ACCC Busts Two Solar Panel Suppliers Over Carbon Tax Claims

ACCC Busts Two Solar Panel Suppliers Over Carbon Tax Claims

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) promised to come down hard on any business that claimed price rises due to the carbon tax without adequate evidence. There’s a certain pleasing irony in the fact that the first two companies to give formal undertakings not to continue misleading advertising are suppliers of solar panels.

Picture by agentdeclan

Polaris Solar and ACT Renewable Energy made the undertakings after distributing leaflets suggesting that power prices would rise by 20 per cent as a result of the tax. The leaflets claimed those figures came from an independent study, but in fact they were sourced from a newspaper advertisement. While the claims didn’t directly relate to the price of the solar panels the leaflets promoted, the ACCC still found them misleading.

The ACCC is still investigating a much-publicised case where Brumby’s advised franchisees to put up prices and blame the increase on the carbon tax. As we’ve noted before, its position is that businesses can charge whatever they like, but must not attribute a price rise to the carbon tax without a demonstrated and accurate basis for doing so.


  • Thank God, anyone else sick of the insanely annoying “True Value Solar” adds on TV? I rarely watch TV these days but every-time I do that stupid add is on during every break. “THE CARBON TAX IS COMING, THE PRICE WILL DOUBLE AFTER JUNE 30” so annoying 😐

    • I was over it, thinking it wouldn’t get worse, thinking that July 1 would see the end of them and their claim of the deal price doubling – but then they just held the same price, and kept advertising.

  • I think I should report my local pool shop, they have sent me out 2 leaflets saying how as of the 1/7 my pool pump will cost me over $1100 extra per year to run! And I should purchase a new efficient pump through them…. Is that worthy of a report to the ombudsman/ACCC??

  • How is this a lifehack article? Oh wait, Angus Kidman wrote it. Somehow he’s become confused by the position description of the role he’s in and uses an otherwise excellent site as his own tech news blog. Reckon Lifehacker Oz needs a new editor.

    • Thanks for that really constructive comment Chickenfeed.
      This article is more of a Lifehacker one than a Gizmodo one for a start. Just because it relates to a solar company does not make it a tech-specific article. In case you didn’t realise, Angus also covers current affairs that he believes readers who read Lifehacker will find pertinent and appreciate (I know I appreciate them), as well as typical “Lifehack” articles and has done so for a while.
      On a positive note, thanks for the great article Angus. I love the irony of the solar companies getting busted for this!

    • Agree, was an interesting article. Things like this are typical of Lifehacker articles, and nobody is making you read them. If you don’t like them, stop reading and move on!

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