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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.

If you want to help prevent this kind of sales in the future, please sign our petition to ban deal on the day. To find out more about why we are calling for a ban, click here.

Photo by Chandra Marsano

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Comments

6 comments - read them below or add one

Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 14 October 2014 at 3:35 pm

Hi @jimthomas

This is not straight forward. Your buyer maybe having problems getting  a mortage (How free solar panels can affect your mortgage).

You could negiotate with the company to purchase the panels and compensate for loss of earning for future FITS payments, and therefore resolving the problem with the mortgage company objecting to the free solar panels.

If you remove the panels, and take them with you, they would be considered second hand and no longer eligble for FITS ( Can I take my solar panels with me when I move and still get FITs?) and you'll be breaking your contract with the orginal supplier of the free solar panels.

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jimthomas

jimthomasComment left on: 11 October 2014 at 11:49 am

hi,

I have a diffrent problem. I had installed 12 solar panels for free (25 years contract)two and half years back and now I have sold my house. But now, the lady who brought my house says she can't buy the house with solar panels on it and she would buy it if the solar panels are removed. So, i contacted the company that installed the solar panels and found out that the company is  in insolvency and the liabilities are taken by the third party. I would like to know whether I would be able to end the contract with the third party by paying some money? (then I can remove it and install it on to the house I am going to buy) If so, how much approximately would I have to pay to end the contract? What will be the cost for removal of the panels and the installing of the same panels on the roof of my new house? Sorry, it's a big question, but pls help me...Thanks.

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Mikey_m

Mikey_mComment left on: 10 December 2012 at 7:00 pm

Yes, cancel. I have just agreed to pay £5750 for a 16-panel 4kW system, plus an extra £1000 for an Immersun and a voltage optimiser. I got two quotes and they were very close.

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Sussex Solar Ltd

Sussex Solar LtdComment left on: 7 December 2012 at 10:53 pm

You should only pay around £6k-£7k for a 4kW system. This company is not listed on Real or MCS, so they are just sub-contacting. We all deplore these sales tactics, but as long as there are MCS registered companies prepared to install for outfits like this then they will continue to pray on the vulnerable. 

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David Hunt

David Hunt from Comment left on: 7 December 2012 at 3:41 pm

I very much doubt they are MCS and REAL approved, they can't be with these sales tactics, not for long at least. The price is also WAY to high. Cancel and use a supplier recommneded on YouGen.

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Sims Solar Ltd

Sims Solar LtdComment left on: 7 December 2012 at 2:35 pm

CANCEL!!

The FIT rate is being held at the current rate until next May 2013. There in no need to accept first quote. As Cathy points out, how are they able to offer 40p.

You should not have paid more than 25% of the offer price as a deposit.

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