Interim authorisation granted.

19 November 2020

Final determination.

11 December 2020

Authorisation comes into effect.

Applicant(s)

  • Clean Energy Council

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000514-1

Decisions

Submissions - before draft decision

Document title Date