Retailer Terms and Conditions
Key updates to Retailer Terms and Conditions
Solar Victoria has updated the Retailer Terms and Conditions that apply to retailers participating in Solar Victoria’s rebate programs. It is important that you read and understand these Terms and Conditions. By clicking “Agree” when you log onto the Retailer Portal, you are agreeing that these Terms and Conditions will apply in relation to your participation in the Solar Victoria rebate programs.
Retailers participating in the Solar Homes Program and/or the Solar for Business Program will need to accept the updated Retailer Terms and Conditions to be able to participate, or continue participating, in these programs from 14 May 2021.
Key updates to the Retailer Terms and Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Applying the Retailer Terms and Conditions to Retailers participating in the Solar for Business Program as well as the Solar Homes Program;
- Confirming that the eligibility criteria for customers of the Solar for Business program and the Solar Homes program is published at www.solar.vic.gov.au;
- Including the Essential Services Commission as one of the third-party agencies from which Solar Victoria may collect certain information from about the Retailer (as defined in Clause 3 of the Retailer Terms and Conditions);
- Requiring the Retailer to provide certain information as specified within Clause 14 of the Retailer Terms and Conditions;
- Introduction of a requirement for the Retailer, prior to the installation of an Eligible System (as defined in Clause 2 of the Retailer Terms and Conditions), to advise customers of any export constraints and ensure that Distribution Network Service Provider approval from the Australian Energy Regulator is obtained;
- Stating that, if a Retailer participates in more than one Program, a Breach (as defined in Clause 42 of the Retailer Terms and Conditions) by the Retailer of one Program means the retailer is deemed to be in Breach of the other Program under Clause 42 of the Retailer Terms and Conditions;
- Allowing Solar Victoria to, by notice in writing to the Retailer, take any of the actions referred to in Clause 42 in respect of a Program, or if the Retailer participates in more than one Program, the Programs, under Clauses 42-44 of the Retailer Terms and Conditions;
- Stating that, where Solar Victoria by notice in writing immediately suspends a Retailer’s participation in a Program for a specified period under Clause 45 of the Retailer Terms and Conditions, unless otherwise specified by Solar Victoria, the suspension also applies to any other Program in which the Retailer participates.
Solar Victoria Retailer Terms and Conditions
- The State of Victoria through Solar Victoria within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Solar Victoria) administers the following discretionary financial benefit and loan programs:
- the Solar Homes Program (SH Program); and
- the Solar for Business Program (SFB Program),
each a Program and together the Programs.
- Solar Victoria, in administering the Programs may provide a discretionary rebate and/or loan to eligible persons and businesses (Customers) to partially fund the purchase and installation of an eligible solar photovoltaic system and ancillary equipment (Solar System) and/or a solar battery system and ancillary equipment (Solar Battery System) and/or a solar hot water system (Solar Hot Water System) (collectively referred to as ‘Eligible Systems’) at a property (residential or commercial) in Victoria (Property). See clause 26 regarding requirements for Eligible Systems. The eligibility criteria for Customers is published at www.solar.vic.gov.au.
- Participation in either Program as a retailer of Eligible Systems (Retailer) is governed by the following documents (collectively referred to as the ‘Terms’):
- these Retailer Terms and Conditions;
- the Notices to Market published by Solar Victoria from time to time at www.solar.vic.gov.au; and
- any other guidelines or instructions for the Program published by Solar Victoria from time to time at www.solar.vic.gov.au or on the Solar Victoria Online Portal accessed via that website (Portal).
If there is any inconsistency between the documents comprising the Terms, the documents will be interpreted in the order of priority listed above.
- To participate in a Program, the Retailer must visit the Portal and register for the Program as a Retailer by completing the registration process outlined in the Portal. The Retailer is only eligible to participate in a Program if it meets the mandatory eligibility criteria for Retailers specified from time to time in the Notice to Market (Eligibility Criteria). By registering to participate in a Program, the Retailer warrants to Solar Victoria that it meets the Eligibility Criteria on registration and will continue to meet the Eligibility Criteria at all times during its participation in the relevant Program.
- If the Retailer no longer meets the Eligibility Criteria at any time during its participation in the relevant Program, the Retailer must immediately give written notice to Solar Victoria. If Solar Victoria receives this notice from the Retailer (or otherwise reasonably believes that the Retailer no longer meets the Eligibility Criteria), Solar Victoria may immediately suspend the Retailer’s participation in the relevant Program by written notice. This suspension will remain in effect until Solar Victoria is satisfied that the Retailer:
- again meets the Eligibility Criteria; and
- is committed to and capable of meeting the standards for the Program.
