By Patrick Avenell

With the economy stuck in a malaise and consumer confidence low, a number of traditional appliance and electronics retailers have started selling solar panels, which is seen as sensible adjunct to fridges, microwaves and flat screen TVs.

Suppliers and retailers are now on notice, however, with the ACCC targeting this industry for its use of ‘confusing technical jargon’.

"Companies need to ensure that their advertised claims accurately reflect the product or service being offered," said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

"The solar industry's technical jargon is likely to confuse consumers, so solar companies must therefore ensure that they accurately advertise the performance characteristics and benefits of the system being offered."

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One company already pinged for misleading consumers is True Value Solar, which has paid two infringement notices worth a combined $13,200 for a series of newspaper advertisements it ran in South Australian and Western Australia earlier this year.

Under the banner ‘Australia Day 3kW (kilowatt) deal’, True Value Solar advertised panels that had a limited output of 1.52kW.

In addition to paying a fine, True Value Solar has agreed to implement a trade practises compliance program, under risk of more adverse attention from the ACCC.