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Solar panel companies 'mislead' over carbon tax impact
06/07/2012 - Two solar panel companies have been found to have made misleading comments about the impact of the carbon tax on electricity prices. Paul Osborne
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Polaris Solar and ACT Renewable Energy said in leaflets distributed in Western Australia and the ACT in late 2011 and early 2012 that customers should buy solar panels because electricity prices would increase by 20 per cent due to the carbon price.
The brochures also claimed the cost of power would rise by more than 400 per cent by 2019.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found the information was "clearly misleading".
While the brochures said the figures were based on independent studies, they were in fact based on unverified claims in an energy industry association ad.
"There was no reasonable basis for these claims to be made," ACCC acting chairman Michael Schaper said in a statement.
Polaris Solar and ACT Renewable Energy gave an undertaking on Tuesday not to engage in similar conduct in the future and ensure all directors are trained in consumer law.
Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said it was an important reminder to businesses they could not make false claims about the carbon price.
"This also underscores the fact that the reckless and negative scare campaign run by Tony Abbott and vested interests is putting businesses at risk of breaking the law," Bradbury said.
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dave d | 6/07/2012 10:45 1
Bradbury - why are you so paranoid about Tony Abbott - he's not in government !! If your Carbon Tax is so good for everbody - surely it will sell itself - the truth is you and your Labour mates know this is a Tax recovery scheme for Labours reckless spending that will have no impact whatsoever in assisting in Carbon reduction - maybe if you actually spent the money on emmission reduction programs Taxpayers might start believing you - but to date there is no sign of that and we all know why !!
Thomas Grosse | 6/07/2012 10:52 2
My electricity supplier ( in Victoria ) just increased its rates effective from middle of July by about 14%. Of course they don't blame it onto the carbon tax directly, they are not allowed to, but i also got no other explanation for an increase of this magnitude?!? So you really ask yourself what/who is to blame for such an increase??? The solar panel companies should simply not have blamed the carbon tax, but they are right in the prognosis that electricity costs will dramatically rise in the future. Why it is not compulsory to put solar panels onto new buildings by law is beyond me - This would be a bill i would support anytime, because the benefits in the long run are with the user and the initial installation costs will pay off over the time! Thomas Grosse
Kermit | 6/07/2012 17:31 3
This Labour government is now using the ACCC to control free speech! If it's NOT the Carbon Tax driving up the price of power, please tell me WHAT IS? Why are they preventing Solar businesses from telling the truth? Can anyone tell me how removing the incentive (rebate) to invest in Solar Power and adding a Tax on the offending Carbon Dioxide (poison) is going to help the economy and more importantly reduce our Carbon Footprint? (scratches head)
Bill Koutalianos | 8/07/2012 17:07 4
Figures vary wildly, but it costs a lot more to produce electricity via solar PV than by any other means. Every time someone installs solar PV, society pays more for its electricity. Solar PV firms then use these rising prices to market and promote more solar PV sales which further exacerbate rising prices. This is not only legal, but it is a deceit which is supported by government, by legislation, associated institutions and complicit media which provide some degree of cover for the deceit. Given the above it is quite consistent and seems only natural that solar PV firms would use the carbon tax as another marketing tool to further promote their product. It is the government which is being inconsistent and politically over-sensitive here. The solar firms are only doing their job of driving the Australian economy towards bankruptcy and austerity measures by the most efficient and effective means possible. As to the 400 per cent claim, anything is possible once we sign on to a blank cheque ETS.
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