Should I cancel my contract for solar panels?
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 6 December 2012 at 12:32 pm
Q: I had a visit Thursday evening from Ecohome Renewables. They quoted me £15,560 for a 16 panel 230w system, gave me a discount down to £10,560 but guaranteed me a tariff inflator to inflate my PV FIT system to 40p for 20 years. I had to agree then and there and signed a contract for £9,121.98 for 14 panels. I am tempted to cancel as I have a 7 day cooling off period. What do you think?
A: Here are some points that you might want to take into consideration when making your decision:
1. it is against the REAL consumer code for renewable energy installers for them to offer discounts to those who sign up on the day. We also believe that it is bad practice and unnecessary, and would always suggest that people get three quotes, preferably from local installers, and talk to previous customers, before signing a contract.
2. Despite the discount, the price they are charging you is expensive. The final price of 9,121.98 for a 3.2kWp system (230w x 14 panels) compares with the Energy Saving Trust’s guideline price of £7,600 for a 3.5kWp. In fact, the market has moved on, and the EST guideline price is more than most installers are currently charging. Depending on what quality of panels and inverter you choose, they can go as low as £5,000 for a 3kWp system from a reputable installer.
3. I don’t know how the company plans to guarantee the feed-in tariff inflator it is offering, but personally I’d prefer to pay a lower up front cost, and just receive the guaranteed tariff from Ofgem, rather than gamble on a company being around for 20 years to pay me an uplift.
I hope this is of some help. And I suggest that you report Ecohome Renewables to REAL.
Photo by Chandra MarsanoBy Cathy Debenham
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