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ESE Solar Panel Free Health Check

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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  • Possibly unrelated? But BT Solar Ltd's trading address of 25 Goodlass Road, has been the address of ESE Services Ltd who've been cold calling solar panel owners since at least 2016, selling solar insurance for £20 per month & reportedly 'a solar optimiser' for £900.

    Last year ESE were "reprimanded by Stroud District Council for distributing potentially misleading advertising material" to their tenants. ESE reworded their cold call letters. They've appeared in other MSE posts.
  • "I have an official barcode number (78*20*)"

    You're right Jamie, seems the barcode and reference number are the same in every letterhead. They're just trying to deceive the solar panel owner into thinking this spam is some official communication from a British Solar Association.
  • ESE Ltd & BTS Ltd do use identical (& unusual) opening hours, as well as the same office address. They both employ the same wording in parts of their spam solar letters (see ESE letter scan from solar-scams.co.uk below).

    Might speculate the new company (BTS, created 2018) & the new brand name on the new letterhead, may be linked with a 2018 hearing against ESE.....

    ESE's director Gary Fredson was called front of Renewable Energy Consumer Code Non-Compliance Panel Hearing Aug'18; partly about sending misleading, unsolicited mails about solar maintenance.

    "Fredson said he intended to continue using the letter in its current form unless he was told that he was breaking the law & said that the Member did not send the letters, they were sent by ESE Consultants Ltd, not ESE Services Ltd" & "ESE stopped making cold calls Apr'18".

    Verdict, ESE to be sanctioned & to pay costs, BTS to be audited & all marketing to be checked for compliance by RECC, for 12 months

    So seem the non-compliance panel can only take action against an RECC member. I wonder if this new company BTS Ltd, or its director Brian Thompson is a member?..... To look into my own question; Seems not. The new company is not in the RECC member list (below)

    BTS was established 11 Mar'18; midway between ESE sending its official response to RECC on 26 Feb & RECC's review on 28 Mar'18

    Hopefully RECC will investigate that no maintenance or equipment contracts sold via BTS's unregulated marketing, are then connected to profit ESE, their regulated member, who maintains solar systems, but has had its misleading marketing restricted?

    http://solar-scams.co.uk/ese-consultants-ltd/
    https://www.recc.org.uk/images/upload/noncompliancepanel_33.pdf
    https://www.recc.org.uk/scheme/members
  • K_ParkingK_Parking Forumite
    17 posts
    Second Anniversary
    I've had the same letter today from British Trading Solar Assocation. I imagine the slightly odd word order is specifically chosen so they can put "BT Solar" on the back of the envelope and thus make people assume it's part of BT. They give an 0800 number so I thought if I'm bored tomorrow morning I might phone them up with a couple of questions:

    (1) Help, panic, the letter says "A significant proportion of those installations have expired" - does that mean my solar panels have stopped working? [Obviously they haven't, but that's literally what the letter says, that it's the installation, not the warranty, that has "expired"].

    (2) Help, confused, I've only had my panels for <made up period of time less than 5 years>, does that mean I've been cheated out of part of my 5-year warranty? [I'm pretty sure mine is actually ten years, but I'll check that some other time.]

    It will be interesting to see who I get to talk to and how many outright lies they tell, but at least it's less unpleasant than - as happened a couple of months ago - having some chavvy type come to the door telling me he can see that my installation company did a really bad job, installing the panels too high off the roof and leaving wires loose all over the place that were being damaged by the pigeons nesting under them...
  • KevinGKevinG Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    K_Parking wrote: »
    They give an 0800 number so I thought if I'm bored tomorrow morning I might phone them up with a couple of questions:
    Rather you than me, I really couldn't be bothered with all that! But thanks anyway. :)
    Baxi Ecogen 24/1.0 Micro-CHP boiler installed Oct-2010; 2kWp Solar PV - 10*200W Kioto, SMA Sunny Boy 2000HF, SSE facing, some shading in winter, 37° pitch, installed Jun-2011, inverter replaced Sep-2017.
  • Hi Jimjames,
    I have exactly received the same letter but I did not act on it. As long as all is working, no need to worry about that inverter. I will check with a friend who has the same type of installation and see if he has a problem.
    The only worry I have is where did ESE get my details from. They seems to know that I have solar panels.
  • Merlin139Merlin139 Forumite
    5.6K posts
    Hi Jimjames,
    I have exactly received the same letter but I did not act on it. As long as all is working, no need to worry about that inverter. I will check with a friend who has the same type of installation and see if he has a problem.
    The only worry I have is where did ESE get my details from. They seems to know that I have solar panels.

    As was pointed towards the start of this thread if you get FIT paid the information is available in the public domain.
    3.975 kWp PV SolarEdge System South Facing 10% Shading Installed 21 May 2014 Located in Mid East Yorkshire.
  • Just received the same letter from BTSA addressed to the Homeowner and have raised a case with the ICO.

    For info it is a scam according to The Microgeneration Certification organisation.
    As a new user I cannot post a link so search for "Consumer Guidance – Fraud Alert: British Trading Solar Association".
  • KevinGKevinG Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    As a new user I cannot post a link so search for "Consumer Guidance – Fraud Alert: British Trading Solar Association".
    Link: https://www.microgenerationcertification.org/consumer-guidance-fraud-alert-british-trading-solar-association/
    Baxi Ecogen 24/1.0 Micro-CHP boiler installed Oct-2010; 2kWp Solar PV - 10*200W Kioto, SMA Sunny Boy 2000HF, SSE facing, some shading in winter, 37° pitch, installed Jun-2011, inverter replaced Sep-2017.
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