Solar + battery - battery capacity nowhere near stated, installer does not want to know
What did you buy? When did you buy it?
We had a solar and battery system installed back in February 2023.
Where from? (internet or in store - it DOES make a difference)
The system’s components were all supplied and chosen by the installer.
How did you pay? (cash/cheque/debit card/credit card etc)
Unfortunately, we paid by bank transfer.
What went wrong?
While there were other issues, the main problem is that the battery system’s capacity falls way short of we were sold and paid for. Often it is less than half of the stated capacity.
In effect we paid for 10 kWh of battery but have had at most
half of that.
More on how we calculated how far below expectation our system performs later.
What are the vendors telling you?
The vendor basically does not want to know.
We went down arbitration route as the installer / vendor are a member of some of the solar installation certification bodies. We tried MSC, NAPIT, and HIES
We got no useful response from all three that we tried.
MSE – probably the best known in the industry as without their cert consumers cannot sell their exports – basically did not want to know and said while our installer is registered with them, they were only registered for solar installations not batteries. Of course, our installer plastered the MCS logo all over their website and so on without any caveat.
NAPIT did at least get our installers to fix issue their electrician had left which resulted in Octopus’s smart meter installers refusing to install a new meter – since NAPIT are a competent person’s register if we had reported our installer to building control, we would probably have had the similar results.
Finally, HIES were by far the worse. The agent dealing with our complaint immediately took the installers side and said things like any such problem is with manufacturer. Aside from the manufacturer having no relationship with us – as I said earlier the installer chose and supplied every part of the installation – we feel that the HIES agent displayed total ignorance of sales of good /services.
That was all a long time ago with HIES closing our complaint in August.
What we are looking for?
Well, to have a system whose battery comes somewhat near to the sold capacity.
Failing that – and if we had paid by credit card this is probably what we would be demanding – for our installer to take back their batteries and refund us that part of the installation.
Basically, we have reached a standstill with this and are looking for advice.
Should write our installers a final letter using various wording from the Sales of Goods Act and the Consumer Rights Act 2015? Certainly, the goods supplied, specifically the battery system, are not fit for purpose, nor as described.
If we were to be forced to down the small claims courts route, would the HIES “arbitration” siding with the installers hinder us? That is, would our installer just have to make it all look very technical and the court could then say we cannot proceed?
We have looked if we could find a solar installer/engineer who could provide us with a report but have not had any luck.
How we arrived on at our figures for the battery system
Our inverter logs, the web portal for the inverter, the logs from Octopus all agree: our batteries do not provide anywhere close to their rates specs.
Initially we had based everything on rundown from the inverter logs as the inverter should know and record what is happening. HIES and our installer dismissed those figures as being the wrong way to do this – but gave no suggestions on how the system can be measured.
Later, after looking at some forum posts, we change our approach to discharge the battery down to its min and then charging it from the mains.
Plus, we now have the Octopus smart meter which can give us an accurate breakdown of how much we imported from the grid during the time it took to charge the battery.
All three method give us roughly the same figures. Our battery system which holds 10 kWh, charges from min (10%) to full drawing around 3 to 3.6 kWh rather than the expected 9.0 kWh or more. We have not invented perpetual motion as the discharge power agree with the under 4 kWh figures.
- All Categories
- 341.8K Banking & Borrowing
- 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
- 449.2K Spending & Discounts
- 233.9K Work, Benefits & Business
- 606.1K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
- 172.5K Life & Family
- 246.8K Travel & Transport
- 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
- 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
- 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards