Thursday 28 March 2019

Why solar retailers need to sign up for a Code of Conduct


For many consumers, solar is a new and complex area.  

Determining whether what customers are offered is fit-for-purpose and whether the price reflects a product’s quality can be challenging for many people, who can be put at risk by unscrupulous operators.

Solar Victoria wants to ensure that people getting rebates from the Solar Homes program get quality service and only reputable retailers take part in the program.

Mandating that all solar retailers must be signatories to the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) Code of Conduct will help establish a level playing field for all solar retailers and help protect consumers from unscrupulous operators.

From 1 July 2019, Victoria’s top 150 solar retailers (based on the total number of systems they’ve installed under the program) will have to be approved under the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct if they want to continue to take part in the Solar Homes program. 

If you are a top 150 retailer, Solar Victoria has already contacted you. Solar retailers outside the top 150 have until 1 November to become approved signatories to the CEC’s Retailers Code of Conduct if they are to take part in the program.

Lifting standards in the solar retail area will add to the work already being done with industry regulators, including Energy Safe, WorkSafe, the Victorian Building Authority, Essential Services Commission and Consumer Affairs Victoria.

This requirement is on top of our basic criteria, which determines the training standards required of installers wanting to take part in the program.

Although conforming to a retailers’ code creates an extra demand, in a relatively young sector with so much to offer, it is essential to send clear signals to build and maintain consumer confidence.

 
What we want to see: 

✔️ protection for consumers against misleading advertising, and dishonest sales tactics and claims by sales representatives

✔️ confidence that consumers get accurate information about government incentives; the suitability, size and performance of their PV system; and future electricity bills

✔️ retailers who educate consumers about their rights concerning cooling-off periods, deposits, refunds and that contracts can be cancelled if changes to the system ordered are not approved in writing

✔️ a minimum five-year whole-of-system warranty from retailers, which will be responsible for workmanship, including that performed by subcontractors so consumers’ systems are installed in accordance with existing legislation, regulations, standards and guidelines. 

 

More information

 

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