Company feels heat for solar panel claim

The Fremantle Magistrates Court this month fined Polaris Solar Pty Ltd, currently in liquidation, on two charges of making false and misleading claims in breach of the Fair Trading Act.

The company was charged $2746 in court costs.

In May, 2010, a Polaris representative told a couple living at Woodman Point Holiday Park in Munster the business would install a ‘grid-connected’ solar panel at their home.

A grid-connected panel would allow them to claim credits from Synergy for feeding power back into the grid.

The residents were told the business would seek approvals from Synergy, but the panels were installed without approval.

The couple later learnt the system could not be connected to the grid.

The installation was viewed as a breach of the Fair Trading Act because the residents would not have bought the system had they known it could not be connected to the Synergy network.

Consumer Protection Commissioner Anne Driscoll said it was a serious case of customer betrayal.

‘To engage in deceptive conduct and in the process take advantage of elderly consumers is a serious breach of consumer law,’ she said.

Consumers who believe they have been misled can contact Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054 or email consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au.