- By registering via the Portal and participating in a Program, the Retailer agrees to be bound by, and comply with, the Terms. If the Retailer also participates in a Program as an installer of Eligible Systems (Installer), the Retailer must also comply with the Installer Terms and Conditions available at www.solar.vic.gov.au.
- Retailers are responsible for all costs and expenses incurred by the Retailer in connection with its participation in a Program, including all costs and expenses incurred to comply with the Eligibility Criteria and the Terms.
- Solar Victoria may amend the Terms from time to time. Amendments will be published at www.solar.vic.gov.au and will apply on and from the date of publication, or as specified by Solar Victoria.
Collection, use and disclosure of information
- Solar Victoria uses the Portal and other reasonable means to collect information from the Retailer that it requires to administer the Programs. Solar Victoria may also collect information about the Retailer from third parties such as the Clean Energy Council (CEC), WorkSafe Victoria, Consumer Affairs Victoria, Energy Safe Victoria, the Essential Services Commission and the Victorian Building Authority. The Retailer consents to any person (including those listed in this clause 9) providing information of or about the Retailer to Solar Victoria for the purpose of Solar Victoria validating representations made, or information provided, by the Retailer or for the purpose of Solar Victoria administering the Programs.
- All information provided to Solar Victoria by or on behalf of the Retailer in connection with a Program must be complete, true and correct. The Retailer acknowledges that Solar Victoria will rely on such information to administer the Programs.
- If the Retailer does not provide information as requested by Solar Victoria, Solar Victoria may not be able to determine if the Retailer meets the Eligibility Criteria to participate in the relevant Program or pay any rebate or loan amounts through the Program.
- The Retailer must provide accurate information to Solar Victoria about the scheduled installation date, time and location of the installation of an Eligible System, along with any additional information relating to Property conditions or safety. Provision of this information prior to the installation of the Eligible System is a condition precedent to Solar Victoria paying a rebate and/or loan to the Retailer for the provision and installation of the Eligible System.
- Other information that the Retailer must provide to Solar Victoria includes:
- a quotation which must set out the following:
- the total price of an Eligible System;
- the rebate and/or loan amount; and
- the remaining amount (if any) to be paid by the Customer (including any upfront amounts the Customer is required to pay as a deposit to the Retailer prior to the scheduled installation of an Eligible System).
- a quotation which must set out the following:
- a tax invoice (as defined in A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) which sets the total price of an Eligible System, the rebate and/or loan amount and the remaining amount (if any) to be paid by the Customer (including any upfront amounts the Customer has paid as a deposit to the Retailer and any reduction in price due to the availability of small scale technology certificates or Victorian energy efficiency certificates);
- a small-scale technology certificate assignment form or a combined Victorian energy efficiency assignment form and small-scale technology certificate assignment form (as applicable);
- a Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificate assignment form issued in accordance with the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007 (Vic) and Essential Services Commission Energy Efficiency Scheme for the supply and installation of a Solar Hot Water System (as applicable);
- a Certificate of Electrical Safety issued under the Electricity Safety Act 1998 (Vic) and Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009 (Vic) for the supply and installation of a Solar System and / or a Solar Battery System (as applicable);
- a Compliance Certificate issued by a licensed plumber in accordance with the Building Act 1993 (Vic) for the supply and installation of a Solar Hot Water System (as applicable);
- the details of the Retailer’s bank account which must be with an authorised deposit taking institution as defined in the Banking Act 1959 (Cth) supervised by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and an Australian Business Number (ABN) of the Retailer and / or the Installer (as applicable);
- the Solar Provider Statement in the form supplied by Solar Victoria (the Retailer acknowledges and agrees that a Customer’s eligibility to participate in a Program is dependent on the Retailer providing this statement);
- pre-approval from the relevant local distribution network service provider for the connection of a Solar Battery System to the electricity distribution network; and
- all other information and documents requested by Solar Victoria in connection with the relevant Program.
- The Retailer must promptly comply with all requests for information from, and directions given by, Solar Victoria related to the Retailer’s participation in relevant Program.
Dealings with Installers, Customers and Solar Victoria
- Solar Victoria is committed to ensuring that Customers are treated fairly and receive all consumer protections offered by the Australian Consumer Law (as applied by s 8 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic)) and required under the CEC Solar Retailer Code of Conduct.
