/ Home & Energy

Who rules the roof? The downfall of a solar company

Which? members helped stop a £50m solar panel company in its tracks recently, after the extent of its dodgy trading was uncovered through numerous complaints. But is this the tip of the iceberg?

Over the last year, we received a series of complaints about the same solar panel company, Solar Energy Savings (SES). Which? members told us SES had bombarded them with ‘hard sales’ pitches, had sent panel installers who damaged and caused leaks to their roofs, and had used mis-selling tactics, such as promising the panels would work better than they could.

These complaints were obviously concerning, so we liaised with the Insolvency Service which was running an investigation. It was found that SES, which had offices across Britain (and was turning over a huge £50m per year), was using serious mis-selling tactics. This included claiming SES was a member of a trade body when it was not.

Plus, SES was found to have used high pressure sales tactics – using sales pitches that lasted over two hours, with customers eventually signing contracts merely to get the salespeople out of their homes.

One down, but how many to go?

Following the Insolvency Service’s investigation, Solar Energy Savings Ltd was wound-up at the end of July by the High Court in Manchester. Interestingly, it did not admit to the allegations but neither did it object to the winding-up order.

Although we here at Which? tend to shout a quick ‘hurrah!’ when such dodgy traders get shut down, we presume those that fell victim to SES have little chance of getting money back or getting out of the scheme – a sickening thought.

What is also worrying is that this company is potentially one of many that are lurking out there, as suggested in a previous Conversation when JunkkMale told us:

‘Everyday almost I get a card in the letterbox or an email pitching solar, often implying a ton of “free”… but, as with lunches, I have my doubts’

Sorting the wheat from the chaff

We’ve produced a downloadable solar PV installation checklist that includes tips and advice on what you should do, and the questions to ask, before, during and after a visit from a solar PV installer. We hope that this checklist will empower people to sort the wheat from the chaff when filtering through solar PV companies.

I’d also like to point out that despite the attraction of the feed-in tariff, we haven’t seen that many cowboys operating, which is probably thanks to the certification scheme in place.

My personal circumstances won’t allow for a solar investment, but I’m worried that my solar-keen family may accidently bump into a company like Solar Energy Savings and get misled or ripped-off. But is this just a case of one company ruining it for the rest? Have you had any good or bad experiences with solar companies?

Comments

I had 12 panels installed in June, and have an FIT contract at 21p a unit. The biggest mis-information to date has come from the projections of output. When the sun shines at midday in the summer, I get nearly 3.5 KW as projetced, but the moment a cloud passes over, it drops massively maybe below 500W. I was led to believe that it was light not sunlight which mattered and the drop would be insignificant. Its very rare to have clear sunny days. I am wel below the expected output. The projections assume/estimate that you will use 50% of the energy produced (and this is of course “free” and reduces your electricity bill. But it is really difficult to use 50% because the sun keeps going in, and my immersion heater then takes most of its current off the grid! I would not go for solar now, having learnt the hard way about these factors! I would probably go for the solar heat-exchange but have not done the sums.

Michael says:
23 August 2012

Just out of interest what was the annual expected yeild of your system? You really do have to wait for the system to be in a year before you can get an accurate idea of its realistic generation. We have had a particularly poor summer in terms of uninterupted sunshine. But the installer should have given you an indication of annual expected yeild, it can also be found on your MCS certificate. This should have been calculated using software such as PV Sol, to determine your exact roof position/orientation and take into account shade analysis etc. It is usually quite conservative.
Poor selling technique if they did not disclose your expected yeild per annum. How did they calculate your ROI?

medelsten1,
You say you’d think about going for the solar heat-exchange but you have not done the sums?
By this I assume you mean solar hot water?
Well, Solar hot water does work even in our cold damp grey climate, at least for perhaps half the year. If your motives are pro environment then I applaud your green credentials and wish you well. However if you expect to save on energy costs then I suggest you do the sums.
Try to work out just what hot water alone costs you between April and September. If you heat by mains gas I doubt it’s much more than £75.
So that £75 or so is about the most you can expect to save per year. From there you’ll be able to work out the payback on a solar hot water installation. Even allowing for future gas price rises and I’ll bet the answer is still 30 years plus.
Now if you have to heat water using electricity, oil or LPG the payback will be shorter but only because your hot water cost is so much higher. Still a long long payback time though.
I’d stick with solar electricity if I were you, get the most energy efficient water and space heating system you can when time comes to change, and buy lots of insulation.

lucy says:
18 May 2013

I’m looking to have solar PV and solar thermal fitted …I think solar thermal won’t save me money but might be worthwhile depending on the incentive payments (we don’t know what they’ll be just yet – if anything!) with possibly a 10yr payback …and they are (supposed to be) low maintenance and should keep going for many years…(you also need to think about cold fill dishwashers and washing machines and electric showers when considering your hot water usage and savings!)
However talking about your solar pv – someone recommended I didn’t bother with solar thermal but got a tank with immersion and an ‘Immersun’ – I think they automatically divert unused solar electricity to your immersion heater and stop when no electricity is being generated …might be worth looking into for you (I haven’t checked it out properly yet)
I am pretty sure you can have your hot water tank connected to a gas boiler and with an electric element – so only heating water with electricity when it is free and (cheaper) gas when it isn’t…..

Derek says:
22 August 2012

I’ve had solar panels for three years now and have never relied on them for daytime electricity. I regard the 44p per unit I get when the sun shines (yes I’m one of the lucky ones!) as a bonus. My immersion heater is on a timer which is set to come on during the off-peak times when mains electricity is less than half the price of day-time power. I am happy with my investment as I get back from the electricity company considerably more than I pay them for the mains electricity that I use.

I’m an energy assessor and I’ve made a bit of a study of domestic renewables, solar electrical especially. It does work, and over the service life of the installation you are unlikely to lose.
However, how well it will work is a variable factor and the returns are unlikely to match the sales hype you’ll get from any installer.
Don’t be tempted to compare “return on investment” figures the sales people will give you with deposit account interest rates, not the same thing at all.
Best comparison is to look at the bottom line after the 20 year feed in tariff period. Either leave the money in the bank and try to forecast future interest rates or buy solar and try to forecast the amount of power you’ll produce, and feed in tariff money you’ll receive.
My best estimate is that over 20 years you’ll do better with solar but nothing like as much better as the solar sales people will tell you.
The downside is that with a solar array fixed to your roof you’re locked in whereas money in the bank can be withdrawn anytime. The upside is that you’ll probably be pretty much immune to spiraling electricity prices (and they will).
You pays your money and takes your choice, and I’m sure your crystal ball is as good as mine.

The one thing to be wary of though is quality of installation and “Which” is quite right to highlight the fact that there will be plenty of cowboy installers out there. Go for a reputable established company who can offer customer testimonials. They probably won’t be the cheapest but may well work out the best value over time.
And try to find an installer who will include the “inverter” in their 20 year guarentee. These have been known to fail after about ten years and a replacement will set you back over £1000.

Correction,
Which said “they have not seen many cowboy installers”.
But take it from me quality of installation can vary enormusly and from what I’ve seen many are not going to last the distance. Make sure any guarentee is not just a meaningless piece of paper.

Robert Catton says:
7 October 2014

I was told by the solar panel sales team that the whole system was guaranteed for twenty years. Upon receiving the paperwork it turned out that the only parts of the system that were guaranteed for this time were the actual solar panels the rest, including the invertor, which is the most likely part of the system to fail, were only guaranteed for two years..I am now facing a £1000 bill for replacing the invertor should it fail after the two year guarantee and it probably will as, apparently they have a lifespan of approx.ten years.I now have a feeling that the return from solar panels has been grossly exaggerated,but only time will tell. Will solar panels be the next big misselling scandal?

I’m certain it will be the next mis-selling scandal. We are in the same boat as you. Actually possibly worse because our inverter has just packed up after six years.

Dave Taylor says:
27 August 2012

BEWARE as this company has started up again as Ultra Roofing (though this may be a temporary name), following the liquidation of Solar Energy Savings, brought on by the recent court case.

We may well expect to hear typically bad things about this company, or whatever they change their name to, as selling practices are unlikely to change. The company premises remain at the same address, on Bailey Lane near Manchester Airport.

