'Free' solar power deals lacking in heat

10 August 2010


We’re all keen on using alternative sources of energy that won’t kill penguins, and solar power seems to be becoming increasingly popular, what with Lord Sun being our best friend and that.

As a result, there’s been an increasing number of deals on the market of late, with companies offering free solar panels in exchange for a slice of the money saved against regular, penguin-killing energy bills.

But it seems that the deals aren’t all that they’re cracked up to and that you might be better off funding the purchase and installation of the solar panels yourself rather than being dazzled by the word ‘free’.

The Guardian report that: “under the "free solar" model, a homeowner would save in the region of £2,750 on energy bills over 25 years, the length of the tariff offer. By paying for their own panels with a loan at 7.7% interest repaid over 10 years and earning income from the feed-in tariff, they could save around £6,506 over the same period.”

Additionally, Consumer Focus have published a lengthy checklist of 24 questions that anyone planning to install solar heating should probably be asking, including ‘If a giant comes along and puts his thumb on my solar panel, will my telly stop working?’

Ah hang on, we’ve just checked. That isn’t one of the questions. Sorry.

TOPICS:   Utilities


  • John
    Another good question might be why Quidco isn't paying its members out, while Topcashback is: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=35550811#post35550811
  • maxtweenie
    Cos Quidco are too big to care about their customers anymore. For Quidco, read Tesco, both are expert at riding roughshod over customers.
  • Name (.
    WTF has Quidco got to do with this article?
  • amandahugginkiss
    Penguins, solar panels and Quidco are alike in many ways. Neither of them will be paying out DGM affiliated cashback.
  • Pat
    I think the point is that Quidco are also 'lacking in heat' - they're choosing not to pay their members after the collapse of one of the companies they use. Most, if not all, other cashback companies are standing the loss themselves - but not Quidco. The clear moral is to avoid Quidco, and use another cashback company, such as Topcashback - who ARE paying up.
  • a b.
    paul better watch his back me thinks
  • [email protected] H.
    You don't essentially need a ton of pricey gizmos to appreciate the key benefits of passive solar heating. Passive heating collects and directs heat without the assistance of virtually any mechanical or electric powered hardware .
  • solar e.
    You've got great insights about alternative energy, keep up the good work!

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