- The Retailer must conduct all of the Retailer’s dealings with Installers, Customers and Solar Victoria fairly, honestly and in accordance with all applicable laws and best industry practice.
- The Retailer must:
- have an internal Customer complaint handling procedure in accordance with the CEC Solar Retailer Code of Conduct;
- notify Solar Victoria of any Customer complaint received by the Retailer which:
- cannot be resolved between the Retailer and the Customer within a reasonable timeframe; or
- the Retailer is required to refer to the applicable industry Ombudsman or consumer affairs body pursuant to the CEC Solar Retailer Code of Conduct; and
- provide to Solar Victoria, or its representatives, all reasonable cooperation required in connection with Customer complaints.
- The Retailer must keep all Customer information collected through its participation in a Program secure and must protect such information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
General Retailer obligations
- The Retailer must:
- prior to the installation of an Eligible System:
- provide the Customer with a Customer Quotation;
- advise the Customer of any export constraints; and
- ensure that Distribution Network Service Provider approval from the Australian Energy Regulator is obtained; and
- only take a deposit or any other upfront payment from a Customer on the condition that it is fully refundable if the Customer is later found by Solar Victoria to be ineligible to participate in the relevant Program.
- prior to the installation of an Eligible System:
Prohibition on making applications for customers
- The Retailer must not take any steps to commence an application in the Portal on a Customer’s behalf to secure a rebate allocation or otherwise interfere with the Customer’s obligation to make an application in their own right and to provide their own application information to Solar Victoria via the Portal.
- Clause 21 does not apply to the submission of a Customer Quotation into the Portal.
- Any rebate and/or loan amount paid by Solar Victoria as a result of the Retailer’s breach of clause 21 (or by any other fraudulent conduct of the Retailer in connection with a Program) is recoverable by Solar Victoria from the Retailer as a debt due and payable and may result in Solar Victoria taking one or more of the actions prescribed in Clauses 42 – 46 inclusive of these Retailer Terms and Conditions, as applicable.
Retailer responsibilities for installation
- The Retailer is responsible for arranging and ensuring the safe installation and satisfactory performance of all Eligible Systems supplied to Customers in connection with a Program. If the Retailer arranges to have an Eligible System installed by a third party Installer, the Retailer is not relieved from this obligation.
- Without limiting clause 24, the Retailer warrants to Solar Victoria that each Eligible System will be installed in accordance with its system design requirements and instructions and the Customer Quotation approved by the Customer prior to installation. If any Eligible System is installed in breach of this warranty, Solar Victoria may refuse to pay, or recover (independently or as part of periodic payments of other subsidy claims) any rebate and/or loan paid or payable for that Eligible System and the Retailer must not seek to recover from the Customer the amount of a rebate and/or loan which Solar Victoria has refused to pay or recovered under this clause 25.
- The Retailer must ensure that Eligible Systems installed at a Property through any Program are:
- on the CEC’s approved list of products as updated from time to time;
- in respect of a Solar System, included on the Solar Victoria Approved PV Module List as updated from time to time;
- in respect of a Solar System Inverter, included on the Solar Victoria Approved Inverters and PCEs List as updated from time to time;
- in respect of a Solar Hot Water System, included on the Victorian Essential Services Commission Registered Products List, and included on the Solar Victoria Solar Hot Water Product List as updated from time to time; and
- in respect of a Solar Battery System, included on the Solar Victoria Approved Battery List as updated from time to time.
- For rebates and/or loans to apply to installation of an Eligible System, the Retailer must ensure that the Installer (whether the Retailer itself or its nominated Installer) downloads the Solar Victoria Application and uses the application to scan the Customer QR code onsite at the Property at the commencement of the installation of the Eligible System.
- At Solar Victoria’s direction, the Retailer must cease, either temporarily or permanently, using a specified:
- Installer; or
- licensed electrical inspector (or, if the Retailer is using a third party Installer, ensure that Installer ceases using the specified licensed electrical inspector in accordance with Solar Victoria’s direction).
- Subject to clauses 30 and 31, the Retailer may promote, market, advertise, publish or otherwise disclose the fact that it is a Retailer participating in the relevant Program or otherwise refer to the relevant Program in any media, including audio, visual and combined audio/visual form, printed, published, or electronic form (Publicity).
