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9 August 2019

South Australia’s consumer watchdog has warned consumers against doing business with a Torrensville-based company supplying and installing solar panels, following multiple complaints.

Consumer and Business Services have received a number of complaints that the business SA Energy Group has failed to install solar systems or refund significant deposits.

In a recent complaint, one consumer paid nearly $6,000 as a deposit for a solar panel and battery storage system.

The consumer alleged that, despite SA Energy Group arranging to attend and install the system on three separate occasions, the work was never begun and the deposit was not returned.

Other consumers complained they handed over substantial deposits for solar systems that were never installed, and their deposits never refunded. 

In each case, SA Energy Group did not hold an appropriate licence, despite being warned previously.

It is also alleged that deposit monies were used for purposes unrelated to the business.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said the organisation had a clear disregard for consumers, continuing to take money without delivering.

“SA Energy Group received multiple warnings about their licences, but consistently failed to do the right thing,” he said.

“It’s this sort of behaviour that brings the whole industry into disrepute - we take these sorts of complaints very seriously and we’re continuing to investigate.”

Mr Soulio said this was a timely reminder for consumers to take their time and research the industry if they were considering solar panels.

“With so many providers offering deals on renewable energy products, it’s important to do your research before making a choice - a little bit of homework can save a lot of headaches,” he said.

“That’s why it’s so important consumers check the public register on the CBS website, to ensure that any contractors you hire are licensed to do the job.”

CBS is continuing to investigate the matter. Anyone who has had dealings with the SA Energy Group are encouraged to contact CBS on 131 882.