Door-to-door sales of solar energy products are to be banned under new legislation introduced to the Victorian parliament. The ban will prevent solar energy companies from selling door-to-door starting on 1 September 2021. This will impact the entire residential solar industry in the state.
The phasing in of the ban was announced by the Andrews Labor Government on 25 May as part of a drive for greater fairness and transparency after some businesses got accused of using aggressive techniques to sell their products to consumers on the doorstep.
The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said: “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.”
Solar energy companies found to be in breach of the ban will face fines of up to $1 million.
Community Groups Have Called for the Ban
The door-to-door selling ban comes in the wake of pressure from a number of community groups that previously complained to the state government about the unfair pressure being put on Victorian residents by solar energy companies.
One group, Consumer Affairs Victoria, successfully brought legal action against the solar energy company Vic Solar in 2019. The company was found to have breached Australian Consumer Law by falsely advertising a “bulk buy” of solar energy systems for the community. They were subsequently fined $3 million, with the company’s director also ordered to pay $450,000.
The case focused its attention on the aggressive and sometimes fraudulent techniques used by certain energy companies to sell solar panels in Melbourne and throughout Victoria. It caused consumer groups to call for the blanket ban on door-to-door solar energy sales.
Gerard Brody, CEO of Consumer Action, said: “This case is a clear reminder of the persistent problems with door-to-door sales which often target people in vulnerable circumstances and involve high-pressure sales tactics.” Mr Brody went on to point out that, “As Victoria transitions to a zero-carbon future, we need to promote trust in the solar industry and door-to-door sales and cold calls only serve to undermine this trust.”
As a result of this, Mr Brody called for the Victorian Government to introduce a complete ban on the door-to-door sales of all residential solar panels and other related products, arguing that the sales techniques used can often cause harm to those targeted. The government has listened and acted accordingly.
How You Can Protect Yourself From Unethical Sales Techniques
The ban coming into force will protect consumers in Victoria from being sold products that they may not want or need. However, if you are thinking of purchasing solar energy products of any kind, it is essential to do your research and always buy from a reputable company.
If you would like any more information on this topic or are interested in purchasing solar panels in Melbourne from a trustworthy company, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.