Problems with free PV solar panels

The pros and cons of installing free PV solar panels on your property. The evidence is that they were too good to be true. If you’ve got free solar panels, then you need to be aware of the feedback.

The news that Natwest, Nationwide, and the Yorkshire Banks aren’t dispensing mortgages on homes with free PV solar panels! This could come as a shock to some.

The original premise was to reward homeowners who rent a roof with free electricity. This allowed solar companies to take advantage of the early feed-in tariffs. Unfortunately, people’s circumstances change, and selling a property after you’ve signed a twenty-five years contract may become a problem! The solar company reaps the financial reward of the then over-generous feed-in tariff scheme.

This means you won’t be allowed to install a battery storage system to the PV system. These types of contracts were successful at that time, so much so that the government had to stop these schemes. Fears within the PV solar panel industry of over-subscription were justified.

It seemed that nobody in the ‘free solar panel’ industry asked the banks what they thought!

The banks don’t want anything to do with properties with third-party systems installed. Rent-a-roofers who want to sell, have to convince any potential buyers to adopt the contract. Legal issues around repossessing a home with third-party technology attached complicate matters even further. This gold rush has left a bad stain on a fledgling solar industry. However, for most people who intend to keep property over the twenty years contract, this news is of no concern.

The majority of free solar panel adopters were well aware of the implications. It should have been made clear from the first phone call that it was a long-term commitment. Unfortunately, free electricity in this age of escalating prices sounds very tempting.

Most homeowners have the ability to purchase the PV system out from the owners. Exchange of ownership is possible Homes with Photovoltaic solar panels are sought after and could help you sell.

My advice has always been to own your PV solar panels outright. Benefit from the PV export tariff, free electricity, hot water heating and battery storage – yourself. The three decades of peace of mind that PV technology provides is a positive thing. If you’re in any doubt about your free solar panel contract, consult with the original installer.

There are no free lunches in this world, and the same is true with rent-a-roof schemes.

Stuart Lovatt 2014-01-24