HUNDREDS of homeowners who have taken out a loan for solar panels that promise to save them money are being compensated and refunded after they’ve paid more.
Many households struggling with rising energy costs have turned to installing solar panels to help lower costs and be more environmentally friendly.
Energy Saving Trust says solar panels can often cut your electricity bill 15-25% increase.
While online marketplace ManoMano reported this month that sales of solar panels 99% increase as people look for other ways to stay warm this winter.
But solar panels can cost thousands of pounds to install, leaving many people with no upfront costs – even though it could save them cash in the long run.
Energyhelpline.com says the 12 panels will provide enough electricity for a family of four and require about 20 square meters of roof space.
It says installation for this will cost around £6,000.
Financing companies that specialize in solar panels offer loans – with interest – to help families install solar panels at a more affordable cost.
But homeowners dropped out of pocket instead of saving cash after applying for a loan only to realize that solar panels provide less power than they were told.
Follow Mirror, Thousands of Britons have complained to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), with 205 solar panel loan cases decided in the last six months.
Of these cases, 176 (85%) were found in favor of the customer and involved the same five lenders – Barclays Partner Finance, Creation Consumer Finance, Hitachi Capital (UK), Ikano Bank and Shawbrook Bank.
For example, in one case, FOS asked Creation Consumer Finance to pay £100 compensation to a Mrs W who took out a loan to pay for solar panels in 2015.
But FOS said a “misrepresentation” took place in which she was “not given explicit information” that the solar panels would not be self-funding and would require additional costs to get her running.
In another case, the FOS said Shawbrook should pay £200 to Ms M, who claimed she was told the solar panels would be “self-financed”.
She also claims that she has been told that the monthly loan repayment costs will be offset by the feed in the tariff income she receives from the panels – that is the payment you received when self-produced energy at home.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a feed in this tariff could net you £150 a year.
However, she says that her monthly repayments are much higher than the income she receives.
The FOS ruled in Mrs. M.’s favor and ordered Shawbrook to pay £200.
The Sun approached all five lenders for comments.
A Hitachi Capital spokesperson said: “We always strive to ensure our customers are satisfied with our financial products. In line with the Financial Ombudsman Service’s solar complaints guidelines , we thoroughly investigate customer complaints regarding solar panels on a case-by-case basis.
“Solar panels are a complex product with many variables and in some cases unique circumstances. In all cases, we seek to resolve complaints regarding these products as soon as possible for our customers by fully working with the Ombudsman. ”
How to request
If you took out a loan to install solar panels but find yourself out of pocket, can you claim it?
You’ll want to raise your concerns with the lender first to see if you can get a refund or compensation.
If you are not satisfied with the results, you should file a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
You will need to give them information about your problem, how you want things to go right, and any claim or reference numbers your complaint refers to.
Once the FOS has reviewed your case, it will decide whether to consider it further.
This means the business you’re complaining about has a chance to argue that side of the story – and the FOS will then make a decision on your case.
You can go to FOS . Complaints Page on its website to file a claim.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/17413298/hundreds-homeowners-compensation-solar-panel-deals-claim/ Hundreds of Homeowners Can Get Compensation for Expensive Solar Panel Deals