Solar retailers have enjoyed quite a boom period. Thrifty families wanting to save the environment and money have been lining up to install panels, helped by heavy subsidies from the government. The ACCC is cracking down on their party, however, and is demanding retailers and suppliers substantiate performance claims and give correct information about financial assistance.

In a joint warning to the industry, Australian consumer protection agencies are calling on solar power retailers to comply with the Australian Consumer Law and ensure their claims are true.

“Recent advertising by solar retailers about these financial assistance schemes coming to an end can give consumers the false impression they will miss out on savings if they don’t act now,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said.

“The initial investment in a solar power system can be very expensive, so it is important that retailers don’t pressure householders into rash decisions.”

Samuel said when advertising solar power systems retailers must be vigilant and take all reasonable steps to ensure consumers are not misled.

“It’s easy for consumers to be dazzled by energy and money saving claims or new technology and equations presented by so-called experts. Retailers are on notice that they must be able to support and back-up these types of performance and
savings claims.

“Claims should be clear and unambiguous and should not include technical or scientific jargon that suggests certain capabilities or effects that cannot be substantiated,” Samuel said.