Consumer protection

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

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 Victoria to ensure consumers and industry are aware of their rights and obligations.

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.

To lift standards across the industry, all solar retailers wanting to be part of the Solar Homes program must be accredited by the Clean Energy Council during 2019.

Large retailers won’t be able to access the program after 1 July unless they are CEC accredited, while smaller retailers have until 1 November to gain their accreditation.

These links will help you to learn about rooftop solar systems:

Safety first

Solar Victoria is working with a range of government agencies including WorkSafe, EnergySafe, the Victorian Building Authority and the Clean Energy Council 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 Victoria 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.

Tips for consumers

  • 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 Victoriaand 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.
  • Find out more about rebate scams on Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website
  • Apart from Consumer Affairs Victoria, you can report dodgy sales behaviour to Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Telemarketing and door-to-door sales

  • 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 Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website.
  • 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 Federal Government’s Do Not Call Registerwhere you can also lodge a complaint 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

Reviewed 08 July 2019

Was this page helpful?