- When engaging in any Publicity, the Retailer must:
- comply with all laws, including laws prohibiting false and misleading representations;
- comply with any direction given by Solar Victoria from time to time; and
- not incorrectly express information regarding the Program or Solar Victoria.
- The Retailer must not engage in any Publicity during any period that its participation in the relevant Program is suspended or after it ceases to participate in the relevant Program for any reason.
- Solar Victoria may request at any time that the Retailer cease to engage in any Publicity where, in the opinion of Solar Victoria, the Retailer is:
- making representations that are false and misleading; or
- incorrectly expressing information in any Publicity regarding the Program or Solar Victoria.
Solar Victoria Audit and Assurance Program
- The Retailer may be subject to monitoring, assurance and audit activities by Solar Victoria or its representatives.
- The Retailer must provide to Solar Victoria, or its representatives, all reasonable cooperation required for Solar Victoria or its representative to carry out monitoring, assurance and audit activities including providing prompt access to its personnel, systems and documentation.
- A representative of Solar Victoria may inspect any Eligible System and conduct an audit or assurance review of the Eligible System (Compliance Audit). A Compliance Audit will take into account the products used in the Eligible System, the method of installation, compliance with the Terms or any other issue deemed appropriate by Solar Victoria.
- Following completion of a Compliance Audit, Solar Victoria may determine that an Eligible System is non-compliant and that the Eligible System:
- is unsafe; or
- needs rectification of non-compliances that impact the performance or safety of the Eligible System,
(each a ‘Non-compliant System’).
- If Solar Victoria determines that an Eligible System is a Non-compliant System (whether via a Compliance Audit or otherwise), Solar Victoria will provide written notice to the Retailer detailing the category of non-compliance as set out in clause 36 and, if applicable, the findings of the Compliance Audit (Non-compliant System Notice). Installation of a Non-compliant System is a breach of the Terms by the Retailer and the Retailer must rectify all Non-compliant Systems in accordance with clause 38 regardless of any other action taken by Solar Victoria.
- Within 7 days of receiving a Non-compliant System Notice (or in such other time as otherwise reasonably specified by Solar Victoria), the Retailer must contact the Customer and arrange to rectify the Non-compliant System at its own cost. The Retailer must complete rectification of the Non-compliant System in accordance with a Non-compliant System Notice within one month of the date of that notice (unless otherwise agreed with Solar Victoria). If the Retailer fails to rectify a Non-compliant System as required by this clause 38, Solar Victoria may arrange to rectify the Non-compliant System itself and any costs incurred by Solar Victoria to do so may be recovered from the Retailer as a debt due and payable.
- The Retailer must provide written notice to Solar Victoria setting out the relevant details, updates, notifications and any other relevant information concerning the rectification of the Non-compliant System within one month of the date of the Non-compliant System Notice (unless otherwise agreed with Solar Victoria).
- Solar Victoria may refuse to pay, or recover (independently or as part of periodic payments of other subsidy claims) any rebate and/or loan paid or payable for a Non-compliant System or for a system that Solar Victoria determines does not satisfy the requirements in clause 26 and the Retailer must not seek to recover from the Customer the amount of a rebate and/or loan which Solar Victoria has refused to pay or recovered under this clause 40.
- Solar Victoria may publish, from time to time, the compliance performance of Retailers or their nominated Installers based on results from a Compliance Audit.
Breach of Terms
- Where Solar Victoria reasonably considers that the Retailer has breached a requirement of a Program (including any breach of the Terms) (Breach), Solar Victoria may give notice in writing to the Retailer that Solar Victoria proposes to take one or more of the following actions:
- reprimand the Retailer in respect of the Breach and/or warn the Retailer that more serious action may be taken in the future if the Retailer repeats the behaviour;
- impose any additional condition(s) on the Retailer, that if breached, may result in more serious action being taken;
- suspend the Retailer’s participation in the Program for a specified period or until a specified event occurs;
- cancel the Retailer’s participation in the Program;
- disqualify the Retailer from participating in the Program again for a specified period; or
- disqualify any person who is an officer concerned in the management of, or director of, the Retailer, for a specified period, from:
- participating, or otherwise being involved in participating in, the Program; or
- being an officer concerned in the management of, or a director of, a body corporate participating in the Program.
If a Retailer participates in more than one Program, a Breach by the Retailer of one Program means the Retailer is deemed to be in Breach of the other Program.
