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

 


Federated Farmers: NAIT Levy Increases Must Achieve Accurate, User-friendly System
Nobody welcomes extra costs but if OSPRI is to catch-up on under investment in the NAIT platform and deliver on its workability and farmer support, levy increases are probably necessary, Federated Farmers says... More>>



Westpac: More Job Opportunities, But Growth In Workers’ Earnings Remains Subdued

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 1.2 points in the December quarter, to a level of 106.9. This was the sixth straight rise in the index since the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Michael Gordon, Acting Chief Economist for Westpac, noted that the rise in the index has largely been driven by perceptions... More>>




Statistics: Card Spending Continues To Increase As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

The busy Christmas period combined with easing COVID-19 restrictions helped to increase card spending in December 2021, Stats NZ said today... More>>

TradeMe: Job Market Ends 2021 On A High With Record Number Of Vacancies
The New Zealand job market finished 2021 on a high note, with the ball still firmly in the job hunters’ court, according to the analysis of 69,600 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs for the quarter ending 31 December (Q4)... More>>


Insurance Council of New Zealand: September South Island Windstorm Cost $36.5 M Raises 2021 Extreme Weather Claims Total To $321.6 M

Gale force winds and storms between 9 and 13 September 2021 resulted in insurers supporting communities to the tune of $36.5 m. This is a significant rise, of $16.7 m, on preliminary figures for the event and lifts the end of year total for all extreme weather events in 2021 to $321.6 m... More>>


Statistics: Building Consents Hit New Highs In November
There were a record 48,522 new homes consented in the year ended November 2021, Stats NZ said today. This was up 26 percent compared with the year ended November 2020... More>>