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The Victorian Government has announced that solar installers can return to work, with outdoor solar installations for occupied residential premises resuming this week.

Among the specific conditions required for solar power installers to work on residential homes in metropolitan Melbourne, there must be no more than five workers onsite, all work must be conducted outdoors, fitted face masks and physical distancing must be maintained, and all businesses must have a COVIDSafe plan in place for onsite operations.

Regional Victoria remains in Third Step restrictions. While there are no restrictions on the number of workers allowed, a COVIDSafe Plan must be in place for each site.

Solar Victoria offers rebates to eligible Victorian households for solar panels, batteries and hot water systems, with discounts up to a maximum of $1850 on the cost of a solar panel system.

Applications for rebates have remained strong throughout 2020, and Victoria’s solar industry has a large pipeline of work awaiting it.

Solar Victoria chief executive, Stan Krpan, said it is important that all retailers and installers familiarise themselves with the new rules which are actively being enforced, and that the return is measured, staged and well planned.

All retailers must be signatories to the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, with solar PV installers required to hold an unrestricted Class A Electrical Licence registered with Energy Safe Victoria and be accredited by the CEC Solar Accreditation Scheme.

“Solar Victoria supports industry bodies who have encouraged businesses to take a cautious approach to reopening and ensuring all workers are safe and are complying,” he said.

“With many businesses starting to think about hiring new employees we remind them that free training is available.”

In acknowledgment of the impact of Stage 4 coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, Solar Victoria has extended the training deadline for completion of the free, mandatory ‘Work safely in the solar industry’ course to June 30, 2021.

Updates are available at solar.vic.gov.au,  with full information on the roadmap for reopening at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

 

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