A Yorkshire-based solar PV company is under investigation over allegations that it cashed deposits from customers without installing the promised solar panels.
Yorkshire Solar Panels Ltd is currently being investigated by the West Yorkshire Trading Standards after the company has appeared to close operations, leaving 14 customers who paid for services at a loss.
Of those who believe that they have been cheated out of money, pensioners Mr and Mrs Jennings, wrote a cheque for £1,500 to Yorkshire Solar Panels to secure a rented solar array that would provide them free electricity for 25 years, whilst the company would claim the feed-in tariff income to recoup its investment. Although initially sending round a surveyor, the couple have heard nothing from the company since, whose offices, website and telephone line are all now closed.
Speaking to the Thorne and District Gazette, Mrs Jennings said: “I was so annoyed as I don’t usually agree to these things on the spot. We are only getting our pension now so we could really have done with that money to pay all our other bills.
“I do feel stupid for doing it in the first place but they explained that they needed the money upfront to make sure the surveyor got paid his fees. I was upset at first but that turned to fury. They are a registered company and seemed so legitimate. I am going to keep trying to find answers.”
David Strover, a Principal Officer at West Yorkshire Trading Standards told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the company’s listed Director, Mr Lee Patterson, has appeared to have done a “midnight flit”.
Strover said: “Yorkshire Solar Panels Ltd set up in January at 93 Manningham Lane in Bradford. The company is still listed as ‘active’ on Companies House, but its offices shut last month. It appears that some work was done from the offices, and some work at people’s homes, after they were cold-called over the phone.
“Three or four months later Lee Patterson appears to have done a midnight flit, leaving without a trace. The landlord of the business premises says he has not been paid rent, and around 14 consumers say they have paid deposits on jobs that have not been completed.”
The news follows recent Governmental policy changes that have seen the UK solar market face a large period of uncertainty. As a result of these radical policy manoeuvres many UK solar companies were forced to make redundancies or close operations altogether.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards lists its investigation as ongoing.