Feeds

Solar panel selling scam shown up by sting

No shade, Sherlock

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Solar panel sales cowboys are - surprise! - exaggerating the benefits of the energy technology, a sting operation by consumer magazine Which? has found.

Which? invited 12 solar companies to survey a house and produce cost and benefit estimates for a solar PV system. Seven out of the 12 recommended putting the panels in the shade, and some overestimated the benefits by thousands of pounds.

“It seems extraordinary that the Government’s rules require companies to ignore whether you live in Cornwall or Scotland when working out how long it’ll take to pay for the solar panels," says Which? executive director Richard Lloyd. "It’s obvious that the more sun you get, the faster the payback. The Government has to put this right."

Evidence of pressure selling was also unearthed.

The generous feed-in tariff (FIT) - whereby the taxpayers subsidises the 'surplus' electricity for a domestic solar installation by paying several times over the market price - has seen a rush of middle-class households seeking to install solar PV units. For the well-off who can afford one, it's printing money; and has been condemned as a regressive wealth redistribution by some prominent Greens. Sort of like Robin Hood in reverse.

Strangely Which? ignores this aspect.

Estimated cost of electricity by generation source 2030; Source: Climate Change Committee

On Wednesday the Energy and Climate Change department DECC published its microgeneration strategy. It's become a political flagship for the Conservatives, as this passage notes:

Such projects can engage individuals, neighbourhoods and communities in becoming involved with generating local heat and power. This offers a powerful symbol of the move from centralism to local action – the ‘Big Society’ in the UK’s energy landscape.

Power to the people? They probably believe it, too. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.