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19 November 2013

The State's consumer watchdog is alerting consumers who are awaiting installation of solar systems by GreatSolar Solutions Pty Ltd that the company is unlikely to fulfill its contracts.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Paul White said on 18 October 2013, the company gave an undertaking that it would not take any deposits from new consumers and that it would fulfil all existing consumer contracts by 18 December 2013.

"This followed an extensive audit of South Australian solar companies by Consumer and Business Services.

"At that time, I warned the public about the poor conduct of the company, and outlined the legal undertaking that the company had provided," Commissioner White said.

"Consumer and Business Services has prevented the company signing up new customers and has been monitoring the company closely to ensure that it was on track to meet its obligations to existing customers.

"We have seized documents and met with the directors of the company on several occasions to try to ensure that it would deliver on its contracts.

"However, based on information received today, I now have real concerns that GreatSolar may not be in a position to fulfill existing contracts by 18 December 2013.

"I now want to warn consumers at the earliest opportunity so that they have the option to seek out an alternative solar supplier to secure installation before 29 January 2014 should they wish to do so.

"I have sought confirmation from SA Power Networks that the approval given to the affected consumers prior to 30 September 2013 to connect a solar system would be upheld if consumers engaged another supplier. SA Power Networks has indicated that it will provide a response within the next few days."

Consumer and Business Services will be contacting all consumers who have entered into contracts with GreatSolar for the supply of solar systems and who are awaiting installation to ensure that they are aware of the Commissioner’s concerns.

Further advice about solar installations is available on the Solar Systems fact sheet at www.cbs.sa.gov.au/files/solar.pdf