Solar Safety

Solar panels on a roof

Recent audits have identified problems with the installation of some solar PV systems. While these problems appear to present a low safety risk, if you are concerned about the safety of your solar PV system, we recommend you follow these steps:

Please leave any inspection of your system to a qualified expert. DO NOT check the solar panels, their wiring or any other part of the system yourself. DO NOT try to turn off the system. Solar PV systems need to be turned off with a specific shut down procedure. Turning off the system in the wrong way may contribute to safety risks.

If you have any questions about the safety of your solar PV system, contact the company which sold you the system. They should confirm that the installation received a Certificate of Compliance signed by a licensed electrician, that your installer was licensed, qualified and accredited and that the installer’s training was up to date with recent changes to standards. Where the company cannot satisfy you that your system is safe, you should ask them to come and inspect it.

If you are not satisfied with the response from the company, or you want an independent inspection of your system, you can go to the Clean Energy Council website, where you can find an accredited solar-trained electrician that can check your system for a fee.

If there are defects with your system, the installer is required to fix the defects as soon as possible at no cost to you.

NSW Fair Trading is responsible for taking action against builders and electricians that do substandard work, which includes the installation of solar panels. If you have a complaint about an installer or the fixing of any defects with your solar PV system, please call 1800 055 555.

Essential Energy also conducts a program of inspections of solar PV systems to ensure they are properly connected to the electricity network. A short supply interruption may be required to ensure systems operate correctly and not create an unsafe incident to the network. Customers will be notified prior to a supply interruption. These inspections do not include roof panels or in-house wiring and are not a substitute for having the complete system checked by a qualified expert.

Further advice on solar safety is provided at the NSW Department of Fair Trading.

Solar safety and floods

Always remember that even if power has been cut to your property, your solar power system still has the potential for a safety risk if affected by a flood.

Prepare for floods by familiarising yourself with the shutdown procedure for your system, and if there is a risk that the water level could reach the inverters and cables, arrange to turn off the roof top array isolator, if fitted.

During a flood, do not attempt to turn your system off if any of the components are covered in water or if parts of the system are still wet. This could result in a serious safety risk.

After a flood there may still be risks to your system due to residual moisture or damage to the inverter - find out more about the reconnection process in the Solar Connections Flood safety fact sheet.

Read more about how to stay safe during floods on our Flood Safety page.

More information

Small Scale Solar Connections Flood Safety fact sheet