Solar Panel Validation Initiative


The Solar Panel Validation (SPV) initiative was a program developed by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER), designed to protect Australian consumers and make it easy for them to identify genuine solar panels.

“SPV gives solar supply chain representatives early confirmation of solar panel eligibility before and at the time of installation,” states the regulator

Formbay became an industry partner in 2017 and helped develop the program, becoming the first industry partner and also the first to pilot. SPV was launched in September 2018 with a handful of manufacturers on board. To date, there are over 60 solar panel manufacturers onboard, around 75% of the total market. SPV make up over 60% of STC Applications (Australia Solar Subsidy) lodged with the CER.

According to the Regulator’s Annual Report for 2019-20, solar panel validation resulted in:

  • Reduced STC processing times, from 4–6 weeks for non-SPV claims to just 24 hours for claims with validation
  • Reduced scheme participant STC failure rates
  • A significant reduction in the error rate for STC claims compared with non-solar panel validation claims
  • Cost-savings and a streamlined process for those participating

Problem Statement

How might we provide consumers with the confidence that Solar Panels they purchased are genuine?

Unlike many other products, solar panels tend to all look the same. This made it difficult for consumers to tell they were getting the panels that they paid for. Counterfeit panels were a problem, where a cheap solar panel was re-badged with a more expensive well known brand by fraudulent suppliers.


Using a smartphone app, scan solar panel serial numbers and send the serial number to a verification service. Installer receives verification in real time and finalises the installation. Consumers receive confirmation of solar panels are genuine in the form of a digital certificate.

Solar Panel Validation Pilot

During the pilot stage, Formbay worked with Jinko Solar and in September 2017, successfully uploaded the first SPV signed data pack.

“The successful uploading of the first signed data package from Formbay/Jinko is a fantastic achievement and the result of two years of work by our industry partners and Clean Energy Regulator staff”, said Clean Energy Regulator, General Manager, Michelle Crosbie.

The key to SPV working was make it as easy as possible for the solar installers. On the ground contextual research was conducted on residential solar installation sites, providing key insights into making the process as simple and non-intrusive as possible.

One key insight uncovered was Installers were already scanning serial numbers as a requirement for Small-scale Technology Certificates, a federal government subsidy for solar installations. Utilising what installers were already doing, SPV was implemented into the process without adding extra work for the installers.


  • Designed and conducted user research
  • Collaborated with industry and government representatives
  • Organised workshops
  • Developed concepts
  • Designed wireframes and prototypes
  • Designed User Journeys
  • Produced marketing and publicity materials
  • Event Organisation and attended Industry Expo
  • UX/UI Designs