Solar panel maintenance

Hi, I got a phone call on Mon 11th regarding my Solar panel installer (AES Ltd) going bust from a company called Eco Partners Ltd.
They basically told me that my Solar panels haven't been cover by a maintenance contract or insurance for two years which is when the company went bust.
They have offered various packages to take over the maintenance of them and no surprise they want paying for it and if I sign today then they will give it to me for cost price.
My problem is that Eco Partners have quite a sketchy past according to Companies house but they are a registered installer for Enphase (the company who make the parts for the solar system) so kinda stuck what to do.
No-one replies to emails quickly and no-one picks up the phone or you get a message telling you they only speak to installers.
I have tried to email RECC but got no response as yet.
Feels so much like a con but don't want a white elephant sat on my roof.
Sorry for the long post but need help asap.
Damian
«1

Comments

  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,088 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    If you are talking about solar PV, rather than solar hot water, then the panels do not require any maintenance whatsoever. Anyone telling you otherwise is a scammer. Rainwater alone will keep them clean. Eventually the inverter will fail and need replacement: worry about that if and when it happens.
    Assuming you are getting the FITs, why is it a 'white elephant'?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • silverwhistle
    silverwhistle Posts: 3,790 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Ignore them and don't sign anything. Any insurance iwould be like the stuff they offer in electrical retailers: you buy some cheap item and they offer you insurance on it. Anybody sensible self-insures. As macman says, the inverter could fail, but in the meantime put aside a bit.


    Out of interest how much do they propose to charge? Tell us so we can all have a laugh. :-)
  • Kiran
    Kiran Posts: 1,368 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    Even on commercial installs the only requirement is that the panels are cleaned and visually inspected for damage. As above, the rain will take care of most of that unless the birds in the area have a terrible diet.
    Some people don't exaggerate........... They just remember big!
  • Hi

    I realise the original post was in June 2018 but I have the same scenario here in Nov 2018

    My original installer ceased trading almost 2 years ago but just this week I received a phone call and subsequent visit from a company called ECO Partners Ltd who are based in Bradford They informed me that they have been contracted by Enphase (my system supplier) to take over the monitoring operations of all Enphase Envoy Enlighten systems in the UK due to the fact that Enphase are predominantly interested in the Commercial sector and not the Private homeowner sector of the market.
    ECO Partners informed me that over a period of time there would be a cumulative build-up of software issues in the microinverters that would result in them producing less and less power output until they eventually stopped working unless they received regular software updates that would be provided via their monitoring of the system

    They offered me a Maintenance and Monitoring service over a period of 10 or 20 years with 3 options available to me and of course 3 different costs

    Of course all the offers on the table required a 20% deposit there and then due to them being 'So busy we will not be able to return anytime in the near future'

    The costs quoted were £1250, £2000, £2995 and I didn't have the option to see all this in writing or even check my current finances to see if i could afford it or not

    The whole thing did indeed seem like a scam

    I've done a little digging and also asked Enphase for their take on all this and asked them if ECO Partners are indeed a trusted partner but as yet have received no reply

    My questions to any one with any knowledge out there would be

    1. Will a Microinverter lose its efficientcy to produce power over a period of time due to software and none software update issues provided by the monitoring service?

    2. Does my system need to be monitored by a third party to ensure its running efficiently or is the Enphase Envoy system accurate?

    3. Are ECO Partners a reputable company?

    4. Is it worth 2K over a 20 year period for peace of mind in case anything goes wrong providing they stay in business?
    (ECO partners say that their maintenance contract covers all scaffolding and maintenance costs, Enphase provide the parts under warranty - therefore if anything goes wrong there should be absolutely 0.00 to pay)

    Apologies for the long winded thread but i dont know where else to look for answers

    Cheers!
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    Tez_Ex wrote: »
    Hi


    They offered me a Maintenance and Monitoring service over a period of 10 or 20 years with 3 options available to me and of course 3 different costs






    The costs quoted were £1250, £2000, £2995 and I didn't have the option to see all this in writing or even check my current finances to see if i could afford it or not

    The whole thing did indeed seem like a scam



    Welcome to the forum.


    All the solar PV owners post in the 'Green and Ethical' section of this forum.


    The chance of firms like this being in business for very long is remote - especially if you pay up front.!
  • Hi Cardew

    Many thanks for the reply, New to Forums of any type so not sure how they work really

    Is it worth me re-posting in the correct section?

    You have however answered one of my concerns which is that regarding the longevity of companies that take large sums of money up front
  • Mister_G
    Mister_G Posts: 1,925 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    Tez_Ex wrote: »
    1. Will a Microinverter lose its efficientcy to produce power over a period of time due to software and none software update issues provided by the monitoring service?

    2. Does my system need to be monitored by a third party to ensure its running efficiently or is the Enphase Envoy system accurate?

    3. Are ECO Partners a reputable company?

    4. Is it worth 2K over a 20 year period for peace of mind in case anything goes wrong providing they stay in business?
    (ECO partners say that their maintenance contract covers all scaffolding and maintenance costs, Enphase provide the parts under warranty - therefore if anything goes wrong there should be absolutely 0.00 to pay)

    Apologies for the long winded thread but i dont know where else to look for answers

    Cheers!

