Choose solar installer wisely to avoid being burnt

This announcement is for: 
Consumer
  • High complaint numbers prompt reminder to research solar installers
  • Issues involve poor quality parts, installers not using due care and skill
  • Some complaints about companies that have gone out of business

WA consumers looking to install home solar energy systems are urged to select their installers carefully, following a high number of complaints reported to Consumer Protection.

So far this year, Consumer Protection has received 67 consumer complaints about issues such as poor quality parts, companies providing false and misleading information, as well as installers failing to use due care and skill. During the same period in 2021, 57 complaints were received.

Around 13 per cent of total complaints involved consumers who could not get in touch with the trader or manufacturer, with a number involving businesses that had closed down altogether.

Acting Executive Director Penny Lipscombe said the issues were an important reminder for consumers to thoroughly research who they plan to do business with.

“Before agreeing to buy a solar system, there are a number of crucial checks that should be made, including sourcing independent reviews and making sure your preferred supplier is accredited by searching the Clean Energy Council’s website,” Ms Lipscombe said.

“If a supplier’s verbal claims are influencing your decision, make sure to have them included in the written contract and read through all the terms and conditions.

“Solar installers are not allowed to use forceful or high pressured sales tactics to get you to buy something, nor can they provide you with false or misleading information. They must also ensure their products and services meet the consumer guarantees.”

The system’s electrical components must be installed by a licensed electrician working under a licensed electrical contractor.

“You should ask to see these licences and expect to receive an electrical safety certificate for the work. Our colleagues at Building and Energy can assist if you have any electrical compliance concerns,” Ms Lipscombe said.

For more information on how to choose an installer, and to determine whether solar panels are suitable for your needs, Consumer Protection has a factsheet available on the website at www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au. Enquiries can be made by contacting Consumer Protection on consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or 1300 30 40 54.

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Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / alan.hynd@dmirs.wa.gov.au  

Consumer Protection
Media release
14 Sep 2022

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