Sanctuary Energy solar complaints examined

THE NSW Government is examining numerous customer complaints about Central Coast-based Sanctuary Energy’s solar bonus scheme package.

The Newcastle Herald revealed on Thursday that about 80 of the company’s Hunter customers would pay hundreds of dollars extra a year because it would not honour their solar bonus scheme contracts.

Ten customers contacted the Herald yesterday to complain about their dealings with the company.

‘‘I have tried to contact them on numerous occasions and nothing has happened,’’ customer Roz Dyson, of Woodrising, said.

The customers signed contracts for a 50-50 deal that provided them with an up-front solar system plus 50per cent of the 60¢-per-kilowatt-hour rebate.

The remaining 50per cent went towards paying off the solar system over five years.

The company recently advised the customers it would now pay a 20per cent rebate rather than the original amount.

The company said the action was necessary because Ausgrid had lost about 80 of its connection applications.

Ausgrid rejects the claim.

An Ausgrid spokeswoman said a thorough investigation had revealed Sanctuary Energy had submitted the applications after the November 18, 2010, cut-off.

Sanctuary Energy director Mark Marjoribanks welcomed the government’s investigation.

‘‘We have tried on several occasions to engage [Energy Minister] Chris Hartcher’s office to help resolve this issue,’’ Mr Marjoribanks said.

A Division of Resources and Energy spokeswoman said Sanctuary Energy customers with questions about their eligibility for the Solar Bonus Scheme could contact the Department of Trade and Investment at energy.info@industry.nsw.gov.au.

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