NATIONAL: Australia’s peak clean energy body today launched a guide to help householders make an informed choice when buying solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the guide will help consumers find the right system to suit their needs.

“There are now more than 100,000 solar PV systems installed across Australia and the range of solar companies, installers and products is mind-boggling,” he said.

“Although the solar industry has an excellent safety record, being an informed consumer has never been more important.

“The guide is a general introduction to solar PV systems. It includes a list of sensible questions to ask when inquiring about solar power to ensure the installer and type of panel you choose is up to scratch,” Mr Marsh said.

The solar industry has grown very quickly over the last couple of years and the solar energy installed across Australia avoids more than 260,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year – the equivalent of taking around 60,000 cars off the road.

The Clean Energy Council runs an accreditation program for solar PV designers and installers to ensure a high standard of installation quality. To qualify for Federal Government subsidies, solar PV systems must be signed off by an accredited professional who has completed training in the design and installation of solar power systems.

Mr Marsh said there were more than 2000 accredited installers across Australia and the system had helped the industry maintain a high standard over the last decade during a period of remarkable growth.

The new consumer guide to buying solar panels and a list of accredited installers can be found here.