According to Brody, the main change since the report was published is that Victoria has banned one-way sales, such as door-to-door sales, to businesses that want to claim rebates through Solar Victoria.
Another significant change was the expansion of the clean energy regulator’s powers in April to cover solar retailers for the first time. Regulators have the power to ban companies from participating in the federal solar reimbursement program, which can reduce the price of a typical home solar system by thousands of dollars.
A spokeswoman for the clean energy regulator said it had not yet removed companies from the solar rebate scheme, but that many retailers and installers previously on a “watch list” had improved.
Both Gladman and Brody advocate incorporating solar projects into state ombudsman schemes. This ombudsman scheme covers traditional electricity retailers such as AGL and Origin, but not solar. This gives consumers a cost-effective way to resolve disputes.
Engineer and inventor Saul Griffiths says consumer protection issues are hampering the continued growth of the solar industry and other renewable energy sources.
“This is definitely a concern, and adding batteries, vehicle chargers, electric water heaters, and electric kitchens will double that,” said Griffith.
Griffith, proponent and author of electric homes Big Switch: The Future of Australia’s ElectricityShe recently purchased a home and experienced first-hand consumer issues when the batteries installed in the rooftop solar system failed after a week. The $14,000 battery was still under warranty, but the installer went out of business, so I had to turn to the manufacturer.
Griffith argues that renewable energy for home use should be considered as national infrastructure because it is critical to the grid, suggesting that governments have some responsibility.
Mark Jones spent about $10,000 installing 22 solar panels on the roof of Davidson’s beach home in north Sydney.
But while Jones was motivated by the knowledge that switching to solar power was “the right thing to do,” either the technology company or the installer could go out of business and he wouldn’t get the warranty. I was worried about something.
“We all know banks are insured by the government. If your money is stolen, you are not responsible for the bank’s security,” Jones said.
“The same should apply. Effectively, we use a public service, so security and technology are not our responsibility.”
Mr. Jones recently had this experience on a smaller scale. He was a customer of his Pooled Energy. Pooled Energy is a startup funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to provide energy efficiency automation for residential pools.
In May, Pooled Energy was suspended from the wholesale energy market and Jones’ domestic electricity supply was transferred to Energy Australia. The company is under control and recently wrote to consumers, saying it was looking for ways to save its services.
Jones spent about $300 on pooled energy devices and $60 a month on software subscriptions. This allowed him to control the pool via his smartphone. This is a service he was pleased with. He still has the hardware, but he can’t function properly without the software.
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The shift to renewable energy will stall unless consumer protection is strengthened
Source link The shift to renewable energy will stall unless consumer protection is strengthened