By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: The news comes as Western Australian retailers have been promoting their solar ranges with an eye to re-capture profits in an industry otherwise suffering from price deflation.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has suggested consumers could be bamboozled by too much technical jargon as well as money and energy saving claims, which when coupled with today’s announcement that the Gillard Government will bring forward cuts to subsidies for household solar panels from July (a year earlier than scheduled), could see consumers unfairly rushed into a decision.

ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, said retailers need to ensure their advertising is accurate. 

“It’s easy for consumers to be dazzled by energy and money saving claims or new technology and equations presented by so-called experts. Retailers are on notice that they must be able to support and back-up these types of performance and savings claims,” said Samuel.

“Claims should be clear and unambiguous and should not include technical or scientific jargon that suggests certain capabilities or effects that cannot be substantiated.”

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“The initial investment in a solar power system can be very expensive, so it is important that retailers don’t pressure householders into rash decisions.”

Retailers who mislead or make deceptive and false claims about their solar products will risk civil or even criminal sanctions.