    In my opinion

    1. No
    2. No
    3. Don't know
    4. No

    I have had solar panels for the past 7 years and they are still working as well today as when they were fitted. No maintenance required. I can monitor them on my computer with the software supplied by the inverter manufacturer (Sunny Boy).
  • theboylard
    theboylard Posts: 1,206 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    Cheers for the heads up Cardew :T
    Cardew wrote: »
    Welcome to the forum.

    All the solar PV owners post in the 'Green and Ethical' section of this forum.

    The chance of firms like this being in business for very long is remote - especially if you pay up front.!
    Tez_Ex wrote: »
    Hi

    I realise the original post was in June 2018 but I have the same scenario here in Nov 2018

    My original installer ceased trading almost 2 years ago but just this week I received a phone call and subsequent visit from a company called ECO Partners Ltd who are based in Bradford They informed me that they have been contracted by Enphase (my system supplier) to take over the monitoring operations of all Enphase Envoy Enlighten systems in the UK due to the fact that Enphase are predominantly interested in the Commercial sector and not the Private homeowner sector of the market.
    ECO Partners informed me that over a period of time there would be a cumulative build-up of software issues in the microinverters that would result in them producing less and less power output until they eventually stopped working unless they received regular software updates that would be provided via their monitoring of the system

    They offered me a Maintenance and Monitoring service over a period of 10 or 20 years with 3 options available to me and of course 3 different costs

    Of course all the offers on the table required a 20% deposit there and then due to them being 'So busy we will not be able to return anytime in the near future'

    The costs quoted were £1250, £2000, £2995 and I didn't have the option to see all this in writing or even check my current finances to see if i could afford it or not

    The whole thing did indeed seem like a scam

    I've done a little digging and also asked Enphase for their take on all this and asked them if ECO Partners are indeed a trusted partner but as yet have received no reply

    My questions to any one with any knowledge out there would be

    1. Will a Microinverter lose its efficientcy to produce power over a period of time due to software and none software update issues provided by the monitoring service?
    Software issues build up reducing their output??!!! Hahaha! It's not a bloody tumble dryer with fluff build up!
    2. Does my system need to be monitored by a third party to ensure its running efficiently or is the Enphase Envoy system accurate?
    It would be the Envoy system - no difference!! All they would do is request that Enphase move the registration info for the system from your old installer to them - they would use the exact same portal you have access to, except theirs has a few more bells & whistles!!
    3. Are ECO Partners a reputable company?
    I'm gonna have to say that any company that lies out of their liddle !!!, is not reputable!!
    4. Is it worth 2K over a 20 year period for peace of mind in case anything goes wrong providing they stay in business?
    (ECO partners say that their maintenance contract covers all scaffolding and maintenance costs, Enphase provide the parts under warranty - therefore if anything goes wrong there should be absolutely 0.00 to pay)
    That depends on your belief in your first 3 questions and my replies!!

    They are correct about scaffolding, it's the same with Solaredge - they'll replace the faulty part but they don't cover the cost of getting it on the roof.

    And there isn't any maintenence. There is really no preventative work that they can offer to ensure your system keeps running - if you can see your Envoy portal, you'll know when an inverter fails. That's when the Enphase warranty kicks in, and you'll need to worry about the next steps.

    Stick £20/month in a savings account somewhere and don't ever touch it until you need it for such an emergency? If you never call on it over the next 20 years, you're quids in.
    Apologies for the long winded thread but i dont know where else to look for answers

    Cheers!
    I'm glad you did, with the outrageous claims & costs being claimed by Eco Partners, this sort of scam needs much greater coverage.

    If you have social media - I'd fire this whole thread at Enphase, sometimes you have to shake companies down publicly to get them to act properly.
    If you have any of the info from Eco Partners in writing (emails, quotes etc) keep them, this would be great evidence. If you haven't, before you tell them to foxtrot oscar, play nice and get them to email it!!

    Good luck and keep us posted!!
    4kWp, SSE, SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
    Now with added Sunsynk 5kw hybrid ecco inverter & 15kWh Fogstar batteries. Oh Octopus Energy too.
  • Thanks for the replies and heads up all

    This is exactly what i thought, my system is already monitored by Enphase and i have had no issues with the inverters or panels since install 3 years ago

    The suggestion of starting a savings account is an excellent idea, i'll be heading down that route

    I've already contacted Enphase prior to posting on here but am awaiting a reply, i'll keep you all posted as to what they say

    Cheers
  • Sterlingtimes
    Sterlingtimes Posts: 2,390 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I had Eco Partners on the telephone today. I was told that the Enphase micro inverters "get clogged up with data over time" and may then stop working. This would rather suggest the product provided by Enphase (now partnered with Eco Partners) was not fit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act. It was never represented to the buyer at the point of sale that the microinverters would stop working because they become clogged up with data.

    Enphase separately emailed me to offer a self panel level monitoring facility for £9.99 a month.
    I have osteoarthritis in my hands so I speak my messages into a microphone using Dragon. Some people make "typos" but I often make "speakos".
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.1K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards