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Live by the sword. Don't intend to die by it.
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I've looked at getting solar panels a few times over the past 5 years, and every time I've done the sums it's not made financial sense. Looks like a lot of people were hoodwinked into thinking there would be big cash returns by unscrupulous installers.

 

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Its never going to "pay" (whatever that means) if one pays stupid money for a system. The man shown has got 6 panels and paid £10K + . This is just ridiculously expensive and he clearly failed to carry out due diligence by getting further quotes and recommendations. Anybody who believes anything a salesman tells them without further collaberation is heading for trouble.

Most things people buy depreciate to zero value in short time but solar panels just keep on producing a return on your investment for decades and give a better return than pension investments TAX FREE (pensions are taxed).
 

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This sounds like the usual situation where unscrupulous installers jump on a bandwagon and use dubious sales tactics, rather than properly considering people's individual circumstances.

My solar panels (installed December 14) have been one of the best investments I could have made - we got in before the FiT was completely sabotaged, so we get payments more or less equivalent to retail price for electricity, and we have an "all electric" house (no gas or oil for heating). We had the money available from an inheritance, so didn't have to pay to borrow the money and returns on deposit accounts have been terrible for most of the last decade, so it was a much better user of money than leaving it in an account.

PS, I paid about £12.5k for a system with 36 panels (9.72kW notional capacity, with a 9kW inverter). As noted by @KenB - £10k for six panels seems ludicrously high unless perhaps it was installed in 2010 or so, with the associated very high (>50p/kWh) FiT - and even then I'm sure panels weren't that expensive!
 

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I always defended, even when I was working with EST Scotland, that installing solar panels, or any of the most renewable would not have a significant financial return.
One thing people need to add as a figure for an eventual added value to the property. Usually you would get a bit more money if you sell the house having the solar panels installed. But for this you have to sell which means bying another one with all the expenses that will carry.
The argument of financial return was made when the gov launched the feed-in tariff the cost of the installation would be recovered after 8 to 12 years depending on usage.
Because the FIT has changed the period is now a lot longer and you will be looking at end of life of the panels before you get your money back even considering the cost is now substantially lower.

This kind of investment should not be because of financial gain but in fact an environmental act that we all should be keen on.
 

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"would not have a significant financial return" Mine return the capital every 3yrs TAX FREE and Inflation proof ie increasing in line with RPI . Best investment i ever made.
 

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Live by the sword. Don't intend to die by it.
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Discussion Starter #7
Another article on this story. For me, getting solar panels would be about doing the right thing for the environment. It strikes me though that a more cost effective way to do that would be to sign up for a 100% renewables tariff. Am I missing something?

 

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For me, getting solar panels would be about doing the right thing for the environment. It strikes me though that a more cost effective way to do that would be to sign up for a 100% renewables tariff. Am I missing something?
Definitely sign up for a properly "green" tariff. If you can afford to install PV panels and have a reasonably suitable place to put them, then that's an added bonus (and you will to an extent insulate yourself from serious electricity price increases, should that happen). But there are probably better things to spend your money on - such as better insulation and perhaps doors/windows so as to minimise consumption (depending largely on the condition of your existing doors/windows).
 

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This sounds like a classic scam, with customers being charged at least twice what the installs are worth (judging by the pictures). I loved this bit:

"Robert Skillen, who was the director of the firm when Mr Thompson bought his system, said Mr Thompson's panels would make him money.
Mr Skillen is now in business claiming to help people who have been missold solar panels."
 

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Another article on this story. For me, getting solar panels would be about doing the right thing for the environment. It strikes me though that a more cost effective way to do that would be to sign up for a 100% renewables tariff. Am I missing something?
Yes, sign up for a renewable tariff (cost - free), add solar panels, invest spare cash via ISA in Greencoat UK.

