Consumer groups warn buyers over dodgy solar panels

Consumer groups and the Clean Energy Council are warning consumers to check who they are buying solar panels from.

Consumer groups and the Clean Energy Council are warning consumers to check who they are buying solar panels from.

With Summer now upon us, leading consumer groups have joined with the Clean Energy Council to launch a new campaign advising people to make sure they are buying solar panels from an Approved Solar Retailer.

Mandurah has remained one of the top five spots in the state for solar panel uptake, with more than 34 per cent of houses now hooked up to solar panels.

Consumer statistics show Mandurah and the Peel region remain popular sites for solar panel sales every summer.

The Alternative Technology Association, Consumer Action Law Centre, Energy Consumers Australia, Solar Citizens and the Clean Energy Council have advisedconsumers to do their research when buying a solar power system.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said that when summer heats up in Australia, so do power bills, and many people are looking to solar power as the solution.

“The start of summer in Australia has always meant sun, surf and sand, but it also means kicking back, switching on the air-conditioning and television and trying to stay cool as the sun beats down outside,” Mr Thornton said.

“The extra energy we use over the holidays has an impact on your hip pocket, which makes summer a popular time to consider installing solar panels to take some of the heat out of power bills.

“But buying solar panels can be a bit of a minefield for consumers with the large number of suppliers and deals available.”

Mr Thornton said consumers who weren’t completely sure of the industry could be taken advantage of by fly-by-night installers.

“If you’re looking to buy solar panels, do your research and look for a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer,” he said.

“These companies have signed the only solar industry code of conduct that’s authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. They offer a five year, whole-of- system warranty, as well as best practice customer service.”

Forty leading solar retailers across Australia are now Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailers, and have agreed to meet the strict terms of the voluntary code of conduct.

These companies have committed to deliver best practice quality and service, and are regularly reviewed to ensure they’re doing the right thing by their customers.

In addition to choosing an Approved Solar Retailer, when buying solar, consumers are advised to do their research about what works for them, and to watch out for pressure tactics.

Consumers groups said the top tips for buying solar were:

- Download the Clean Energy Council’s Guide to Installing Solar to start your research

- Be wary of ‘limited time only’ offers and salespeople who pressure consumers to sign a contract on the spot

- Be aware of your rights when speaking to door-to- door sellers or telemarketers – the ACCC has some good advice online

- If finance is offered, ask about the costs in comparison to buying outright and consider if you can afford the repayments

- Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more details or to find an Approved Solar Retailer, look for the logo or visit approvedsolarretailer.com.au.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop