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Top 10 tips for solar installation
Published:  12 September, 2011

Renewable energy company Organic Energy has issued a top 10 guide to solar PV installation after reports that 'cowboy' salesmen were misleading customers.

Seven out of 12 companies recommended putting panels on a shaded part of the roof and three-quarters of companies are over-estimating how much energy the solar PV panels would produce, according to a Which? survey.

Andy Boroughs, managing director of Organic Energy, based in Powys, Wales, said the results of the consumer champion's survey were "extremely worrying" and could damage the reputation of the industry.

"New and inexperienced companies are springing up to take advantage of the boom in solar technology and it is extremely worrying that in some cases it appears householders weren't even asked how much energy they used.

"We want to demonstrate that the majority of operators in the solar PV industry are experienced, knowledgeable and importantly, trustworthy. We hope that by producing our top 10 guide to solar PV installations, consumers will have the information they need to make the right decisions."

He said: "We know that with the cost of energy continuing to rise, and gas and electricity bills increasing every quarter, domestic and business users are looking at alternative ways to generate their energy.

"When you add in the government incentives like the Renewable Heat Incentive, the premium payments for installation and the Feed-in-Tariffs, it is no wonder that some companies think they can jump on the bandwagon and cash in.

"But the industry itself must act now to come up with a way of ensuring that consumers are not hoodwinked or misled by dodgy sales tactics or inexperienced companies advising consumers that they will benefit when solar PV might not be the best solution.

"Although a solar PV system can means an initial financial commitment, the potential profits from the Feed-in-Tariffs can be impressive."

Organic Energy distributes the Schott Solar PV range and works with MCS-accredited installers.

The guide is available at www.organicenergy.co.uk.