Greencoat UK Wind invests in operating UK wind farms to provide shareholders with a sustainable and transparent income stream through an annual dividend on the issue price of 100p (6.94p for 2019). Given the nature of the Company's income streams, the board has increased and intends to continue to increase the dividend in line with retail price index (RPI) inflation. The Company also aims to preserve capital on a real basis by reinvesting excess cashflow in additional operating UK wind farms, and through prudent use of portfolio leverage.
 

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For all these "mis-sold" solar installations remind me who was underwriting the promised financial returns.

If it was a finance company or credit card, possibly some comeback???

If it was the solar installation company, I would imagine most have stopped trading, gone bust or re-emerged as separate legal entities. I.E there will not be any source of funding to reimburse those mis-sold.

So no, don't imagine there will ever be any solargate. Also I haven't seen any adverts from legal firms offering to get your money back on a no risk basis (always a good litmus test)
 

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A relatively new and (to some) complicated technology being offered direct to homeowners. Justified by a relatively complex financial product (Feed in Tariff). Some unscrupulous companies exploited customers who believed in 'too good to be true' financial returns. Never heard of such a thing!

Meanwhile, most people did their homework, used a local recommended supplier and did it for a mixture of financial and environmental reasons and are delighted with their decision.
 

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It's quite simple. If you sell people something and tell them they will save X or Y off their bills and they don't then it is mis-sold. The provider has lied and that's the end of it.

If it is on finance then the finance company are also on the hook. As usual the tax payers will end up paying out to reimburse these liars and charlatans that don't offer accurate information.

Consumers should expect sales information to be accurate. If it says 'this product does X' then it damn well should.
 

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I think you'll find no one was told that they would get £X. It's like maximum output of panels (or charging times), the figure quoted is "up to" X. We had 4kWP panels installed in 2011, and they've never produced 4kW for a measurable time. They can also produce up to 30kWh per day: they've done that 3 days in 8 years. They've also produced less than 1kWh on 20% of the days.

Luckily we're on the FiT from 2011, so we currently get 56p per kWh produced and they've paid themselves back. It's a far better return than saving the money in the bank or the stock market (y)
 

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Full marks for smugness on this one. A thank you to other electricity bill payers would be appreciated by many.
Leaving aside the smugness, a thank you from other electricity bill payers is also in order for the pioneering householders and developers who have built out over 13GW of solar (despite much government hostility at times) which has contributed at times to negative electricity prices, delayed the need for expensive grid upgrades, paid for expensive grid upgrades (in the case of solar farms), reduced the need for new, expensive and polluting fossil/nucular plants and helped to reduce our dependence on the big monopoly energy suppliers. A price well worth paying.
 

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Leaving aside the smugness, a thank you from other electricity bill payers is also in order for the pioneering householders and developers who have built out over 13GW of solar (despite much government hostility at times) which has contributed at times to negative electricity prices, delayed the need for expensive grid upgrades, paid for expensive grid upgrades (in the case of solar farms), reduced the need for new, expensive and polluting fossil/nucular plants and helped to reduce our dependence on the big monopoly energy suppliers. A price well worth paying.
I'm one of those PV investors. In my particular case, I chose to instal for environmental and educational reasons, and did it without any recourse to grants, subsidies etc. Regards
 

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I cant believe the prices paid and the promises believed by some people.
I used a local installer after getting a few quotes.
The pay back figures were on a very strict formula, fully detailed and referenced with data from the EST.
Some assumptions were made but that was over home consumption of what you generate but as I am mostly an electric household with 2 EVs I figured I would use more of my generation than most.

The figures have easily held up to examination, the FIT has been pretty much as expected and my breakeven and subsequently moving into profit is less than was projected.

As others have said, one of the best moves I ever made.
 

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I'm one of those PV investors. In my particular case, I chose to instal for environmental and educational reasons, and did it without any recourse to grants, subsidies etc. Regards
Good for you but I bet you rely on those other big consumers of subsidy to provide back up to your solar - namely fossil fuel and nuclear power?
 
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