Scammers Cashing In On Solar Power

Solar power is more popular than ever, and that’s especially true in England. Since the feed-in tariff was introduced on April 1st, 2010, everybody wants to get their hands on this newly hot commodity – including scam artists.

Conceptual : businessman choice the red door t...
Could your door be next? Photo from Crestock Royalty Free Images

It’s true what they say: you haven’t made it until someone starts using your name to make a quick buck. Solar power is more popular than ever, and that’s especially true in England. New power systems are being installed all over the island, and consumers are being tempted with not only free installations, but rebates and tax savings just for using renewable enerrgy.

Since the feed-in tariff was introduced in England on April 1st, 2010, everybody wants to get their hands on this newly hot commodity – including scam artists. The tariff pays 41.3 pence per kilowatt hour and is a 25 year guaranteed commitment. In the end, a user can gain back his inital investment of installing the solar system as well as get a bit extra.

However, this is only true if they paid a legit price. Door-to-door salesmen, who are already incredibly annoying, are getting their foot in people’s doors by claiming that they offer an amazing discounted price on solar power. Many people have heard of the tariffs and perks, but few are aware just how much it costs. Many are ultimately shocked that it costs so little.

Scammers will quote a “heavily discounted” rate of around 28,000 pounds, leading you to believe that this is a base price. In actuality, it costs between 7,000 and 10,000, and the salesman will just pocket the difference. Worse still, he will likely try to steal your tariff money if you’re ignorant to the tariff itself. If you don’t know that you should be getting money for your system, the salesman will be all to happy to relieve you of that burden.

That’s not to say that you should turn away from anyone offering free solar. There are real, honest companies like ISIS Solar who will install your solar system for free but will take the feed-in tariff for themselves. You’re still not necessarily being ripped off – you’re getting free energy for 25 years with no up front cost and all maintenance fees taken care of. Think of the solar company as the “landlord” and you’re “renting” the system. Whereas these companies are responsible for repairs, monitoring and maintenance, a scam artist will charge you a hefty “maintenance” fee that goes to waste. Outside contractors can do the job at bargain prices compared to what these guys are charging.

It is recommended that you do your research before plunging into an investment like this, but it’s understandable if you just don’t have the time or patience for the rather dull textbook-like internet sites. Find out exactly what you need to know by contacting The Energy Saving Trust, a free, impartial advice guide on green energy sources. If anything smells fishy about a deal or a company, visit their website first and make sure you’re informed.

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7 Responses to “Scammers Cashing In On Solar Power”

  1. Turbo-Boost Protection
    September 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    This scamming artists should really be stopped. Hope the authorities will be more vigilant in apprehending them.

  2. Turbo-Boost Protection
    September 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    This scamming artists should really be stopped. Hope the authorities will be more vigilant in apprehending them.

  3. John
    September 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    It is so sad that scammers are using solar power to lure people out of their hard earned dollars. I wish solar power could take off, but it has not has an easy rise as an alternative energy source. If word gets out that people are looking to scam you with Solar Power schemes people could lose faith in this energy source for years to come. People need to act quick and clear solar energy’s good name.

  4. John@Chicago Dog Walkers
    September 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    It is so sad that scammers are using solar power to lure people out of their hard earned dollars. I wish solar power could take off, but it has not has an easy rise as an alternative energy source. If word gets out that people are looking to scam you with Solar Power schemes people could lose faith in this energy source for years to come. People need to act quick and clear solar energy’s good name.

  5. Dave
    November 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    There’s a lot of BS going around about solar energy and honestly, sure its a good alternative energy source but some scammers make it look as if its much better than what it really is. If you are going to have a full system at your home, get ready to pay big $.

  6. undefeated nfl teams
    December 26, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    September 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    It is so sad that scammers are using solar power to lure people out of their hard earned dollars. I wish solar power could take off, but it has not has an easy rise as an alternative energy source. If word gets out that people are looking to scam you with Solar Power schemes people could lose faith in this energy source for years to come. People need to act quick and clear solar energy’s good name.

  7. Solar Quotes
    December 9, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    I agree with your post and one thing in particular that i am continuing to see is that everyone seems to be jumping on the band wagon and setting up a solar company – Rent a roof is now the rage and i certainly don’t agree with that (renting someones roof to earn cash for yourself).

    Its not nice to say but we can expect to see scammers, “The world we live in today” when these “scammers” see a lucrative opportunity they take it and when we see an investment opportunity that we don’t know much about it doesn’t take much to convince!! wrong but very true.

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