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Solar panels top safety track record
by Staff Writers
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jun 27, 2011

File image.

Incorrectly installed solar panels pose a very low risk to households, and the safest thing to do is leave the system alone, according to the Clean Energy Council.

The advice follows the statement by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell who Friday flagged the result of new inspections in western Sydney reporting an unacceptable level of systems with an incorrectly installed switch.

The peak body's Chief Executive Matthew Warren today reassured consumers about the safety of solar power technology which is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 households around Australia. An independent assessment by the industry's expert advisory panel confirmed the risk from any incorrect installation of the switch is very low.

"The solar PV industry has an excellent safety record. There are now more than 300,000 solar systems in Australia some of them operating for more than a decade, and only three minor incidents have been reported during this time," Mr Warren said.

The main issue identified in the recent audits was an incorrectly wired circuit breaker. This issue had been identified by governments and industry late last year and remedial action by the solar industry was already well underway.

"We would like to remind solar households that the safest thing to do is to leave your system alone. In the unlikely event that there is a fault with your system, it is only triggered by incorrectly switching it on and off."

Mr Warren urged anyone with concerns about their solar panels to contact the company who supplied their system.

By law solar panels have to be installed by a licensed electrician who has been specially trained to install household solar, with all systems inspected at least once by an independent authority before they are switched on.

"There is a rigorous compliance system for solar panels that has been in place in Australia since it was introduced by the Howard Government in 2001," said Mr Warren.

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