Solar Power Fraudster Jailed

Foreground Image: BigStock

A US man who would take down payments on installing wind and solar energy systems and then not perform the work has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison and ordered to repay more than USD $100,000.

While this was a US case, fraudulent practices and misleading advertising in relation to solar power systems is becoming particularly rampant in Australia given the federal government’s $8,000 solar rebate ending on June 30.. 

The new Australian Solar Credits scheme, due to follow immediately after the end of this rebate, will be available to far more Australians than the current rebate, but it will not offer the same level of subsidisation as the Solar Homes and Communities Plan on lower end system, which are the most popular choice for many Australian families seeking to make the switch to home solar power.

The rush is on to secure a heavily subsidised system and some companies are making questionable offers in order to scoop up consumer dollars in the time that remains. The surge in interest in solar power has also seen many operations pop up in recent times that have no history in the industry and little knowledge of renewable energy technology and associated administrative processes.

Australian solar power company Energy Matters has recently updated their Consumer Guide to Solar Power to reflect the more recent scams and questionable practices that have emerged. 

The guide seeks not only to help consumers recognise questionable sales and advertising tactics;  but by raising awareness of these practices, to help to create a more level playing field in an industry that generally consists of companies with a genuine interest in providing quality products and a genuine passion for renewable energy.