The Energy Saving Group (ESG) – not to be confused with the Energy Saving Trust – has cancelled solar PV installations for 700 customers after taking deposits worth £350,000. According to Money Mail, ESG requested a £500 deposit in order to install a solar PV system on the roof of interested customers.

ESG operate a rent-a-roof scheme, whereby ESG receive the feed-in tariff rate generated from their customers’ installations whilst the customers benefit from the use of any electricity generated from the system.

According to Money Mail, dozens of ESG customers have had to wait for months for arrays to be installed after paying deposits.

Peter and Shirley Conyers, a retired couple from Norwich, spoke of their almost year-long wait for ESG to install their system: “We waited four weeks and then six weeks, but there was always another excuse from ESG about why the panels couldn’t be fitted. We really can’t afford to lose this money. We only paid it because we thought there would be a saving in the long term.’

A statement of ESG’s website seeks to clarify the situation, stating: “Due to one of our installers changing their criteria which determine who is entitled to subsidised solar PV, some customers have experienced either lengthy delays or even their order being cancelled.

“In total around 700 customers have had their order cancelled by the installer therefore these customers will receive a full refund. To date more than 500 customers have received a full refund, the remainder will receive theirs shortly.”

The news of the cancellation of 700 ESG systems comes after the Redditch-based renewable company were named in a BBC Watchdog programme aired in September, as examples of bad practice within the industry. Anne Wells, another ESG customer who paid a £500 deposit for solar panels that never arrived, said: “I was given no cause to think that there were going to be any problems at all with it and that it was just a straightforward process… in 3 months time the solar panels would be fitted and I would be getting my free electricity during the day.” Over six months later ESG wrote a letter to Anne stating that the criteria had changed and she was no longer eligible for free solar.

The ESG claim to be responsible for more than 5000 solar installations, with 350 systems installed every week.

Solar Power Portal we unable to reach ESG for further comment on the situation.

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