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Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) has launched a new campaign aimed at ensuring greater consumer confidence in rooftop solar, home batteries and electric vehicles.

The ‘Plug In’ campaign features a dedicated information hub with fact sheets, blogs and videos that help remove the guesswork for consumers thinking about purchasing or using new energy technology.

The Plug In campaign launches as Energy Consumers Australia reveals consumer interest in buying and installing such technology remains high. Three million Australian homes and businesses already have a solar system on their rooftop.

But despite high interest levels around these new technologies there remains a high degree of uncertainty and trepidation. 

ECA’s recent ‘Pulse Survey’ found that half of all household consumers (49 per cent) felt they did not have access to the information they needed to make decisions around their energy use.

ECA Chief Executive Officer, Lynne Gallagher, said consumer confidence was essential to the growing adoption of new renewable technologies.

“We know that millions of Australians have already bought and installed rooftop solar panels, and increasingly are purchasing home batteries and electric vehicles and that these decisions are a huge part of Australia’s push towards a cleaner and better energy system,” Ms Gallagher said.

“Consumer adoption of these technologies has been a massive success story and we need to see even more of it over the next decade as our energy system transforms. 

“But we also know that for some who have gone through it, the process has been challenging, confusing and even disappointing. 

“These decisions are not easy for consumers and represent significant investments of their time and money. Australians need to be able to find information that explains the kind of products that meet their individual needs, how to find a reputable supplier and installer, how to use these technologies for their own benefit and what to do if something goes wrong. That’s what Plug In offers.”

The campaign was launched at the request of both State and Federal Energy Ministers through the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council.

The Plug In campaign launches as Energy Consumers Australia reveals consumer interest in buying and installing such technology remains high. 

Three million Australian homes and businesses already have a solar system on their rooftop.

New research from ECA’s Energy Consumer Behaviour Survey finds:  

  • 22 per cent of households are currently considering purchasing rooftop solar   
  • 27 per cent are considering adding a household battery   
  • 27 per cent are considering purchasing an electric vehicle

Despite this, recent years have seen a flood of complaints from Australians unhappy with the sale, installation or operation of rooftop solar and other energy technologies. 

New South Wales Electricity and Water Ombudsman, Janine Young, said Ombudsman’s offices are currently unable to investigate such complaints but have been calling for the power to do so.

“Complaints about new energy services often involve multiple service providers and require customers to navigate several forums in search of a satisfactory response,” Ms Young said.  

“Increasingly, aspects of complaints involving energy products and services are out of EWON’s jurisdiction causing increased customer detriment and frustration. 

“We’re proactively working with our state-based energy Ombudsman peers to ensure we influence reforms and regulation so that complaints raised by energy customers affecting their supply can obtain dispute resolution from their energy Ombudsman – reform needs to happen now.” 

You can visit the Plug-In information hub here. The materials have been ‘white-labelled’ and can be downloaded and used by others, including consumer groups, NGOs, market bodies, local councils and government websites.

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