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Solar Victoria and Consumer Affairs Victoria are working together to combat inaccurate marketing and high-pressure tactics.

For many people buying solar is a new concept and we’re keen to make sure people buy a good quality system that will deliver many years of service.

We require stringent quality and safety standards to be met so that customers receive a high-quality product, installed safely by a qualified professional.

That means ensuring only authorised retailers, installers and accredited solar products are eligible under the program.

We also work with bodies like Consumer Affairs VictoriaExternal Link to ensure consumers and industry are aware of their rights and obligations.

Industry requirements

To maintain standards across the industry, all solar retailers wanting to be part of the Solar Homes program must be Clean Energy Council Approved Solar RetailersExternal Link . All installers participating in the Program must be Clean Energy Council Accredited InstallersExternal Link . Retailers who wish to participate in the Solar Homes program are required to agree to Solar Victoria’s Retailer Terms and Conditions, which contains provisions to protect consumers. Installers who wish to participate need to agree to Solar Victoria’s Installer Terms and Conditions.

Learn more about how to become an approved provider.

Safety first

Solar Victoria is working with a range of government agencies including WorkSafeExternal Link , EnergySafeExternal Link , the Victorian Building AuthorityExternal Link and the Clean Energy CouncilExternal Link to inspect systems as they’re being installed and after to ensure they meet safety requirements.

The purpose of these checks is to ensure the safety of Victorians and develop an understanding of where the solar retail and installation industry is doing well, and where there is room for improvement.

Read more about our audit and safety program.

Dodgy advertising and sales tactics

Solar Victoria and Consumer Affairs VictoriaExternal Link are working together to combat inaccurate marketing and high-pressure tactics.

This is a growing industry, but unfortunately there are still some companies doing the wrong thing and undermining the good operators.

Solar Victoria does not endorse any individual company involved in the Solar Homes program. This includes cold-callers or anyone going door-to-door.

It’s not illegal to sell door-to-door or over the phone, but consumers have 10 full business days to reconsider agreements made as a result of uninvited telemarketing or door-to-door sales.

The cooling-off period gives consumers time to ensure they are happy with the decision and that they have all the information needed to make a good choice. It begins on the first business day after the agreement is made. If the consumer cancels the agreement, there’s no penalty.

The maximum penalties for breach of the Australian Consumer Law provisions are $50,000 for a company and $10,000 for individuals. For more detailed information on telemarketers go to the Australian Telecommunications and Media AuthorityExternal Link .

There are rules about how calls/visits are conducted. Telemarketers must hang up immediately when asked by the consumer and not call back for at least 30 days.

Consumers can register their phone number with the Do Not Call registerExternal Link . You can also lodge a complaintExternal Link about telemarketing calls.

Try to verify details of companies calling or visiting from an independent source, such as a phone directory, but beware of fake websites as scammers send links to websites that look real, carrying the logos of well-known organisations.

Do not rely on caller ID. Scammers can use internet services to buy local telephone numbers that hide the fact they are based overseas

Tips for consumers

  • Ensure that any retailer you use is included on the list of Solar Victoria’s authorised solar retailers.
  • Be wary of traders offering goods or services with significantly discounted prices. It’s generally a trade-off for low-quality equipment that may not last.
  • Talk to neighbours, friends and family who have recently installed solar systems, find out who they’ve dealt with or speak to well-known providers.
  • Educate yourself by asking questions and be vigilant. Read the guides produced by Consumer Affairs VictoriaExternal Link and the Clean Energy CouncilExternal Link .
  • 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 websiteExternal Link .
  • Remember, Victorian Government agencies will never ask for personal details, such as banking information over the phone.
  • Find out more about rebate scamsExternal Link on Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website.
  • Apart from Consumer Affairs Victoria, you can report dodgy sales behaviour to ScamwatchExternal Link , which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer CommissionExternal Link .
  • You may need to obtain approval from your energy distributor to connect a solar PV system to the electricity grid prior to installation of your solar PV system. Your retailer has an obligation to explain this process before a contract is agreed to.

Educate yourself on solar

These resources can help you to learn more about solar energy before you install:

Useful organisations

WorkSafe Victoria (WSV)

Description: Victoria’s workplace health and safety regulator.

Purpose: Contact WSV to report a workplace health and safety incident, to report employer-non-compliance or to speak to WSV’s health and safety and injury compensation advisory service.

Website: www.worksafe.vic.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: Advisory service: 1800 136 089. 24/7 Emergencies: 13 23 60.

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV)

Description: Victoria’s technical and safety regulator for the generation, supply, and use of electricity, gas, and pipelines.

Purpose: ESV should be contacted in relation to safety and quality concerns for electrical and gas installations and equipment, among other things.

Website: www.esv.vic.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: 1800 800 158

Victorian Building Authority (VBA)

Description: Victoria’s building and plumbing regulator.

Purpose: The VBA provides information about building and plumbing matters, including safety matters, for property owners, residents and renovators.

Website: www.vba.vic.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: 1300 815 127

Clean Energy Council (CEC)

Description: A peak body for the clean energy sector in Australia.

Purpose: The CEC may be contacted in relation to potential breaches of its Solar Retailer Code of Conduct by Approved Solar Retailers, as well as instances of non-compliance by CEC Accredited Installers.

Website: www.cleanenergycouncil.org.auExternal Link

Phone: 03 9929 4100

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Description: Victoria’s consumer affairs regulator.

Purpose: CAV receives enquiries relating to compliance with and enforcement of consumer laws and regulations, as well as complaints relating to potential breaches of these laws and regulations.

Website: www.consumer.vic.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: 1300 55 81 81

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Description: Australia’s corporate, markets, and financial services regulator.

Purpose: ASIC provides information and answers enquiries about companies, businesses and individuals. Consumers may also report alleged misconduct of companies and organisations registered with ASIC.

Website: www.asic.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: 1300 300 630

Scamwatch - Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Description: The ACCC is Australia’s competition regulator and national consumer law champion, and provides information on how to recognise, avoid, and report scams.

Purpose: The ACCC provides guidance for consumers and small businesses relating to consumer rights and product safety. Consumers may also contact the ACCC to report scams and other consumer issues.

Website: www.scamwatch.gov.auExternal Link and www.accc.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: 1300 850 115

Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV)

Description: Dispute resolution service for energy and water issues.

Purpose: EWOV receives complaints about energy and water related matters within its jurisdiction.

Website: www.ewov.com.auExternal Link

Phone: 1800 500 509

Essential Services Commission (ESC)

Description: Victoria’s regulator for the price, quality and reliability of essential services.

Purpose: The ESC provides information for consumers in relation to electricity, gas and water issues as well as energy saving information.

Website: www.esc.vic.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: 1300 664 969

Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC)

Description: Consumer advocacy organisation.

Purpose: CALC may provide legal and financial assistance for people struggling with a range of consumer and financial issues.

Website: www.consumeraction.org.auExternal Link

Phone: 1800 466 477

Clean Energy Regulator (CER)

Description: Australian independent statutory authority responsible for administering legislation to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of clean energy.

Purpose: The CER provides education and information in relation to the schemes that it administers, including the Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, Emissions Reduction Fund, Renewable Energy Target, among others.

Website: www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.auExternal Link

Phone: 1300 553 542

Reviewed 12 April 2022

Contact Us

Solar Victoria PO Box 104, Morwell, VIC 3840