As one of IPAA Victoria’s most prestigious award programs, the Leadership in the Public Sector Awards honour the excellence and innovation of teams and organisations within the public sector across all three levels of government (Commonwealth, State and Local) in Victoria. In this article, we spoke to Paul Corkill, Executive Director, Policy, Programs & Industry Development, Solar Victoria, whose division won the Innovation Regulation Award for their Solar Homes Assurance Framework.
Solar Victoria’s Solar Homes Program supports the installation of 700,000 solar photovoltaic systems, 10,000 battery storage systems and 60,000 solar hot water systems across the state. The Solar Homes Assurance Framework ensures that this Program is delivered with safety as the paramount consideration.
The Program is underpinned – not by a dedicated legislative scheme – but by collaboration and partnership with existing regulators, engagement with industry self-regulation schemes, a risk-based audit program, stringent participation requirements, and targeted education programs.
The impact of the Solar Homes Assurance Framework is far-reaching and has some very real benefits to the Victorian community in the areas of affordable and clean renewable energy. The framework leverages existing regulators and existing regulations to ensure the highest levels of safety and quality for the Solar Homes program.
In terms of impact, the program has:
directly invested over $450 million into the Victorian economy
built capacity of the renewable industry to support Victorians now and into the future
supported more than 235,000 households to date to generate more than 1450 megawatts of cheap and clean renewal energy
reduced the prevalence of unsafe electrical installations from 3.2% to at or under 0.1%.
We asked Paul Corkill the following questions.
What is the significance of the Solar Homes Assurance Framework and how has it evolved since winning the Innovative Regulation Award?
At the time, we reported that solar was booming in Victoria and three years on, I’m excited to say that rooftop solar continues to directly assist thousands of households to significantly reduce their energy bills while at the same time powering Victoria’s energy transition. This transition to renewable energy is an enormous policy challenge, and the Solar Homes program is delivering [a] huge impact through its scale.
Why is it important to acknowledge and celebrate the work of the public sector?
The work of the public service often goes unnoticed but the IPAA awards provide important recognition of the tireless work and dedication of the public sector and showcase how we can improve lives every day for our community.
How does the Solar Homes Assurance Framework make a difference to the community?
Victoria now boasts an enviable safety record for solar in Australia and the team at Solar Victoria, along with our regulatory partners, have worked together to uplift industry standards, improve regulations and embed safer practices – all of which mean Victorians can invest in solar with confidence.
Nominations are currently open for the Leadership in the Public Sector Awards 2022. The award theme this year is Innovation, inspiration, impact. Recognising exceptional design and delivery across the Public Sector. This year, the Innovative Regulation Award is called the Better Outcomes Through Regulation Award.
Do you know a team or organisation who has spearheaded an innovative and exceptional project or initiative that benefited the public sector and the Victorian community? If so, submit a nomination for the awards now.
Nominations close Monday 20 March 2023.