Solar Equity Release

Hi All,

Just thought I would share my experience ....

Like others I am sure, most of the mail I get that has anything relating to solar panels goes straight in the bin. It’s normally offering a free health check on the system recently.

One correspondence recently though caught my eye as it was from Solar Equity Release and it stated that they were interested in buying the remainder of our FIT payments. Normally this would have followed the rest to the bin but it sparked curiosity as it stated that they were only buying the FIT payments and made no claim to anything else, no lease or charge over the property.

I have never been interested or investigated before so responded with basic information, date of installation and current FIT meter reading.

I received a call back within a week from a chap representing the company. He was pleasant enough and I explained that I had no real interest except natural curiosity, I had no overwhelming financial need that made me more likely to proceed and just wanted to know what ballpark figure they were talking about.

He accepted this, confirmed the information given by me, installation Nov 2011, current FIT reading and then gave me a figure over the phone that has been confirmed by email.

In my case I wasn’t interested straight away as I was told £15k.

I’m nowhere close to being as savvy as most here but a quick calculation of us getting on average £2k a year, best part of 18 years remaining against £15k didn’t float my boat.

I know that there are other elements to consider but like I said it was just curiosity for me.

The chap did ask what figure I had in mind, but I didn’t have one, so there may have been some room for negotiation, I don’t know.

Anyway I thought I would share.

They do have a website.

I am absolutely not connected to them in any way shape or form, and can’t recommend or comment other than what I have stated above.

Happy Generation ( though this looks like a particularly poor quarter down here in grey Devon ).

Nobby.
SMA 4000TL Inverter, 17 REC 235PE Panels, South facing, roof angle \ `ish, 3995 watt system.Installed Nov 2011.
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Replies

  • Exiled_TykeExiled_Tyke Forumite
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    If you reckon that you could get 2% interest on your savings then £2,000 a year for 18 years is worth the equivalent of about £30,000 today. The equivalent of accepting £15,000 today rather than £2k a year would need you to be able to get 11.5% interest on your savings!

    Or to put it another way. If you were to borrow £15k today at an interest rate of 11.5% then the FIT payments would cover the loan.

    So as you correctly assessed this is a terrible offer. I would advise anyone whose tempted to stay very well away. Most people will be able to get loans a lot cheaper than 11.5% !
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    Install 2: Sept 19, 600W SSE
    Solax 6.3kWh battery
  • This is a different take to Nobby1963's post in that...

    1. I had solar panels fitted in 2012
    2. It generates about £2k in revenue every year (tax free)
    3. I have about 15 years to run (excluding any indexation) this equates to £30K in revenue.
    4. I contacted solar equity release and they offered me £15k whereby they will maintain the solar install but then benefit from the FIT meter reading

    So this could be a great way of cashing out before I move, however i got to thinking

    I have a property development company - what if I bought the FIT meter reading in my company then moved? That way I benefit from the ongoing FIT ££

    The downside is I would have to maintain it - especially if the invertor needs replacing, then of course there is the subject of selling the property - the good thing about equity release is they are not leasing the roof so not hassle with mortgage etc....
  • From my experience, 'rent a roof's rarely work. Which is what you'll essentially be doing once you have moved out.

    Unless you have an AMR meter and can obtain reads remotely, you have to rely on the new homeowners providing FiT meter readings.

    Your meter would still require inspection every 2 years. Unless it is in a box outside the house, this can again be difficult, which could result in your payments being withheld.

    Although there is potentially £30k in revenue, you might not get an extra £30k on the house form selling the solar panels with it, which is another thing to consider.

    Best bet might be to look at other companies who might be looking to buy out and try to get more like £20k for it.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Just a suggestion I've made in the distant past. If you are planning on moving/selling, then a quote like this (say £15k) might be useful. You could use it to suggest an instant value in the PV, or simply to point out the additional value of the PV to new buyers.

    If you're not planning on moving then as ET points out, you should be able to borrow the same amount of money as the deal, and pay off a 10yr loan and interest from the FiT payments - giving you the same instant cash, and then the FiT monies after the 10yr loan ends.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • tim_ptim_p Forumite
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    Unless I’m missing something obvious here, then by taking the equity release prior to selling the house you are effectively selling the house with a ‘rent a roof’ system where someone else ‘owns’ the panels and ongoing FIT. Personally I wouldn’t touch such a prospect with someone else’s barge pole. Would be a mortgage nightmare surely and what’s to stop the purchaser simply pulling the breaker to the system and referring any queries to the original seller?
  • EricMearsEricMears Forumite
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    tim_p wrote: »
    Unless I’m missing something obvious here, then by taking the equity release prior to selling the house you are effectively selling the house with a ‘rent a roof’ system where someone else ‘owns’ the panels and ongoing FIT. Personally I wouldn’t touch such a prospect with someone else’s barge pole. Would be a mortgage nightmare surely and what’s to stop the purchaser simply pulling the breaker to the system and referring any queries to the original seller?
    Exactly !

    Every chance that any prospective purchaser would simply walk away - or at least reduce their offer by rather more than this scheme would have paid.

    But if someone did buy it, their ownership would probably be subject to a covenant binding them to the original terms so disconnecting the kit would become a breach of contract.

    As Martyn said :-
    a quote like this (say £15k) might be useful. You could use it to suggest an instant value in the PV, or simply to point out the additional value of the PV to new buyers
    Indeed, you could even suggest to a buyer that if they are short of cash they'd be able to set up a similar scheme.
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    BEV : Nissan Leaf e+
  • KevinGKevinG Forumite
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    Well well, I got one of these letters today. I just assumed it would be a bad deal although the "free maintenance and free inverter replacement" could tempt some people. Needless to say their website requires you to enter your personal details to get a quote (like webuyanycar.com) so I passed on that.
    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 AND Feb-2022.
  • I also got one of these.

    Apparently its NOT a rent-the-roof job. They don't take any ownership of the panels or any of the other kit.
    They just register the FIT payments in their name instead of yours and give you about half the expected money in return.

    They install some smart tech to track them and if they find there is a fault, they will fix it at their cost.


    Mine is about £1,000 per year, with 17 years to go - and they've offered me £8600. I've asked them to up that offer.
    But I am thinking about selling that house (currently rented out) in the next few years - so getting my entire initial investment back after already making the same sum back in FIT payments to date seems like a decent idea.

    Basically doubling my money in 8 years.

    Looking for a downside, but struggling....
  • 1961Nick1961Nick Forumite
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    I also got one of these.

    Apparently its NOT a rent-the-roof job. They don't take any ownership of the panels or any of the other kit.
    They just register the FIT payments in their name instead of yours and give you about half the expected money in return.

    They install some smart tech to track them and if they find there is a fault, they will fix it at their cost.


    Mine is about £1,000 per year, with 17 years to go - and they've offered me £8600. I've asked them to up that offer.
    But I am thinking about selling that house (currently rented out) in the next few years - so getting my entire initial investment back after already making the same sum back in FIT payments to date seems like a decent idea.

    Basically doubling my money in 8 years.

    Looking for a downside, but struggling....
    The downside is that you're changing your owned pv system into a rent-a-roof system. That might impact your future house sale.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400
    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus & 2 x US2000C Batteries - 16.8kWh
  • 1961Nick wrote: »
    The downside is that you're changing your owned pv system into a rent-a-roof system. That might impact your future house sale.

    That's it though - its not that.

    Rent a roof schemes are when the companies own the panels, and rent your roof to place them on.

    This scheme doesn't place any such covenants on my house. They don't even buy the panels. They are still mine.

    Their name will appear nowhere on the deeds or mortgage of the property.
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