Solar panels improvements - or is it an escroc?

We had some bloke round today representing "Allianz" with some patter about being appointed by the judiciare about our existing installation. I rather think this is some outfit who reckons that if you phone up the average householder with an existing installation then you will find that enough of them say their installation has some deficiencies that you can get your foot in the door.

Our installation is 14x180W = 2520 Wc, it's 5 years old and it yields now about 3000kWH annually (so it's paid its way and we are now in profit hurray). We are in Languedoc and the orientation is good.

He said

1 the output could be improved by changing to one inverter per panel instead of one big inverter situated about 15m from the nearest panel 30m from the furthest. I can sort of believe that, although by how much I have no real idea (he said 20-30%)

2 A new guarantee covering everything for 25 years (yeah yeah), which will magically repair the roof leak left by the clodhopping installers 5 years ago.

3 We are eligible again for a credit d'impot for energysaving installation (it's 5 years and 3 months since the original installation)

4 Not to miss a trick he's also trying to flog us a solar water heating thingy - last i knew the price in France was completely uneconomic

5 Not to miss another trick he's also trying to flog us an extra few panels to power the house during the day independently of EDF - I'd be amazed if this was economic

When I get the devis I can say more, but in the meanwhile I know there's some good expertise here, some advice would be nice please?


Ok Steve, to answer at least a bit on the points raised:

1. probably but it the law of diminishing returns, so you'll shell out but the gain is probably never going to be realised except by the salesperson.

2. Devil will be in the detail in this one. You only ever find out if the policy did what they say when and if you claim.

Your current system has a 10 years insurance already? can't do double indemnity and it covers others unknown work, highly dubious!

3. is that credit d' impots the reason for the call, there's the carrot!

4.Some thingies are good others not so, I don't judge everything on the pay back time as that's just your budget sheet and not the worlds, so we continue to damage knowing it's cheaper for us, that's not progress but i digress.

5.Trying to avoid connecting any new panels to the existing setup (grid tied to EDF) don't you still earn more for the generated power sold than that consumed? if so that wasting your money to produce a sale for them.

I don't hold with the commission statement, everyone earns their money and plenty of folk on salaries stand around and have lengthy discussions or bring in stuff to do from home in company time all at someone elses expense. Commission based don't earn if they aren't working, if everyone was on commission more work would get done everywhere! mild rant over :-)

There is another good wheeze. When somebody turns up like that, string them along. Then ask them for a ballpark figure. If the person there says it needs and evaluation first then ask what it typically costs other people. Drag it out of them until you either get no answer and can say that you are not a company to trust, so bye-bye or if they say €XXX you then say that it is about double the quote company from your nearest big city said.

I am telling you this, but myself I am no good at it. My OH is brilliant, she puts them through the shredder then if it all goes in the sand, she will rub a bit of salt in it by saying something of the nature of it not just being her time that they have wasted but time they might have spent trying to deceive other people. They do not return after she has run them through the grinder.

Re cooling off periods - yes they are there but you have to be pretty quick and very accurate to ensure it sticks. Be very careful in France with working weeks, holiday periods etc. I nearly fell for an insulation and wood pellet boiler stitch up that would have ended in me paying more than double what it should have done. Actually I think cooling off paperwork is quite challenging if you are not well up on your French.


Isn't there a cooling off period ?

Is he going to attempt to overcharge us - of course

Is there any merit in any of the detail - ??????

The bloke who sold us the installation in the first place was definitely on commission - nonetheless we are happy we did it (and reasonably content the final price was OK at the time).

Do not succumb to "special offers if you sign now". I don't wish to be indelicate (!) but I have always found if you say that you are over 70 (which in fact I am now but I was using this before) then telesales, special offers etc requiring long payback periods are actually forbidden, One advantage of old age.

I think you already know the answer.