With the arrival of summer today, leading consumer groups have joined with the Clean Energy Council to launch a new campaign advising people buying solar panels to look for an Approved Solar Retailer to make sure they get the best possible quality and service – and avoid getting a bad deal.

With summer being a great time to consider buying solar, the Alternative Technology Association, Consumer Action Law Centre, Energy Consumers Australia, Solar Citizens and the Clean Energy Council advised consumers to do their research when buying a solar power system.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said that when summer heats up in Australia, so do power bills, and many people are looking to solar power as the solution.

“The start of summer in Australia has always meant sun, surf and sand, but it also means kicking back, switching on the air-conditioning and television and trying to stay cool as the sun beats down outside,” Mr Thornton said.

“The extra energy we use over the holidays has an impact on your hip pocket, which makes summer a popular time to consider installing solar panels to take some of the heat out of power bills.

“But buying solar panels can be a bit of a minefield for consumers with the large number of suppliers and deals available. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can make the wrong choice for your needs, or even end up getting taken for a ride by a fly-by-nighter.

“If you’re looking to buy solar panels, do your research and look for a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer.

“These companies have signed the only solar industry code of conduct that’s authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. They offer a five year, whole-of-system warranty, as well as best practice customer service,” he said.

Forty leading solar retailers across Australia are now Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailers, and have agreed to meet the strict terms of the voluntary code of conduct. These companies have committed to deliver best practice quality and service, and are regularly reviewed to ensure they’re doing the right thing by their customers.

In addition to choosing an Approved Solar Retailer, when buying solar, consumers are advised to do their research about what works for them, and to watch out for pressure tactics. Consumers groups said the top tips for buying solar were:

  • Download the Clean Energy Council’s Guide to Installing Solar to start your research
  • Be wary of 'limited time only' offers and salespeople who pressure consumers to sign a contract on the spot
  • Be aware of your rights when speaking to door-to-door sellers or telemarketers – the ACCC has some good advice online
  • If finance is offered, ask about the costs in comparison to buying outright and consider if you can afford the repayments
  • Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

For more details or to find an Approved Solar Retailer, look for the logo or visit www.approvedsolarretailer.com.au


Please contact Clean Energy Council Communications Manager Laura Szekfy on 0410 277 393 for more information or to arrange an interview.