Wednesday, 6 July 2011

"Rent-a-roof" solar panels - another renewable energy scam exposed

´three quarters of solar panel salesmen used "dodgy sales tactics" and misled customers on potential savings´

The world of renewable energy has already for years been associated with half truths, misleading marketing, scams and outright criminal activities. The Telegraph has now exposed the latest scam:

 Solar panels 'save just £70 a year'

The benefits of solar panels have been called into question after the Energy Savings Trust (EST) reduced the estimated saving on electricity bills to just £70 a year.

The EST had previously estimated the savings to households at around £120 annually, but after trials carried out by the government-funded Carbon Trust, the energy advice group amended its estimates.
The admission will be a blow to the growing number of "rent-a-roof" schemes, where households receive free solar panels in return for savings on their electricity bill. However, as many of these schemes lock households into a 25-year contract, many householders are expected to be reluctant to take part for such paltry savings.
Under "rent-a-roof" schemes, the company that installs the panels, which typically cost around £14,000, keeps the income generated from selling the surplus energy back to the grid via the Government's feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme – typically earning more than £1,000 each year.
Launched last year, the FIT scheme means that home owners who install solar panels will receive money for any energy that is generated at home. Payments are index-linked for 25 years and at present generate 41.3p for every kilowatt hour produced by the system, plus an additional 3p per kWh as an "export tariff".
With free solar panel installations, the company that owns the panels will receive the income from the generation and export tariffs from your panels, while the homeowner will benefit from reduced energy bills.
The news comes after a Which? investigation found that three quarters of solar panel salesmen used "dodgy sales tactics" and misled customers on potential savings. In an undercover investigation, the consumer group found that 75pc of companies overestimated how much energy the solar panels would produce and most of them underestimated how long it would take for the system to pay for itself.
Which? found that the Government's rules to work out energy output did not take into account key factors such as where people live.

Read the entire article here

The Energy Choices website has some additional information about the "rent-a-roof" scam:

Back in April 2010, Which? warned consumers after conducting an undercover investigation.
The consumer champion accused some rent-a-roof companies of mis-selling and said that over 70% of the solar panel installers had overstated the potential savings of having panels fitted.
At the time, Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive at Which?, said: “Most of the firms in our investigation behaved like true cowboys - they promised huge savings that bore no relation to reality, and some really piled pressure on the homeowner to sign up immediately or risk losing a one-off ‘special offer’.”


Usually customers are not properly told about additional administration charges which make the "saving" even less. The companies which install the panels will of course take almost all of the profit. They can take advantage of the govenment´s highly dubious "feed in tariff" scheme, which guarantees installers 41,3 p per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by the solar panels. Without these "feed in tariffs" - subsidised by the taxpayers - nobody would be able to make any money from solar power.  All this madness in the name of non-existent human caused climate change!

1 comment:

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