Victorian Government Seeking Door-To-Door Solar Sales Ban

Door to door solar sales ban

Door-to-door solar sales will be banned under Victoria’s Solar Homes Program as part of new legislation introduced to the state’s Parliament today.

Part of the Andrews Government’s energy market reforms, the ban would come into effect on September 1 this year.

The move follows growing calls for a ban on door-to-door solar sales activities in Victoria and elsewhere given how problematic the practice has been right across Australia.

Early this month, a solar business in Victoria was fined $3 million and its director ordered to pay $450,000 in a Federal Court judgement in connection to its door-knocking activities.

In that case, the judge stated the conduct carried out by the business involving more than 4,300 contracts potentially caused consumer loss amounting to millions of dollars given the company was selling systems at a cost that was thousands of dollars higher than prevailing market prices.

While much of the solar sales activity in Victoria is around the Solar Homes Program, the case above involved a company operating outside of it. Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody has previously called for a blanket ban on door-to-door solar sales.

“Crucially, any ban must cover the entire solar industry and not just the companies participating in the Government’s Solar Homes Program. Some of the worst cases of misconduct are occurring outside of this program.”

As we’ve often stated here on SQ, buying solar power systems through door-to-door sales is a risky business and has such a bad reputation that most good solar companies simply won’t engage in the activity.

If you are considering taking the risk, ensure you research buying solar power thoroughly, understand your rights and search for reviews of the business involved before signing on the dotted line. Bear in mind some businesses can operate under the radar for a while or be fly-by-night operations.

Energy Companies “On Notice”

Also part of what’s been called the “Energy Fairness Bill” is a ban from the end of this year on electricity and gas retailers using high pressure sales tactics to sign up energy retail contracts – which includes door-to-door sales or cold-calling. Short-term energy discounts that end up costing customers more in the long run will also be banned.

“We are banning high-pressure sales tactics like unsolicited door-to-door sales and cold-calling to protect Victorian households from being taken advantage of by dodgy energy companies,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

Another element of the Andrews Government’s  “Energy Fairness Bill” are penalties of up to $1 million for energy retailers wrongfully disconnecting vulnerable Victorians.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. ACMA and State Gov need to investigate the cold calling taking place too. I’ve had multiple in the last month, from mobile numbers asking about solar, calling from companies that don’t exist and that have no website. It seems like it’s a process for lead generation for dodgy installers.

  2. There should not be any in people cold calling at Doors done,
    with COVID this practice should be banned.

    Dumb Practice to do even if selling Steak Knives,

    mmmmm Steak

  3. The free light globes and showers doorknocking need to be banned also

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