Non-motoring > Solar Panels - Strange Call Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Fullchat Replies: 16

 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Fullchat
For those with Solar Panels

This morning I received a call. "Is that Mr Fullchat?"

"Yes" says I.

A female announced that she was working on behalf of a company who were aware that I had solar panels and that it was over 11 years since I'd had them installed. They had not been inspected in order to maintain the 25 year panel warranty. Also that the company that installed them were no longer in existence.
It was a somewhat stilted conversation as I was getting the feeling that this was another call, of a few we get, trying to flog something else related to solar. There seems to be a solar customer database that's accessible to chancers.
To my knowledge the panels had a 10 year warranty and the inverter had 7 years. So both are well out now.
The call was finished after I'd informed them that I'd had an electrician check them over and they were fine. (Fib :0 ).
I then went and checked my paperwork and it seems that there is a Product Warranty of 10 years and then a Power Guarantee of 10 years at 90% and 20 years at 80%.
How you ascertain degradation I'm not sure.
Any thoughts from the panel?

 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Zero
Too late matey, your inspection lie has invalidated your power guarantee.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Kevin
S'funny you should mention this.

A while ago I had a cold call from a company telling me that the free loft insulation top-up that I'd had installed years ago was causing damp problems in some properties. Their story was that the contractors employed by British Gas hadn't installed it properly and they were offering a free 'damp survey'.

After politely telling them to go away I looked up their caller-id and it was a company in Southampton flogging the stuff they spray on the underside of the roof tiles.

They knew my name and that I'd had the extra insulation installed by British Gas and not one of the other suppliers doing the same.

I emailed Trading Standards but never got a reply.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Terry
They simply want to frighten punters into spending more money - a scam.

There may be a case for checking the electrical circuitry after 11 years but I would get an independent electrician to do the job, not a cold call. If the original supplier is no longer around - any warranties are probably worthless.

Similarly the loft insulation - they want to part you from your money. If you are concerned (I probably wouldn't be) then get your own specialist to look - a free survey will inevitably find problems that need fixing.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - smokie
Been getting the same and variants for a few years now. I believe the FIT database got into the wild.

For me, they tend to come in clusters - none for weeks then maybe up to three in a day for a while. They have impersonated reputable companies, pretended to be government agencies, mumbled incoherently when I ask for their company website address and generally completely mispresented themselves. They are also saying things like "when we spoke 6 months ago you were too busy to speak but asked us to call back". Never. But I guess that could be a defence against why they are calling me when I'm on the telephone preference service.

They are usually telling me my warranty is up and my installer no longer exists (both true) and sometimes that they've been appointed by the installer's solicitors or the manufacturer to take on the warranty and maintenance.

Other times they want to come and tell me about an exciting new development which will drastically increase my output. Other than new and thus more efficient panels (which would invalidate my FIT payments) there are no new products which would help in my case (thinking micro inverters, which could help shading problems, which I don't have).

tbh I rarely give them even enough time to tell me why they are calling now, they got so prevalent.

I know my panels are performing pretty much as well as when they were first installed. I've had to replace the inverter anyway, at my cost. The systems are supposed to be pretty maintenance-free, so if they are still producing as much as they were then I'd leave well alone (except a few years back I had to get the pigeon proofed against the pesky things which appeared to want to nest under the panels).
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Falkirk Bairn
It wasn't a solar panel sales pitch, for a change, but new roof tiles.

A nearish neighbour has had their roof tiles replaced - 3/4 years back he had the tiles power washed & painted, subsequently he had tile leaks.

At the door this chap said they had installed the new roof tiles at No 3. He was prepared to give me the same price to replace my roof tiles.

I asked him why I needed to replace the roof tiles - age means the roof might leak and he was doing "special prices" in our street.

I said, "I had been up in the loft last week (truth) and no signs of leaks after a couple of days of a lot of rain. 9 months ago I had a man on the roof and the tiles had not moved - 2 tiles replaced due to a small cracks - #1cracked needed changing, #2 crack was caused replacing #1.

None of my kids want / need my house (theirs are much bigger/grander) and I am sure the roof will see me off! (nearly 76)

 Solar Panels - Strange Call - bathtub tom
I lived in a '60s built house that had concrete tiles on a shallower pitch than the nearby '50s houses. The battens rotted. The roofer who replaced them explained that in his opinion it was because of the shallow pitch and the small overlap. He re-used(nearly) all the tiles apart from those broken in removing them and added another row to increase the overlap. He said that as they'd lasted sixty years, there was no reason they shouldn't last another sixty. We were the third house in a development of a dozen or so to have this done.

In my local area I can see numerous houses of similar age that have had this work done, including about half that have had all new tiles.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Falkirk Bairn
>>it was because of the shallow pitch and the small overlap
Son had an extension built - the first plans were refused on the shallow pitch of the roof and the increased chances for water penetration.

Raised the apex of the extension roof by about 18"/20" and it passed the council planning / inspection.

The inside of the extension is huge with the the steeper V- raising the roofline gives room a huge volume. Although the change of roof raised the cost initially the extra money well spent.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - DeeW
Kevin, I wonder if it was the same company that a friend employed, here in the New Forest.
She had been future proofing her house a few year ago, having put solar panels on the roof, she was persuaded to put spray on insulation on the inside by another company. This year she found the insulation has caused massive rotting of the wooden part of the roof and the whole thing now needs replacing. Trading standards are looking into it.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Kevin
Dee, it could very well be the same company. Based in Southampton with a very slick website making ridiculous claims about the stuff they used.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - James Loveless
"... she was persuaded to put spray on insulation on the inside by another company. This year she found the insulation has caused massive rotting of the wooden part of the roof and the whole thing now needs replacing."

I understand the spray-on foam insulation has been the cause of huge problems for some householders. As above, a lot of damage can result.

Two things to bear in mind: the presence of the stuff can make a mortgage difficult or impossible to obtain; and removal of it can be massively expensive, whether or not damage from dampness has occurred.

I see a new type of foam is being advertised which is supposedly breathable. I would be very sceptical of it.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - wotspur
There is “open cell spray foam” that is filled with air and softish to the touch and that shouldn’t cause problems , in houses the “closed cell” which is filed with gas , used to be used and has been known to cause problems . A relative had it done and is happy so far with it , has it done 2 years ago and it’s made their house feel warmer .
To me it seems better to insulate as close to the roof ,to reduce cold air coming in , rather than having a warm area where the floor insulation hasn’t prevented heat from escaping
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Kevin

Hampshire company Eco Spray Insulations fined £100k for predatory marketing calls.
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Fullchat
I've emailed Evo Energy who are still in existence but concentrate on Commercial instillation rather than domestic.

A bit of 'Googling" reveals firms that can do 'health checks' on systems for about £250. Really??!!!

 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Fullchat
I've had a very helpful and comprehensive response from Evo Energy.

Yes, as Smokie suggests it appears someone accessed the FIT database and its data got into the wild.

They linked me to this article.

Apparently very expensive specialist equipment is required to thoroughly test the panels which they say have a 1% silicon degredation factor/year built in. So after year 20 they potentially could produce 20% less than year 1.

 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Fullchat
Cancel my last :S

This is the link
 Solar Panels - Strange Call - Fullchat
Things start to fall into place:
Latest Forum Posts