The unfortunate matter for many consumers is that the company, albeit under a new guise, is very much alive & kicking.

robert says:
27 August 2012

ive just had a company called direct solar fit a system to my roof.i live in scotland and this company were the cheapest by far,but,and its a big but,2 guys came in a ramshackle of a van wih a roof ladder on top,when asked where the rest of the team were,was told this was it ,cables running under loft insulation,holes in the walls outside the size of your fist,electric cable outside not covered,the holes were filled with a full tube of sealant,electrician wired the meter back to front,no scaffolding to get on the roof,no warning stickers on any of the switches or meters ,total botch job,Direct Solar glasgow is the company,has anyone out there had anything like this happen and also the system has been running for 4days and hasnt been commisioned whatever that entails,help

steven says:
5 May 2013

i have just had direct solar glasgow complete a pv installation and i would say from start to finish i have had no problems whatsoever. no pressure no jargon sale, no hassle from the office. prompt installation, great price. tier one products. would recommend.

Alastair McIntosh says:
8 January 2014

Me too, I had Direct Solar fit a 4kw system on 20th Jan 2012, and as of today, nearly a year on, it has produced 3,500 units with no problems. I’m very pleased. I’ve added an air source heat pump to make more full use of the energy and my energy bills have gone thorough the floor. Google my name with the words solar heat pump and all the data is there.

Alastair McIntosh says:
8 January 2014

Woops – I should have said above that my energy costs have gone through the floor. To be specific, our panels (form Direct Solar in Glasgow, cost £4,995) went in in January 2013 and when I saw that it was all doing what it said on the box I added a Worcester Bosch air source heat pump (drawing about 1200 watts, giving back 4 times that) at the start of April. From April to the end of December our net gas/electric energy bills, net of FIT, have been minus £70. Yes, minus. In other words, the FIT, at about 18p/unit all up, has more than paid for our energy over that time. We do also have a low emission wood burn stove for the living room in evenings using offcuts from a local charity.

Alastair McIntosh says:
14 May 2014

I want to come back again on what I said in praise of Direct Solar in Glasgow. Just over a year after my panels had been fitted by them I got a roof leak. I thought maybe it was related to the panels, so I chanced my luck, and contacted Direct Solar, half expecting to be fobbed off. None of it! They came round, carried out an inspection, and told me the problem was the flashing needed replaced around my chimney (well away from the panels). They put on a temporary patch. I then got my normal roofer round, he re-did the chimney, and problem solved. I offered to pay Direct Solar for having mistakenly called them out, but they declined any payment, saying they just want to make sure that their customers are satisfied. All I can say is that I’m very satisfied indeed, and my full data is on my website which can be found by googling my name. With my panels and air-to-air heat pump my total energy costs, gas and electric, net of FIT, was £133 – down from £1400. My carbon footprint was cut by 61%. It was an above average year for sun, but still, that’s pretty phenomenal.

I just had an attempted fitting of solar panels and stopped them, I discovered that the brackets were not fitted to standard mcs requirements, slates around brackets broken and letting in water because the brackets were hammered under the slates and then hammered onto sarking through the slates, panels fitted too close to ridging. I have cctv footage and photos which will be publicised along with the vehicle that they came in. Trading standards are involved also HSE, CMS and RECC will also become involved.

[This comment has been edited to align with our community guidelines. Thanks, mods]

what was the name of the company that did this? and how did you pay for it, if you’ve already given them money? cash, cheque or card?

meant MCS

the company was Scottish Solar, Whitburn gave £1000 deposit with debit card. retaining the equipment until I get deposit back and all repairs paid for.

[This comment has been edited to align with our community guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Just reading this and very concerned……I’ve just given them £1000 deposit…..is there anyone else had dealings with this company?

Please let me know more detail if possible. I’m due for installation next Tuesday. ..

Dianne says:
18 February 2015

Hi Jane I have just handed over my £1000 deposit and due for installation tomorrow How did you get on with Scottish Solar ? Was there any problems Getting concerned

Many Thanks

I am having the same problem with SS, they came and made a total mess of installing the panels,I have also reported them to the appropriate authority,I would just like to know how you got on when you reported them.

I hope you’re still saying this in five or six years’ time.

Jim (Cumbria) says:
29 August 2012

I read this thread with interest and a huge personal sigh of relief. We had a quote from SES 4-5 months ago and were tempted – despite the very high price. The salesman was very good and appeared genuine – no hard sell from this one anyway. However, I looked into the company history and its directors and the track record put me off completely. After a good look through the Which? guide and 2 local recommendations, we ended up using a company called Solar Europe from Newmatket and (touching wood) have been very pleased. The price was about 1/3 of that quoted by SES and there was no sales pitch at all. We got an initial proposal and quote by email and the only site visits were for the full survey, the EPC and then the installation. All of the folk involved were brilliant and did an excellent, clean and tidy job as far as I can tell so far. My confidence will grow even further once the panels have survived one of our famous autumn gales, but the mounts looked pretty sturdy when I was watching the installation. I did my own research into the power generation figures because I’m naturally suspicious of any sales claim. After 3 months we are about 5% down on the SAP figures from the Energy Saving Trust calculator, but I put this down to the lousy summer. As someone has already said, give it at least a year – preferably 2 or 3. So would we go for Solar PV again? Definitely yes. It appeals to the green side of me and it will almost certainly work for the ££ side of me as well – and in that order of importance.

a rimmer says:
30 August 2012

I have been approached and i am considering free solar panels to be fitted by a company called
A SHADEGREENER has anybody had any dealings/knowledge positive or negitive to the rent a roof scheme or fitters

a rimmer,
Be very careful if you’re considering free panels.
You will effectively be sub-letting your roof to these people. They take the feed in tariff money whilst you get some free electricity while the sun shines, probably when you need it least. You might consider this a fair deal, personally I don’t. At the very best you’ll reduce your electricity bill by maybe 25%. Turn that into a cash figure and ask yourself if that’s enough rent for your roof bearing in mind what they will be making out of it through the feed in tariff, which I’d suggest would be an amount several times the 25% saving (maybe) you’ll make on your electricity bill?
Don’t know about “A Shade Greener” but I’ve also heard that if you need work done on your roof some “free panel people” will charge the home owner to remove the panels, charge the home owner to put them back and charge for loss of feed in tariff while repairs were being done.
There may also be problems down the line should you decide to sell up and move or if you remortgage because an element of your property is sub-let on a 20 or 25 year contract.
All in all considering just what you get out of it and all the potential problems I don’t think free Solar PV is a good idea or a good deal, but I advise you to do your own sums, ask lots of searching “what if” questions and decide for yourself if it’s right for you.

I’d suggest if you really want Solar PV, buy them, but don’t borrow to buy them.
It’s a long term investment and you’re locked in but all in all best forecasts and estimates suggest you will do a bit better than by just leaving the money in a deposit account.

Hello a rimmer

I think Chris, Gloucester, has summed it all up nicely for you.
We have some more advice about ‘rent a roof’ schemes on our website: http://www.which.co.uk/energy/creating-an-energy-saving-home/guides/how-to-buy-solar-panels/free-solar-schemes/

I am personally a bit surprised that these ‘free solar’ deals are still on offer. I would have thought that with the drop in FIT rate, this business model would not be as tempting as it used to be to the companies offering free solar.

That said, if you can’t pay for solar panels upfront (not everyone has £7,000 in the bank), it is an option from which you can make a bit of saving on your electricity bills.
But make sure you understand what you are signing up to and read the contract and T&Cs carefully.

Suzanne says:
13 October 2012

Please please can some one help me! I had solar panels installed at the end of April by a company called Sol arson or Jobs worth Doing (am in Scotland). I have been complaining since the start of the whole shambles. I have been in touch with REAL and the MSC people but don’t seem to be getting very far, where can I go next??

ladygaga says:
16 October 2012

Try weatherseal or penecuik home improvements. Offices are in dundee glasgow etc

Warthog says:
14 November 2012

we also have been having some problems with Solarson. Their customer service is pretty none-exsitent. Getting hold of them is a nightmare. I usually have to have a frim call with the slaes line (these are a call centre, but get them to give a message to Emma who is a supervisor – it might takes several days for Solarson to call back but i guess its something!!!). (We have issues with mis-selling and the electrics not being finished properly). I have spoken to our Citzens Advice, and in my case all i can do is send a formal letter of complaint and hope for the best – or get TONS of other complainants together and try civil court!! Good luck Suzanne.

Lee mcguckin says:
15 May 2013

I also had an absoloute nightmare with this company, they portray themselves as a big company but are cowboys, i ended up getting the MDs number [contact details removed my moderator]. He eventually got things moving and i got some cash back but terroble from start to finish and 6 months before my system was eventually up and running, citizens advice threat got them moving eventually. Gather all youre evidence and have it in writing then contact them with all the facts., avoid solarson at all costs.

james a says:
21 June 2013

i am having problems with solarson also. I was told that the panels would cost me no more than what I would have been paying for my electric bill. turns out that I will still have a smaller electric bill but will also be paying a loan for 12 years of almost twice what my electric bill was.

dave says:
15 August 2013

you need to take into account FIT payments as well as the savings on bill.The green loan saves a lump sum investment and when paid all profit is yours!

Grumpy Pete says:
26 November 2012

Beware of SolarKing
Contacted by a cold call (with TPS, so shouldn’t have been contacted)
Salesman said we could fit 16 panels on roof – WRONG – maximum space for 12.
Paid over the odds for Guarantees and for peace of mind – MISTAKE!
Promised a fitting date for higher FIT rate – didn’t meet it
Promised that they would use their own trained people – turned out to be sub contractor.
Surveyor (very good) specified scaffolding – Not used by sub-contractor
System didn’t work so repeated return visits before it finally worked
Return visits to correct dodgy wiring
Promised a personal contact to see me through the whole process – No such thing
Compensation agreed – nothing received yet 6 months later
When Spring arrived, we discovered that the bloody system shut down during the middle of the day when it should have been producing peak energy – We were hoping for days with high cloud so that it wouldn’t shut down! Apparently the Inverter was incorrectly set up. Put right eventually.
No replies to letters or e-mails for the last few months
Promises were worth diddly

We bought solar panels from Solar Energy last March and a month later received a letter from the liquidators asking for a full run down of our experience and copies of all documents. We have since been told that we qualify for a tiny refund on their Credit Suisse promise, but it will be tiny! Fortunately the installers they employed seem to be genuine, and we are receiving our FTT payments with Utility Warehouse.

Ultra Energy Victim says:
23 January 2013

Ultra Energy Global LTD – avoid at all costs they are Solar Energy Savings rebranded with another rogue director at the helm . .
In summary:
The salesmen lie and exaggerate the returns on PV systems.
The salesmen lie about the type and quality of the PV panels and inverters they supply.
The cost of the systems supplied are at least 50-75% over and above a realistic market value
They are NOT MCS or REA accredited – they fraudulently use accredited fitting company names on their letterheads to fiddle VAT .
Their call centre staff are oblivious to the management skulduggery rendering them less than useless when trying to deal with the haphazard delivery process
Generally a dishonourable shower – somebody in authority needs to shut these greedy conmen down immediately

Dr J says:
5 February 2013

Another victim of Ultra Energy Global Ltd (now in liquidation)….. I never received my MCS certificate, so cannot access the feed-in tariff. ominously, nobody in the solar panel industry will assist to rectify this. All third parties are TERRIFIED of inspecting the installation (which works fine), and the Solar Trade Association was very reluctant (on the phone) to discuss the matter. The Microgeneration certification org seems very reluctant to do anything except send one round in the same standard circles. There is a great malaise in the whole system that allows (alleged) fraudsters to operate via proxy certificated agents, but where the government infrastructure is unable to rescue innocent customers who have unfortunately been influence by the administration’s Green Energy Policy. Where do we go from here?

Ultra Energy Victim says:
5 February 2013

The MCS should clean up this mess – employ inspectors to certify those like us who need to apply for the FIT organised through publicised application.

See comment above – ULTRA ENERGY GLOBAL ONLY LIQUIDATED 2016 you still have time to act.

Dr J says:
6 February 2013

I totally agree with the need for MCS to sort things out officially. But, how do we pressurise them to do so? At present, all the agencies seem to be indifferent. Yet, it makes a mockery of a flagship government environmental policy.

Ultra Energy Victim says:
7 February 2013

Hi Dr J,
The problem is the remit of the MCS hasn’t taken totally audacious fraudulent behaviour by certain individuals into account and don’t have any more power than you to address it at the moment, I’m sure the necessary piece of paper will eventually get issued to you.
You may want to deal with the administrator handling the Ultra Energy liquidation and see if you can claim back for completely mis-selling – the administrators details can be found online in the Edinburgh gazette which is where Scottish companies have to publish intentions to liquidate. If you have the time/money and disposition you could try seeking legal advice about taking the directorship to court for fraudulent conduct if EPH Solar were the fitting company.
Points to note – the directorship of both Ultra and EPH are one and the same and they/he put EPH into liquidation around august time – I believe technically that puts them in breach of contract because there is no-one involved in the deal with MCS accreditation at the time of the sale – if you have EPH as the fitting partners on the contract you signed then I think(not totally sure about this) you’ve got them, but you need to move fast as the lynch mob is growing by the day……
Unfortunately, even though EPH fitted my PV I have Sunair Developments on the contract
Good Luck

Dr J says:
7 February 2013

Hi Ultra Victim

Thanks for the suggestions. Have registered with the liquidator as you suggested.

Have you, or anybody else, any idea what actual rule change (and by who was it changed, and when?) which prevents third party accredited MCS/REAL contractors from inspecting an instillation put in by another contractor? The Trade Body is reluctant to enlarge on this point (though admits to it), and all contractors I have spoken to are terrified of an ‘intangible something.’

I have posed the question to the Welsh Assembly Government (they who rule me; thus they who must have a view, if not any powers) and have been ignored. I am therefore going after this as far as I can. MCS prevaricates, so its the London Government next. This is an “elephant in the room.”

Does anybody else also fancy being an independent “annoyance” to the apparently cosy world of the so-called regulators?

Ultra Energy Victim says:
7 February 2013

The problem is I think is MCS don’t have any special powers to deal with this situation – apply for the FIT with your energy supplier – they won’t process it but will acknowledge it –
I will lobby my MP to put pressure on ofgen – in the final part of the process to get the FIT the energy supplier you register with registers your system with ofgen based on the MCS certificate – maybe then ofgen will grant special powers to get those in the lurch up to speed with the paperwork. I can’t believe this is unsolvable so don’t lose heart
The energy supplier wil pay you from the commissioning date

Ultra energy victim says:
21 February 2013

Dr J,
Just to let you know that I did get in touch with my MP – it seems I struck a chord concerning the problems with the shortcomings with the governing bodies processes and level of consumer protection and this is to be brought to Parliament….

Dear U E Victim

Thank you for that. I’m meeting my MP very soon, and will be flagging this issue up.

A request for a comment off the Welsh Assembly Government (as the ‘reigning power’ hereabouts, which always likes to comment so as to prove its usefulness) has been totally ignored – too contentious I expect. The Trade body is not interested. The Insolvency Agency was mildly interested. MCS finally responded, stating that arrangements were being made to rescue Ultra victims; I would like to believe this……. but ………….
And, to top it all, my energy company won’t accept any commissioning date other than the MCS certification date.
If you have any idea when the matter is to be raised at Westminster, I’d like to know, please, so as to get my MP to join in the debate.

ian says:
18 May 2013

Had a company solarson offering panels for a one of payment of £100.00 i live in scotland has anyone got information on this, is there a catch

Hi i have had a quote of 10,000 pound today from solarson offering 1,000 cash back

Ibinhad says:
7 October 2013

So far as I can see, “Solarson” does not legally exist, as Companies House does not list it and so it has no Company Number. [Check via “Companies House” in the search box of yr web browser and, once there, the page will help u to find that this is so]. As it is a trading arm of Penicuik Home Improvements, things smell a bit off there, too; along with Job Worth Doing. All three of these companies are registered as being on Road One, Winsford, Cheshire; yet Penicuik and Job Worth Doing have their trading addresses in Scotland.
Their bank is Shawbrook Bank, based in Essex; and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBS which is owned by us, the taxpayers. It has no email address.

robert robertson says:
20 May 2013

has anyone heard of helms.
i got them in and they are going to supply me with a 4kw pv system for free
well they say they will take the tarif.
have i done the right thing as i dont have moneys to buy outright?

The Precedent says:
29 May 2013

Recently I was contacted on my work phone by a call centre, I like playing the game and seeing how long I could go before they hang up. On this occasion they offered free installation and free panels, I would even earn money tax free for a portion of the excess power created and the only catch was that I had to provide energy to pay for the panels and installation over 20 years.

So I said come on round and have look “see if i qualify” this pleasant man came round on a hot day and despite saying yes to a cup of tea, he forgot to drink it.

Of course in between the arrival and departure he did confirm that the call centre were lying and in fact it more of finance deal that is set up to value of £15k+ (but with £1k cashback whoop whoop) but if I had the spare £14k+ I could get it all without the finance deal, this method is quite popular I was made to believe.

He did however give me tons of information most of it completely nonsensical, but left me with the following facts.

