Home News The New Energy Tech Consumer Code program is live

The New Energy Tech Consumer Code program is live

Published on - 1 Feb 2023

Launched today, the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC) program seeks to raise consumer protection standards in Australia for purchases of new energy tech, including rooftop solar, battery storage, EV chargers, home energy management systems and more.

The NETCC program aims to raise consumer protection standards

Australia is a world leader in small-scale renewable energy generation, with over 3 million rooftop solar systems providing over 7 per cent of the country’s electricity needs, with much more growth anticipated. Emerging technologies, including microgrids, virtual power plants and community batteries, offer households and businesses new ways to reduce their energy bills and emissions.

Besides being a large and growing industry, new energy tech provides an essential service, is high-value and employs technologies that sometimes need to be better understood. It is vitally important, therefore, that consumers are well protected in this market.

The NETCC is a voluntary code of conduct designed by peak industry and consumer bodies to build upon existing mandatory consumer protection regulations defined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Retailers can apply to the program, demonstrate they meet the NETCC requirements and become New Energy Tech Approved Sellers, showing customers they are established businesses committed to consumer protection standards, including fair and honest quotes, ethical sales practices and after-sales customer service.

The NETCC program replaces the Approved Solar Retailer program to expand the coverage of consumer protections beyond solar and storage. Under the Approved Solar Retailer program, retail standards in the sector have been improving – the Australian Communications and Media Authority, for example, has seen solar telemarketing complaints have been reduced by half since 2018-19, while Solar Victoria has seen rising levels of consumer satisfaction. The NETCC program aims to build on this success and ensure more Australian homes and businesses can access clean, affordable, new energy tech from trusted businesses.

The NETCC program is designed and governed by the NETCC Council, comprised of peak industry and consumer bodies, namely the Australian Energy Council, the Clean Energy Council, the Consumer Action Law Centre, Energy Consumers Australia, Energy Networks Australia, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Renew. It is administered by the Clean Energy Council.

The NETCC program also intends to strengthen consumer confidence and encourage innovation and choice for consumers by educating consumers about their new energy tech options.

Announcing the launch of the NETCC program, the Chair of the NETCC Council, Clare Petre, said:

”It can be a challenge for consumers to navigate the expanding array of new energy tech products and services. The new Code will provide consumers with a wide range of information in advance of purchases and will empower providers to achieve the highest standards of service and consumer protection. The Code will have a key role in supporting consumers as they embrace new energy tech as part of a renewable energy future.”

We look forward to working with new energy tech retailers to help raise consumer protection standards in the industry and educate consumers on new energy tech options that best achieve their energy goals.

The NETCC Industry Council