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Media release: Service your solar PV system and reduce safety risks

Monday 26 February 2024 10:07pm

Energy Safe Victoria and Solar Victoria have launched the 'Show Your Solar Some Love' campaign to highlight the benefits of well-maintained solar PV systems while avoiding safety risks such as fire.

In the 2022-2023 financial year, Energy Safe investigated 53 fires related to rooftop solar. This follows 28 fires being investigated in the previous year by the regulator.

Energy Safe CEO Leanne Hughson said solar PV systems needed to be maintained for the same reason your car needs to be serviced, to ensure they always run safely.

“We encourage Victorians using solar to ensure their systems are serviced by a licensed A-Grade electrician at least once every two years,” Ms Hughson said.

“Energy Safe investigated 53 fires over the past year that could have been prevented if the solar PV systems had been serviced.”

Hot and cold temperatures, wind, rain and other extreme weather events can cause damage and wear to solar PV installations. Regular servicing mitigates this risk, ensuring they are working safely and efficiently.

Audits conducted by Energy Safe found a major cause of solar PV system fires was moisture impacting DC isolators – a switch that stops electricity flowing through the system in emergency situations.

Victorian Government research shows that fewer than half of Victorians are aware of the importance of servicing their solar PV systems.

Servicing involves the electrical testing of the components that make up a solar panel system, as well as a thorough visual inspection to ensure the integrity of equipment and cabling. It includes the clearing of debris or leaf litter under the solar panels and around the inverter.

Victorians should also beware of unlicensed workers offering solar cleaning or maintenance.

Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said it was important for homeowners to set up a maintenance plan with their solar retailer to ensure their system was operating properly, safely and efficiently.

“Safety underpins everything we do, and our customers should feel reassured,” Mr Krpan said.

“Solar Homes Program retailers and installers can help customers keep their system working safely and at its best, so it maximises their savings with solar.

“Solar Homes installations meet robust safety and quality standards, including the use of authorised retailers, accredited installers and carefully assessed products. And safety has improved dramatically as a result of our program, with only 0.1 percent of installs audited needing to be rectified for safety reasons.”

There are currently more than 655,000 solar PV systems installed across Victoria with 53,000 installed in 2022.

For more information see esv.vic.gov.au/solar-safety External Link

ENDS

Media contact: Nicole Butler 0477 572 378 | nicole.butler@energysafe.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 26 February 2024

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