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Be informed, stay protected

Victorians are being urged to stay informed about their consumer rights to help make the state’s solar revolution a safe one.

15/06/21 11.15am
A couple smile at the samera, with their house with solar panels and a red car in the background

With more than 500,000 Victorians making the switch to solar keeping residents and workers safe is a top priority.

Weeding out rogue operators, tackling solar scams designed to look legitimate and auditing installed systems are just some of the ways Solar Victoria is protecting customers throughout their solar journey.

Solar Victoria has also banned door to door sales which is prone to pressure sales tactics to further protect consumers from potentially dodgy retailers and installers.

We’ve made it easy for people to stay informed about their consumer rights, what to look out for when purchasing solar systems and to report dodgy behaviour or safety concerns.

Dodgy sales behaviour can be reported to Consumer Affairs Victoria and to Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The Solar Homes Program was designed with safety in mind - only accredited, approved retailers and products can be used in any Solar Homes installation, installers undertake mandatory training and an independent inspector signs off on system safety.

Solar Victoria does not apologise for making safety a priority, taking compliance action against 20 retailers and 29 installers for failing to meet safety and quality obligations since the program began.

Victorians who have concerns about the behaviour of retailers and installers are encouraged to report to Consumer Affairs Victoria and to Solar Victoria.

Choosing the right system and finding an authorised retailer and installer is made easier with lists of authorised retailers and approved products, comprehensive buyers guides and tips and advice about consumer rights, safety accreditation, warranties and how to raise any concerns or complaints.

The Solar Hub is a great place to start, wherever customers are in their solar journey, with a series of Buyers Guides to help them make informed decisions.

It also covers key questions and actions, including checking with your distributor about whether you can connect to solar and any limits on sending power back to the grid and asking retailers about expected savings based on your actual bills.

Key consumer protection tips include:

  • Always check that information is from a trusted source – government websites will always end with vic.gov.au
  • Educate yourself by asking questions and be vigilant. Friends and family are a great source of information
  • Obtain three quotes and take time to consider your purchase carefully. Don’t be pressured into a decision until you are comfortable to proceed
  • Read the guides produced by Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Clean Energy Council
  • Find online reviews of the companies you’re looking at but be aware of those that are over-enthusiastic or multiple reviews submitted on the same day
  • See if company details, such as ABN, are listed on their website – you can check these on ASIC’s website
  • Remember, Victorian Government agencies will never ask for personal details, such as banking information over the phone.

Since its launch in 2018, the Solar Homes Program has provided more than $270 million in rebates to help Victorian households install solar systems, making solar accessible, driving down energy prices and helping to tackle climate change.

More information including eligibility criteria and authorised retailers can be found at solar.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan

“Dodgy solar operators that put the safety of Victorians at risk have no place in the Solar Homes program, and we won’t hesitate to kick them out.”

“The majority of solar retailers and installers do the right thing – we’re acting to protect their reputation and uphold the standards of our world-leading solar industry.”

Reviewed 28 June 2021