Which? Magazine investigates Solar industryJune 29, 2011
Posing as customers, Which? Magazine recently undertook an undercover investigation of 12 MCS certified Solar PV companies, including EvoEnergy, requesting a quote and survey for a home in southern England, installing a Solar PV system. The results were given to a Solar expert and a senior Trading Standards Officer.
Though the report expressed concerns with regards to some of the government regulations on how calculations and quotes are produced, EvoEnergy came across favourably in the report.
As well as having one of the best final prices quoted in the investigation, EvoEnergy also demonstrated a dedication to excellence in customer service by providing a realistic payback study. Only three of the companies investigated did not overestimate the amount of energy that the system would be able to produce annually. EvoEnergy was one of these, providing a realistic account of the payback time and profitability of the scheme.
An issue raised in the Which? report was that several companies were using pressure selling tactics including allowing only 24 hours for customers to make a decision. EvoEnergy were not found to be using any of these tactics and were shown to allow our customers to make informed decisions within their own time, complying with the Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL) customer codes.
After surveying the roof, the Which? Solar expert recommended that it should have a maximum of six panels installed to ensure that none would be affected by being in the shade. Of the 12 companies investigated, five limited the number of panels to six. Although EvoEnergy did not limit the size of the system to only six panels, we did accurately factor in the effect that shading would have on the payback time of the system. We were one of only two companies to do this, ensuring that our customers would have a clear understanding of how they could profit from their system over time.
Which? found that 10 companies did not make the maintenance costs of the system clear when speaking to their undercover customer. Only two companies mentioned that the inverter on the Solar PV system would probably need to be replaced within 25 years at a cost of at least £1,000. Since Which? made us aware that this had not been stressed to their undercover customer, we have now made this fact clear on both our website and on our literature, to ensure that EvoEnergy are providing clear and accurate information to our customers about the maintenance costs of the systems.
EvoEnergy provides customers with an initial quote following a detailed conversation confirming their location and individual requirement. The quotes that we provide allow customers the chance to consider their options in their own time before deciding whether to proceed with a survey of their property. We are dedicated to providing our customers with accurate information so that they can make a considered, informed decision about whether they are suitable for Solar.