Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • robbsafc
    • By robbsafc 19th Nov 17, 11:06 AM
    • 71Posts
    • 14Thanks
    robbsafc
    ese Free Solar PV Health Check?
    • #1
    • 19th Nov 17, 11:06 AM
    ese Free Solar PV Health Check? 19th Nov 17 at 11:06 AM
    I received a letter from a company called "ese" (Company Number 09825685) . They are supposedly offering a free solar health check and service on my system. I presume my details are on some database somewhere as I had solar panels installed in 2011. Having googled there is not a lot of information around regarding this company. I checked Companies House and they appear to be a consultancy firm.
    Has anyone encountered this? I am skeptical as to me there must be a catch somewhere to make it worthwhile for the company.

    Rob
Page 2
    • misslaurajaynejones
    • By misslaurajaynejones 22nd Mar 18, 2:29 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    misslaurajaynejones
    hi i have had my service from these guys i am with them for my maintenance cover i cant fault them one bit very professional never pushed anything on me.
    i had a fault with my inverter they came straight out and replaced my no extra cost
    really cant fault them highly recommend them to any one .
    • Merlin139
    • By Merlin139 22nd Mar 18, 4:15 PM
    • 5,039 Posts
    • 20,202 Thanks
    Merlin139
    hi i have had my service from these guys i am with them for my maintenance cover i cant fault them one bit very professional never pushed anything on me.
    i had a fault with my inverter they came straight out and replaced my no extra cost
    really cant fault them highly recommend them to any one .
    Originally posted by misslaurajaynejones
    Pretty much a repeat of post 10!

    Guess you have come back on to repeat what you said the first time!

    Did they install your panels?

    Did your installer go bust and you decided you needed to spend 19.99 a month for piece of mind?

    So what is maintenance cover?

    Explain how this company can service you Solar Panels?

    So what did this service involve?

    Go on do you work for these people?
    • stellac
    • By stellac 27th Mar 18, 5:03 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    stellac
    Query?
    Thanks for the info in your post but just wanted to check something as my installer is no longer doing installations... not sure of the ins and outs but the company is still operating, but they ceased that part of the business. I only found that out when I tried to obtain an user manual for the inverter and instructions on how to monitor it via my desktop.
    When I asked who do I contact in the vent of a problem arising, they told me I could just contact anyone in my area... ....is this correct?
    My query is did you mean that MCS appoints another company to take over the warranty, or should the original installer have done that.
    As part of the 'deal', I asked for an extended warranty on the panels and inverter to 20 years.
    In reality would another company have to honour such an agreement, as I see that the insurance warranty is only for 10 years.... Didn't notice that before now???
    If you can advise, that would be great.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 27th Mar 18, 5:44 PM
    • 6,142 Posts
    • 3,932 Thanks
    Hengus
    Hi - welcome to the forum. If you have an insurance-backed Warranty, then the insurer carries the risk. You need to take a close look at the terms of your policy to see what is and what isn!!!8217;t included. In principle, you should be able to contact any MCS installer to carry out any repair work. You then claim the cost of the repairs back from the insurer.

    The problem with all insurance backed warranties is that insurers will use every possible ploy to get out of paying. In your situation, if any part of my PV solar system failed then I would get three quotes for the necessary repairs and then speak to the insurer before agreeing to any work being carried out.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 28th Mar 18, 4:46 PM
    • 6,142 Posts
    • 3,932 Thanks
    Hengus
    For those who are getting calls about their PV Solar, this is worth a read:

    http://www.yougen.co.uk/blog-entry/3038/Solar+PV+Inverter'3A+Should+you+replace+it'3F/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Household%20%20Busi ness%20Newsletter%20March%202018&utm_content=House hold%20%20Business%20Newsletter%20March%202018+CID _0a5cd0fc10590e145868371049afb5d0&utm_source=Envir osend&utm_term=Solar%20PV%20Inverter%20Should%20yo u%20replace%20it
    • Kimhaz
    • By Kimhaz 5th Apr 18, 9:01 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Kimhaz
    My letter is only addressed to the homeowner so it can only be a phishing exercise.
    • Greenmatt
    • By Greenmatt 12th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Greenmatt
    I just joined this forum to say thank you to the posters on this thread! I am glad you are here and sharing experiences.

    We got such a letter today addressed to 'Homeowner'. I see from looking on the net that there are {content removed by MSE Investigator} around involving the sale of unnecessary equipment.

    There may be some data protection issue going on here as this company evidently obtained a list of addresses from someone.
    Last edited by MSE Investigator; 30-07-2018 at 11:05 AM.
    • RJPWilliams
    • By RJPWilliams 20th Apr 18, 8:48 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    RJPWilliams
    Data Protection Issue
    I agree with Greenmat, is this not a data protection issue? We had PVs installed by Solar Sense, highly reputable, always winning awards. I contacted them last year about the inverter as it is now 8 years since the installation and there had been concerns in the press about inverters failing after a few years. They assured me that the type of inverter that they had installed at the time were performing well and that they thought it unlikely that it would fail. And then a letter from ESE...
    The data about who has solar PVs is easy to access as we are micro-generators and therefore registered as such. The new Data Protection legislation is very strict about who has access to data but the Data Protection Commissioners were not coping with the amount of data transgressions under the old act, it seems very unlikely that they are coping with this new act. Trading Standards? (not sure it's their bag). Anyone got the time and money to take out a private prosecution?
    • Ron-ski
    • By Ron-ski 10th May 18, 7:26 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Ron-ski
    I got a letter from them today, it seemed very dubious to me as my system has a 20 year warranty and my installer also mentioned in a couple of their recent newsletters that these letters were being sent out by ESE and we should ignore them.

