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.