Section 9: Consumer protections when buying a solar panel (PV) system

If you have a problem with a solar panel (PV) system installed at your home, you have rights to protect you as a consumer.

You have rights to protect you as a consumer if you have a problem with a solar panel (PV) system installed at your home. This includes the rights you have under Australian Consumer Law and additional entitlements under the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC).

Retailers in the Solar Homes Program must follow the Code when doing business. It requires them to commit to high standards across sales and marketing, quotes and contracts, delivery and installation, and warranties and support.

Your consumer rights

Australian Consumer Law has rules for responsible marketing and selling, products being fit for purpose, and warranties being honoured. The New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC) has higher standards in these areas. It also has requirements for New Energy Tech Approved Sellers with regard to dealing with problems and complaints.

When you buy a system find out who you should contact if there is a fault, and be aware of the warranties available with your system.

If you have a problem with a product, service or unfulfilled contract try to resolve it directly with your retailer first. Putting your complaint in writing gives you records of your dealings with it.

If you are unable to contact the business, or you do not receive a satisfactory response within a reasonable time, you could lodge a complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria, who may be able to assist.

The solar energy page on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website has advice on the next steps, from dealing with a faulty product such as a solar inverter, problems with installation and dealing with insolvent businesses.

You can also choose to take your complaint further by applying to a court or tribunal, such as the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), or seek your own independent legal advice.

More information, including who to contact about your rights as a consumer, see Consumer protection.