Office Of Fair Trading Warns Of Solar Power Scams

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning Queenslanders about dealing with a solar company that has failed to deliver on orders.
   
A statement released by the department says Fair Trading has received 25 complaints from consumers who paid deposits for solar panels and installation but never received the goods.
   
"The operation has been selling solar panel energy system installation to Queensland consumers via telemarketing and door-to-door," said Executive Director of Fair Trading Operations, Brian Bauer.
   
Mr Bauer says the company is not registered to purchase solar credits, nor do they have a solar system supplier.
   
"Unfortunately this case has all the hallmarks of a scam," he said.
   
Mr. Bauer says consumers have additional protection when it comes to door-to-door and telemarketing sales, including a ten business day cooling off period for products or services worth $100 or more.
   
The Office of Fair Trading advises consumers to carefully research any company they are considering buying a solar power system from and be especially wary of traders who have a PO Box, but no permanent business address.
   
The popularity of solar power has seen scams and fly-by-night operations popping up around Australia; fleecing consumers of their hard-earned cash and taking business away from legitimate, well-established companies operating in the sector. 
   
At times, businesses also enter into the Australian solar market with the best of intentions and offering very cheap systems; but being unfamiliar with the industry’s nuances and challenges or not having the necessary technical expertise; some merchants quickly find themselves going under – leaving their customers high and dry with poor quality equipment, shoddy installation or nothing at all.
   
National solar solutions provider Energy Matters has published a consumer guide to solar power, identifying some of the potential traps and pitfalls consumers should be aware of when considering a solar energy investment.