Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Solar Panel Retailer Warned Over Financial Benefit Claims

Solar Panel Retailer Warned Over Financial Benefit Claims

The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to a solar panel systems retailer over claims made about the financial benefits of solar panel installation.

In the Commission’s view, New Zealand Home Services Limited (NZHS) is likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act (FTA) by making unsubstantiated representations.

“It is important for traders to properly substantiate claims which cannot easily be verified by the consumer. Solar panel installation requires significant up-front cost and in our view NZHS made claims about the financial benefits of installing solar systems without sufficiently backing up those claims in the New Zealand market,” said Ritchie Hutton, the Commission’s Head of Investigations.

NZHS made the representations on the www.nzhomeservices.co.nz website and on flip charts used during sales presentations. The claims included:

• “Installing a solar system increases the average property value by 3 to 4% and houses that have a solar system installed usually sell twice as fast as other properties on the market”

• “In many ways, your solar power system is a financial product – one that is capable of generating annual returns ranging anywhere from 10% to more than 30%”

• “the cost of power is always increasing – in this case, between 2.5 to 7% each year”

• “over the past 20 years, electricity prices have risen between 2.5% and 7% every year”.

The Commission asked NZHS to provide materials to substantiate those claims.

“In our view the materials provided were of varying degrees of reliability, were from overseas sources not relevant to the representations made about the New Zealand market, or were created or compiled after the representations were made,” said Mr Hutton.

The substantiation provision of the FTA requires a trader to have reasonable grounds for making a representation at the time it was made.

“NZHS describes itself as an Australasian company, and overseas companies operating in New Zealand must ensure representations made in this country are appropriately substantiated,” he said.

NZHS has removed the representations from its website and sales presentations.


Background

The unsubstantiated representations provision of the FTA came into effect in June 2014.

It states that a representation is unsubstantiated if the person making it does not have reasonable grounds for it, at the time it is made.

In November 2014 the Commission issued a warning to Baa Baa Beads for health claims, and in September this year heat pump supplier Fujitsu became the first trader convicted under the provision, for claims about energy efficiency.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO: