Licences cancelled for false certification of work
Seven electricians had their contractor licences revoked by NSW Fair Trading after investigations found they signed and submitted compliance certificates (CCEWs) for solar panel installations despite not having carried out, supervised, or inspected the installations themselves.
Six of the electricians were either overseas or interstate on the dates listed on the certificates. The seventh contractor was in Sydney instead of at the job sites in regional New South Wales.
Fair Trading Commissioner Natasha Mann said the contractor licences were cancelled by Fair Trading’s Disciplinary Action Unit (DAU) between 4 March 2022 and 10 August 2022. Each of the electricians was also disqualified from working in the New South Wales building industry for varying periods of time.
“We are warning New South Wales consumers who are getting solar panels installed to check that the person on the roof attending to the wiring is a licensed electrician with the credentials required to work in this state and carry out solar panel installations,” Ms Mann said.
“In one of the seven cases that Fair Trading’s DAU recently dealt with, a man’s contractor licence was cancelled after he wrongfully signed off 161 solar panel installations that were carried out across New South Wales while he was interstate.
“The man took advantage of the Commonwealth Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and received tens of thousands in government rebates for installations that he did not install or inspect himself.”
Ms Mann said NSW Fair Trading will not hesitate to act against any electrical contractors trying to cut corners and bend the rules.
“We require properly qualified contractors to maintain the high professional standards needed to ensure customers retain the services of contractors with confidence,” Ms Mann said.
“In light of the fact that electric shocks are the second biggest cause of death in the New South Wales construction industry we also want to ensure solar installation work sites are safe places.
“It is the solar panel installers, those properly certifying the work, who are responsible for ensuring the safety of those on premises and ensuring safe work methods are in place.”
The tradesperson installing a solar panel on any site ought to be able to show the customer a contractor licence in the category of Electrician and a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accreditation.
Solar installers wishing to claim government rebates must now provide a visual record of site attendance across the life of eligible projects. This Clean Energy Council provision has been in force since November 2021.
Consumers are urged to check the licence of registered trades people in New South Wales via the Service NSW website and check that the specific installer is CEC accredited on the Clean Energy Council website. Consumers planning to install solar panels can find out more on the NSW Fair Trading website.