Solar companies suspendedWhich? investigation results in suspension

26 February 2011

Solar panels no caption

As a result of a Which? investigation into the solar thermal panel industry, two companies were suspended from the trade body assurance scheme REAL for failing to comply with its code of conduct.

Our undercover investigation into solar thermal revealed misleading claims and dodgy sales tactics.

Inflated savings

Double glazing giant Everest potentially broke the law by offering a discount to sign up ‘on the spot’. It slashed its already high quote of over £11,500 (about three times the lowest quote) to £8,500 if we were to sign-up there and then.

Unfair sale tactics were also used by Ideal Solar Energy, which made false claims on savings. It claimed that solar thermal would halve our gas bill - our expert estimated the saving to be around 10% of our total gas bill.

On probation

The investigation revealed that ten out of the 14 solar panel companies investigated made misleading claims about the savings you can achieve by installing solar thermal panels. We raised the alarm with REAL, the trade body Assurance Scheme whose consumer code is backed by the Office of Fair Trading.

As a result Everest Ltd (now Everest Energy Ltd) and Ideal Solar Energy Ltd were suspended and have been readmitted to the scheme on probation.

You can see the video footage of our investigation and get advice on how to buy solar panels.

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