Medway Council Trading Standards are warning the public to think carefully before signing up to green deals being sold door-to-door in Medway.

Officers advise that potential customers should always read carefully what is on offer before buying anything on the doorstep. This is because some systems may not return the expected energy savings that salesmen offer when they knock local doors – or at least not in the time frame expressed.

In one example, Trading Standard officers say a consumer contacted them after paying more than £50,000 for a heating system he claimed did not perform to the standards promised. The company who sold the system has since ceased trading and was originally based in Medway.

A Medway Council spokesman said: “Many alternative energy sources are in their infancy and propose untested future returns over very long periods of 20 years or more.
“It is important customers take extra caution when presented with money saving or performance figures for new energy sources.”

The following advice is offered to customers looking to go green:
• Have projections been made for your home specifically or just using ‘typical’ figures that may not apply to your location or planned use?
• Is the system going to affect access to parts of your property for maintenance i.e. replacing the roof tiles under solar panels?
• Have you checked to see if your mortgage company approve of any changes or if a potential house sale is affected?
• Have you budgeted for cleaning and maintenance of a system? An electrical inverter needed for solar energy may cost as much as £1,000 to replace.
• Will technical changes mean the system is very inefficient in the future – particularly for systems with projections spanning 20 years?
• Could policy changes in the future affect tariffs and potentially wipe out all potential gains?
• Could you achieve the similar savings by switching to a new tariff or other tried and tested energy saving methods like insulation?

http://www.which.co.uk/documents/pdf/solar-pv-checklist-pdf-269629.pdf

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