What should you do if you have an issue with your solar PV system or retailer?
If the system or product is under warranty
If you have an issue with any solar photovoltaic (PV) product while it is still under warranty, you should first contact your solar PV retailer in order to have the product replaced or repaired.
If you are unable to contact your retailer, you should contact the manufacturer of the product. Contact details should be provided on the warranty documentation.
If this is unsuccessful, you will need to lodge a complaint with the relevant Fair Trading office (sometimes called 'Consumer Affairs') in your state or territory:
- ACT: Office of Regulatory Services, 02 6207 3000
- NSW: Fair Trading, 13 32 20
- NT: Consumer Affairs, 1800 019 319
- Qld: Office of Fair Trading, 13 74 68
- SA: Consumer and Business Services, 131 882
- Tas: Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading, 1300 654 499
- Vic: Consumer Affairs, 1300 558 181
- WA: Consumer Protection: 1300 304 054
The Fair Trading office can negotiate on your behalf and arrange mediation where necessary. The Clean Energy Council is not empowered to handle issues of a commercial nature, such as warranties.
Australian Consumer Law provides consumers with certain automatic rights (called consumer guarantees) when they purchase a product or service. These consumer guarantees have no specific time limit, cannot be excluded, and exist regardless of any additional voluntary warranty provided by the solar PV retailer or manufacturer. It is important to remember that you have these rights as a consumer if the system does not meet reasonable expectations. Installation companies and/or manufacturers may choose to offer additional voluntary warranties which are over and above what they must automatically provide under Australian Consumer Law.
What to do if the company has gone out of business
If the solar PV retailer has become insolvent and you are unable to contact the manufacturer, you can lodge a complaint with the solar retailer's administrators.
You can find out if a company has become insolvent via the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website or by phoning 1300 300 630. Your local Fair Trading office may also have information about the appointment of external administrators for insolvent companies.
Likewise, if the manufacturer has gone into administration, you can lodge a complaint with the company's administrators. As a consumer, you may become an unsecured creditor.
If the external administrator fails to deal with your queries or complaints, you can lodge a complaint with ASIC or by calling ASIC on 1300 300 630.
If you have a faulty workmanship complaint against a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer
The Clean Energy Council deals with complaints involving a breach of the Accreditation Code of Conduct as well as Australian Standards relating to solar PV system installation.
All accredited installers must abide by the Clean Energy Council Accreditation Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions.
Issues of accredited installers not adhering to the Clean Energy Council Accreditation Code of Conduct relate to:
- faulty or poor workmanship such as faulty wiring and labelling
- the use of modules and inverters that do not meet the Australian Standards.
It does not extend to include solar PV retailers (sales companies). It only applies to individual tradespeople who hold Clean Energy Council accreditation.
If you have a dispute relating to the Accreditation Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions, please lodge your dispute online.
Please note: the Clean Energy Council will only investigate complaints where the system has been installed within the past two years.
If you are concerned about electrical safety
If you are concerned about the safety or technical compliance of your solar PV system, you should contact the electrical authority in your state or territory:
- ACT: Planning and Land Authority, (02) 6207 1923
- NSW: Fair Trading, 13 32 20
- NT: NT WorkSafe, 1800 019 115
- Qld: Electrical Safety Office, (07) 3225 2000
- SA: Office of the Technical Regulator, (08) 8226 5518
- Tas: Office of Electricity Standards and Safety, (03) 6233 7851
- Vic: Energy Safe Victoria, (03) 9203 9700
- WA: EnergySafety, (08) 9422 5200
If you have a complaint against a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer
If you believe an Approved Solar Retailer has breached the Code of Conduct, please notify the Clean Energy Council using our Code of Conduct complaints form.
If you have problems with your electricity retailer or distributor
If you have a complaint about your electricity retailer or electricity distributor, you can contact the Energy Ombudsman in your state or territory:
- ACT: ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, (02) 6207 7740
- NSW: Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW, 1800 246 545
- NT: Ombudsman for the Northern Territory, 1800 806 380
- Qld: Energy and Water Ombudsman Qld, 1800 662 837
- SA: Energy and Water Ombudsman SA, 1800 665 565
- Tas: Energy Ombudsman Tasmania, 1800 001 170
- Vic: Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria, 1800 500 509
- WA: Energy Ombudsman WA, 1800 754 004
For example, the Energy Ombudsman may be able to help if your complaint is about:
- the provision and supply of electricity
- failure to provide or supply electricity services
- quality of electricity supply
- credit and payment services
- electricity disconnections
- connection or transfer issues
- actions of a supplier which affect your property
- metering not working.
Small claims tribunal or court
Should you be unable to resolve your dispute to your satisfaction with assistance from either the Clean Energy Council or the Fair Trading office, you can take your complaint to the appropriate Small Claims Tribunal or Court in your state or territory.
You should seek independent legal advice about whether this option is available and suits your circumstances.
- ACT: Small Claims Court, (02) 6217 4272
- NSW: Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal, 1300 135 399
- NT: Local Court - Small Claims Division (limit is $10,000 and claims must be lodged within 2 years of the event), (08) 8999 6298
- Qld: Small Claims Tribunal (the limit on a small claim is $7500), (07) 3225 2000
- SA: Magistrates Court - Small Claims (deals with disputes of up to $5000), (08) 8204 2444
- Tas: Magistrates Court - Minor Civil Claims Division (any dispute claiming $5000 or less), (03) 6233 3623
- Vic: Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (no limit to the amount you can claim), (03) 9628 9830
- WA: Magistrates Court, (08) 9425 2222