To install a solar system in Australia, the tradesperson must hold a Clean Energy Council (CEC) solar installer accreditation and an electrical contractors' licence (ECL).
The installer will need an additional battery endorsement to install batteries on a grid-connected solar installation. The requirements for businesses to sell solar systems vary by state and may require an electrical contractor's licence, a builder's contractor's licence, or both, depending on the state and business structure.
In some states, the company selling the solar system does not need to hold a licence as long as it subcontracts the installation to a licenced installer or company.
It is important to ensure that the company or tradesperson installing the solar system holds the necessary accreditations and licences to ensure a high-quality, safe installation.
What licences are needed to install solar and battery systems in Australia?
The licencing requirements to sell solar across Australia vary from State to State. However, the licencing process is more straightforward than installing a solar system.
The tradesperson must hold a Clean Energy Council (CEC) solar installer accreditation to install a solar system. The installer should also have an electrical contractors’ licence (ECL). The installer will need an additional battery endorsement to install batteries on a grid-connected solar installation.
In a nutshell, the business selling the solar system to you, whether a company, sole trader, partnership or trust, would require having, in most cases, an electrical contractor’s or a builder’s licence.
Please see below details by each State as a guide.
Verifying that your chosen solar company holds the relevant licences will reduce the risk of issues with the installation down the track. If there are issues with the installation or product, it is never a 100% guarantee. But if your chosen company has the relevant licences, has been in business for a decade, gets solid reviews, is local, and has an excellent reputation, your chances for a positive long-term experience are vastly enhanced.
New South Wales
NSW businesses must have either an electrical contractor’s licence or a builder’s (BCL) licence.
The primary licencing is the electrical contractor’s licence which is also required for the tradesperson installing the solar system. The actual licence details depend on the business structure.
If the Sales entity is a Sole Trader, then the electrical contractor’s licence (ECL) or builder’s contractor’s licence (BCL) needs to be in the name of the individual who is the sole trader to be able to sell solar.
But if the entity is a company, then the electrical contractor’s license or builders. The contractor’s licence must be in the name of the company (not an individual person) to be able to sell solar.
Should they sell under a builder’s contractor’s licence, they must have an installer with an electrical contractor’s licence.
For more info, please see Fair Trading NSW, the relevant Government Department.
In Victoria, the entity selling solar does not necessarily have to have an electrical contractor’s licence as long as it subcontracts the installation to a licenced installer or company.
However, to be eligible for the solar homes rebates under the Victorian Solar Homes program, an additional rebate to the Federal STC rebate. The installer must be registered with Solar Vic and accredited under the Clean Energy Council-approved Solar Retail Program.
Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory
In both the ACT and the NT, the Sales entity must hold an electrical contractor’s licence. For a sole trader, this will be in the name of the individual who is the sole trader. For a company, the electrical contractor’s licence must be in the company’s name, not an individual’s.
In Queensland, the entity selling solar, whether a sole trader or company, must have either a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) builders licence or an unrestricted electrical contractors licence. You can find more info here:
In South Australia, the entity must have either an SA electrical contractor’s or builder’s licence with a solar endorsement. These licences must be in the name of the entity selling the system. So, if the seller is a sole Trader, the licence must be in the individual’s name. If the seller is a company, the licence must be in the company’s name, not an individual or subcontractor.
In WA, as long as the seller of the solar system contracts a licenced installer who holds its own electrical contractor’s licence and CEC solar installer accreditation. Then the company can sell the solar system.
In Tasmania, it is not a requirement for the business selling solar to hold its own electrical contractor’s licence as long as it subcontracts to a company that has an electrical contractor’s licence. The crucial point is that the paperwork at the time of the solar system sale must name the licensed contractor, not afterwards.
So you can see there is no consistency of rules across Australia. Maybe even write these details down.
If you notice any changes from our latest update, feel free to contact Your Energy Answers so that we can verify the latest changes.