Meet Mitchell Carter from Gippsland Solar. He’s an accredited CEC solar installer with battery endorsement.
But what does that mean and why is it important? We chat to Mitchell about his experience in the solar industry to find out why he is accredited and where he sees the future of solar batteries heading.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the solar industry?
I’ve been working in the solar industry since 2010. Before that I worked predominantly in residential electrical. I was lucky enough to be hired by a contractor who took me under his wing and taught me the ropes of solar, and I’ve never looked back. It was a new and exciting industry that has evolved into a true passion of mine.
How has the industry changed since you first became an electrician?
The solar industry has changed greatly over the past ten years. Things are different now. We have a clean energy regular that makes sure we have regular audits with strict standards.
The change has seen a lift in quality across the industry. Electricians are more aware and conscientious; safety is at the forefront of their mind. Interestingly social media has played a role in this shift. Many electricians use Facebook as a way to discuss and seek advice with other qualified professionals but also to call out poor workmanship. It’s seen everyone lift their game, no one wants to be called out and have their integrity compromised.
How has consumer behaviour changed over the years?
People are more curious than they used to be. There has definitely been a growth in solar over the past nine years, but particularly in the last six to twelve months. People are also more environmentally conscious and want to be more informed. They are calling accredited electricians directly to answer their questions about solar installations, rather than a sales person. They recognise that solar energy is more complex than traditional energy forms, and that an expert needs to be consulted.
Why did you complete your battery storage endorsement?
I wanted to be one step ahead of the game. The renewable energy industry was becoming increasing popular, putting it in the spotlight, so I wanted to make sure I was prepared with adequate training. Any electrician can look at a diagram and put something together. I wanted to deepen my understanding on how solar batteries worked and learn the actual theory behind it.
My accreditation means I can work closely with my customers to design the perfect system that suits their budget and lifestyle. A huge concern for me is that many of the solar battery systems that are installed have not been designed properly. With an accreditation under my belt I can design a system with the right products that is built to last.
What would you say to an electrician thinking of completing their accreditation?
I would say just go for it! It’s a great professional development tool that really helps you refine your skills and prepares you for the future in this industry. It gives you the confidence needed to give advice and instils trust in your customers knowing you will do the right thing for them. In short, I don’t know why you wouldn’t!
What should consumers look for when finding an electrician to install their solar battery?
Finding an accredited installer is the first (and most important) step. I would also ask to see examples of their previous work: what they have installed and why they installed it. Ask as many questions as possible. There is so much information accessible online that allows you to easily find out more about solar batteries. Remember no question is a silly question!