Monday, July 25th, 2011

Installing solar panels yourself is extremely dangerous and illegal warned Australia’s peak electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA).

NECA provided the warning to Australians following reports of an increase in solar panel thefts.

NECA chief executive officer, Mr James Tinslay, said there are very real dangers to householders or other unlicensed people attempting to install solar panels.

“The installation of solar panels is like any other electrical installation and therefore requires a licensed electrician to undertake the work,” Mr Tinslay said.

“NECA is concerned that with a reported rise in solar panel thefts that householders might be buying cheap products on the black market or online in an attempt to save money and then attempt the installation themselves.

“This is very dangerous for unlicensed people because you are working near electricity with products that can generate electricity and it is also against the law.”

Each state and territory has existing legislation that specifies that electrical installations must only be undertaken by qualified electricians. A DIY solar panel installation by someone not qualified would be in breach of this legislation. There is also a number of building regulations that apply to solar panel installations.

NECA was the first organisation to warn the Australian Government about the dangers of the failed Home Insulation Program and provided further warnings to residents about the dangers of DIY installations when cheap insulation was being sold following the collapse of the Program. NECA is concerned that the same DIY mentality may be experienced with solar panel installations.

“There are many DIY projects around the home that are fun and when finished can save you money. However, installing solar panels or other electrical work such as rewiring is not one of them.

“NECA urges anyone undertaking renovations or any DIY activities to always use an electrician for electrical work.

“It only takes one mistake for a DIY project to be turned into a fatality,” Mr Tinslay said.

If residents are unsure whether an electrician is required it is always best to seek advice. Contact your local licensed electrician before you begin a project.


Contact Profile

National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA

NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
Dominic Feenan - Media and Communications Manager
P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328


solar panel theft stolen national electrical communications association NECA electrical safety



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