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New ‘green card’ to root out shady solar panel installers

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation New ‘green card’ to root out shady solar panel installers

AS increasing numbers of South Africans look to capitalise on renewable energy to reduce their household bills, the South African Photovoltaic Association (SAPVIA) is urging consumers do their homework before choosing an installer.

“Solar PV offers consumers the chance to take control of their energy supply and substantially reduce their bills. We are delighted that consumers are adopting solar PV and there has been an increase in the number of suppliers offering PV installation across the country,” said SAPVIA COO Niveshen Govender.

“However, we are cautioning consumers to undertake the proper due diligence to ensure that they are engaging an accredited installer who will ensure both the quality and safety of their installation. Just as you would with any supplier, you need to scrutinise their qualifications, previous experience, accreditations and of course the quality of the components you are purchasing.”

He said that in addition to advocating for a solar PV powered future for South Africa, SAPVIA had taken the lead in the development of a “robust accreditation programme designed to deliver a quality and sustainable solar PV sector” in South Africa.

“This has been achieved through the PV GreenCard Programme which demonstrates industry experience, specialised training as well as compliance with national standards and municipal regulations.”

Govender said the PV GreenCard programme doesn’t just support installers, “it also gives consumers the confidence to ask the right questions and assure themselves of a high-quality solar PV installation”.

The installer must provide the system owner with a report that includes a robust checklist of all the necessary installation steps as well as all details of the installation, including details of the PV modules and inverters utilised.

“As consumers turn to solar PV in increasing numbers, SAPVIA through the PV GreenCard Programme is able to offer guidance on the quality and safety of the industry. Our role is to ensure the future viability of the solar PV sector, and this can only be achieved if consumers have confidence that installers are able to deliver quality installations that will allow them to reap the benefits of solar both in the short and long term.”

He said SAPVIA is working with the Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa and the Department of Employment and Labour to develop mechanisms to regulate installation standards for the electrical sector in general and more specifically solar PV.

“Through standardisation and a commitment to developing quality installations, we believe we will be able to offer best practice training, which should not only support the renewables sector but also create much-needed job opportunities in a fast-growing sector.”

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