Solar panel owners at risk of solar scams

Homeowners and business with solar panels are being warned to be on the lookout for solar scammers.

Fife Council’s trading standards team issued the warning after noticing an uptick in telephone and doorstep cold calls offering solar upgrades, accessories and extended warranty products. These calls come with misleading claims that a component is faulty, or that the owner needs to install an inverter replacement.

The claim from Fife Council follows similar reports from throughout the UK.

Virginia Graham, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) said these companies are ‘operating outside of the regulatory envelope’.

Graham said: “We are aware that companies, who are not RECC members, have been cold calling consumers, trying to sell them equipment that they do not need at extortionate prices and/or informing them that their inverters need to be replaced when they do not.

“Unfortunately, since none of the items these companies are selling are certified or form part of a regulated government incentive scheme, there is no reason for them to join a consumer code, particularly since this will prevent them from mis-selling.”

Graham also said companies work outside of this system to avoid regulatory constraints.

RECC’s consumer code states members must “not mislead consumers in any way” or lead them “into taking decisions they otherwise would not have done”.

Though these cold-calling tactics are well established and rife in many different industries, owners of solar panels are being warned to be extra vigilant with the expected resurgence of the solar industry.

If someone comes to your door claiming your panels are damaged, malfunctioning or similar, be doubtful and ask yourself what they have to gain from being less than truthful. If you feel the need to inspect your solar panels to ensure they are undamaged, contact an accredited and known maintenance company, or invest in a safe maintenance system.

Easi-Dec supplies a range of solar installation and maintenance systems, for more information click here or call us on 01767 691812.