- Where a Retailer receives a notice from Solar Victoria under clause 42, the Retailer may, within 14 days, provide Solar Victoria with written reasons as to why the Retailer considers that the Breach has not occurred (or has not occurred as stated by Solar Victoria).
- At the expiry of the 14 day notice period referred to in clause 43, Solar Victoria may by notice in writing to the Retailer take any of the actions referred to in clause 42 in respect of the Program, or if the Retailer participates in more than one Program, the Programs. Solar Victoria must take into account any submission of the Retailer given under clause 43 prior to taking any action.
- Notwithstanding the above, Solar Victoria may by notice in writing immediately suspend a Retailer’s participation in a Program for a specified period where Solar Victoria reasonably believes that:
- any conduct of the Retailer (whether or not a Breach) has or may result in any risk to human safety;
- the Retailer no longer meets the Eligibility Criteria; or
- suspension is otherwise required in the public interest.
Where this occurs, unless otherwise specified by Solar Victoria, the suspension also applies to any other Program in which the Retailer participates and is effective until:
- the earlier of the expiry of the specified period;
- the revocation of the suspension by Solar Victoria; or
- if applicable, Solar Victoria takes an action under clause 44 in relation to the Breach.
- Solar Victoria may produce a public notice advising of the suspension or disqualification of a Retailer from the Programs.
Administrative and general requirements
- Notices may be given to Solar Victoria at the following address:
PO Box 104
MORWELL VICTORIA 3840
- The Retailer must:
- keep full and accurate records in relation to all aspects of its participation in the Programs for a period of at least seven years and, if requested to do so in writing, must permit Solar Victoria (or its authorised representatives) to have access to those records and to take copies of those records for the purpose of Solar Victoria monitoring compliance with the Terms;
- maintain, for the period of registration: workers compensation as required by law; professional indemnity insurance with cover of no less than $2 million per claim; public liability insurance with cover of no less than $10 million for any one occurrence and product liability insurance with cover of no less than $10 million per claim and in the aggregate;
- make Solar Victoria aware of any occurrence or other matter that Solar Victoria ought reasonably be aware of in connection with the Programs as applicable, including any reportable occupational health and safety incident occurring in connection with the installation of an Eligible System; and
- indemnify Solar Victoria and its employees, officers, contractors and agents (the ‘indemnified’) from and against any cost, expense or liability suffered by the indemnified to the extent caused or contributed to by any negligent, fraudulent, unlawful, reckless or wilfully wrong act or omission of the Retailer (or its Installers, employees, officers, contractors or agents) or any Breach.
- The Retailer warrants to Solar Victoria that:
- it has the financial and technical capabilities and resources to supply and install, or procure the installation of, Eligible Systems in accordance with the requirements set out in the Terms;
- all information that it provides to Solar Victoria and Customers will be complete, true and correct;
- it and its representatives (including its Installers) will comply with the Terms and all applicable laws and will have all licences and accreditations required by law; and
- all Eligible Systems that it installs (or arranges the installation of) will be free from defects (including defects in installation).
- Solar Victoria reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate either Program at any time.
- Subject to any laws governing the Programs and except as otherwise provided in the Terms, any decision made by Solar Victoria in connection with the Programs may be made by Solar Victoria in its sole discretion and is final.
- To the maximum extent permitted by law, Solar Victoria excludes all liability to the Retailer in connection with each Program. The Retailer releases and discharges Solar Victoria from all claims, demands, actions or proceedings in connection with each Program
- Without limiting recourse to other means, Solar Victoria may offset any debt it owes to the Retailer under these Terms or otherwise in connection with the Program against any amount the Retailer owes to Solar Victoria either, under the Program, or, if the Retailer participates in more than one Program, under either Program.
- The obligations of the Retailer in clauses 10, 15, 18, 19, 23, 31-41, 46, 47, 48, 51, 52, 53, and 54 of these Retailer Terms and Conditions survive the Retailer’s removal from any Program or cessation of any Program.
- The rights and remedies conferred on Solar Victoria under the Terms are in addition to all other rights and remedies available to Solar Victoria at law.
- In the Terms a reference to:
- any document is a reference to that document as amended from time to time;
- a clause is a reference to a clause in these Retailer Terms and Conditions;
- legislation (including subordinate legislation) is a reference to that legislation as amended, re-enacted or replaced and includes a reference to any subordinate legislation issued under it;
- a person includes a firm, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation or other body corporate;
- ‘includes’ means ‘includes without limitation’; and
- words denoting the singular include the plural and vice versa.