The Scottish Regional Scambusters Team are warning consumers to be on their guard regarding representatives from companies canvassing for solar panels and energy saving installations.
There have been recent reports of consumers in Scotland being cold called by telephone or receiving unsolicited home visits from company representatives offering the installation of solar panels or other similar energy saving devices on a special offer and pressure being applied on the day to sign expensive contracts, without the consumer having appropriate time to make an informed decision and consider other suppliers. We would urge consumers who are interested in acquiring a household solar energy system to fully acquaint themselves with information available from appropriate sources, particularly in relation to the expected financial dividends consumers could reasonably expect from energy being fed back into the National Grid. In this regard, it should be noted that for consumers to benefit from guaranteed payments from the Feed In Tariff (FIT) Scheme on systems installed after 1 April 2010, they must have been installed by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approved installer.
Consumers may find it helpful to consult the The Energy Saving Trust, which is a non-profit organisation that provides free and impartial advice on how to save energy. Additional information and a list of registered installers can be obtained from the MCS, a quality assurance scheme focussed on ensuring the quality of renewable technology installations and products.
David Roderick, Trading Standards Manager, and joint head of the Scottish Regional Scambusters Team said, “We would advise consumers not to make a transactional decision following unsolicited home visits by cold callers. It is always beneficial to take an appropriate period of time to carry out some industry research on the product or service being offered and do not sign up immediately. We strongly recommend you consult the government backed websites and ensure that any installers are MCS registered”.
The MCS website is www.microgenerationcertification.org and their contact telephone number is 0207 090 1082.
For information on Feed-In Tariffs and other related matters contact the Energy Saving Trust at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy or call 0800 512 012.
The Scottish Regional Scambusters Team is a Scottish Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards (SCOTTS) enforcement and investigation team funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The team operate across all local authority boundaries in Scotland.
The Association of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches is a registered charity.
Charity number: SC036510
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