Your neighbours are doing it
Your energy bills are set to triple
You save money and you make money (the make money part is in capital letters in case you are shortsighted)
Returns are tax free & indexed linked
Complimentary products available
Beat the next feed in tariff drop (this was hard sale but he reassured me we would make it if I signed up today.
Payment plans available. Nil Deposit.

We were reminded we would be stupid not to take up the offer over and over again,

I requested facts and he provided me with the following financial figures over 20 years

We would make tax free profit of £15k and we would save £25k and when he did the maths and put the total at the bottom this added up to £48,838.29 over 20 years, a full 10k just magically appears from his magical budgie smuggling pants.

Now of course we would get a free survey done which I am sure if all above board, and although this could be completely legitimate I will say this. They are called Solarson, they have a website and nowhere does mention a VAT number, they are not registered as Solarson on companies house.

I believe that your are fool if you take this option. 🙂

Solarson, company address is Winsford in Cheshire. On their website they have 5 case studies all of which from Scotland.

redtulips says:
2 June 2013

I’m still undecided whether to go ahead with solar panels from Solarson, not sure if they’re worth it or if I’ll make a profit. I would have to pay £9570 over a 10 year payment plan at £128 per month for 8 2kw panels. I was informed I would receive no less than £107 every quarter.
I was promised 20 LED bulbs (costing £100) and 3 free accomodation holidays.
I don’t know anyone who has used this company or have solar panels installed, so any comments to help with my decision would be geatly appreciated!

Jim says:
3 June 2013

I have solar panels but not from Solarson. Have a look further up this post for people who have used them. Search for Sol arson as well as Solarson. There is no way that you will get at least £107 per quarter from a 2kW system. I’ve had my 4kW system almost a year now and FIT income has been approx £260, £160, £85 and £300 for the 4 quarters. However, the FIT you will get now is lower than it was a year ago, but I’m not sure by how much. So I think you will be exceptionally lucky to average £107 per quarter from a 2kW system. But you will also save a bit on your electricity bill each month, especially in the summer. £9,570 is very overpriced for 2kW – get some more quotes. I hesitate to recommend the company I used (although it is already mentioned earlier in the conversation) because I’m still waiting for them to carry out a service call. Part of my problem with that is living so far away from the company I used – so look for some local companies. Get more quotes.

solarson offered me a system for £12,370 over 15years, £100 deposit, the government pay so much per month over 20 year, the fit pays the rest. Any residue left goes to me, How can I lose ?

The Precedent says:
10 August 2013

Hello dg, they really sell it in a “you would be stupid not to take up this offer” sort of way, they quote the worst possible scenarios so you automatically do the maths in your head and think, I am quids in here. Just remember you are taking on a loan which you have to pay back, and if their jargon doesn’t add up you still have to pay it back. Also the kit they are offering can be purchased for 33% of that cost so you could get a loan yourself for around 5k over 15 years and have a bit of comfort. I would be careful with solarson, they are in my opinion complete scammers.

redtulips says:
2 June 2013

I have recently been quoted for 8 2kw solar panels from Solarson for £9570 at £128/month over 10 years and would receive £107 every quarter.
I was promised £970 cashback, 20 LED bulbs worth £100 and 3 free accomodation holidays.
I’m undecided whether to go ahead as I don’t know anyone who has used their company or if the scheme is even worth it.
Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated!

The Precedent says:
2 June 2013

I found out that the panels that Solarson are budget ones from China, they will deny this. The retail cost of that system is around £2000 not including vat, the cost of installation is normally around £2-300. The amazing thing is that retail price is an unknown with this sort of technology so these guys can charge whatever they want. You have to ask yourself this basic question.

How much do you spend on your gas and electric each month? I bet it is about £100 maximum and you will still need to pay an extra £30 per month for gas approx. But every quarter you get £100 back, so not a great deal because you are out of pocket for 10 years and you cannot get out of that finance deal.

I would recommend you source them from another credible company, solarson appear to be rogues.

redtulips says:
2 June 2013

Thanks very much for your information.
Have you installed them yourselves and if so would you recommend a particular company?

Jim says:
2 June 2013

Nearly £10k for a 2kW system is well overpriced. My 4kW system was installed almost exactly a year ago for just over £7k. The FIT was higher then, and I’m pretty sure the installation charges have come down in the last 12 months to match. Get some more quotes and look into the company history before shelling out that sort of money.