    Going by earlier comments in this thread it seems they've improved the letter adding the company address and registered number, so I do wonder if misslaurajaynejones works for them and is feeding back the criticisms????

    Something else I noticed, I knew the look of the letter felt familiar, it closely resembles the look and feel of the SSE website and their literature - I may just have to inform them.

    Edit: Just sent a copy to SSE.
    Edit 2 Found this whilst reading something totattly unrelated to this thread.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5711817/Homeowners-bombarded-junk-mail-Royal-Mail-sent-pamphlets-exploiting-data-protect-laws.html
    Last edited by Ron-ski; 26-07-2018 at 10:43 AM.
    • Suze288
    • By Suze288 12th May 18, 3:16 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Suze288
    We received one of these this week. A company that sends out letterheads, stating the company name as 'ESE Consultant's Ltd' is never going to convince me that they are bona fide.
    • Nanny85
    • By Nanny85 16th May 18, 2:52 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nanny85
    ESE Consultants
    I have just received a letter from ESE Consultants telling me that my warranty may be due to expire, that I haven't received my free health check and service. Being a suspicious old biddy and having kept all the paperwork regarding my solar panels which do not mention ESE Consultants anywhere I decided to investigate further before telephoning the free number. Looking at the address at the bottom of the letter I see that it is from ESE Consultant's Ltd. Being of that generation when we were taught when to use an apostrophe this made me even more suspicious so I looked the company up on the Companies House website. Over the past year or so they have had 5 resignations of directors. This does not fill me with trust for the sompany so I have decided to put my letter in the shredder. Hope this helps anyone else who is wondering what to do!
    • Baihaki
    • By Baihaki 21st May 18, 10:26 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Baihaki
    I received a similar letter to those described above a few days ago. Firstly I checked with Companies House, they seem to switch directors more often than most people change their socks. Secondly I checked all the past and present directors names on LinkedIn, none appeared, so I wonder what their technical qualifications are, if any.
    Thirdly, I am a chartered electrical engineer and my panels were fitted by a local company under my personal supervision, so I don!!!8217;t need them.
    Last edited by Baihaki; 21-05-2018 at 10:29 AM.
    • martinhunt
    • By martinhunt 23rd May 18, 9:32 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    martinhunt
    Did you find anything out about ESE and whether they are any good and worth the money? Thanks, Martin.
    • 27melvyn
    • By 27melvyn 24th May 18, 9:48 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    27melvyn
    ESE letter
    Hi All,

    First post on here and I joined because of these letters from a company ESE. Firstly please let me explain I am an electrical contractor and also a MCS accredited installer for Solar PV under the NICEIC.

    I received a letter as detailed above regarding health check and service of my own PV system. Please let me assure you all this is not a requirement and unless your system is having problems or failed there is no need to amend, alter or replace any component within it.

    The letter I received today states that "their records"? They will have none as they did not install my system, I did!

    I am sure many people receiving this letter will be concerned and in some cases the original installer will no longer be in business (Thank the governments total lack of judgment in handling the feed in tariff for that) but like me some will still be in business. I welcome all my clients to contact me when ever they feel there is or could be a problem and I will attend free of charge for as long as they want me to. Im sure I am not alone in offering this service.

    It is very unlikely there is anything wrong with your PV system unless you have been having problems from the start of the installation. Most PV systems need little to no maintenance and even panel cleaning is to be conducted only when necessary.

    There is no need to change the wiring from series to parallel and fit micro inverters to every panel (unless you want to of course) but why spend more money on the system and loose some if not all of the benefit of the feed in tariff? (another letter and cold call doing the rounds)

    If you are in any doubt regarding your own system or think its worth having someone throw an eye over it then do your research. It is a buyer beware situation unfortunately. Call around friends or neighbours who have had systems and get word of mouth recommendations. These are by far the best and something money cannot buy. (we only work from word of mouth recommendations)

    Search the MCS data base for installers in your area and look into the company. Not just their flashy website but research them. See if they are members of other trade organisations. Electricians are best at this (but I would say that!) Many of these companies touting for work are sales teams not engineers. Call more than one company in to look, get a second opinion. if they differ question why. If they both agree then maybe something is wrong?

    Solar PV isn't new technology nor is it a secret hand shake club. There are some fantastic installers out there who have been tarred with the same brush as the rouge traders and its not the case by far.

    I hope you can all see my point and I also hope Ive gone someway into raising the issue of cold call sales in this field. On a side note we are based in Norfolk. (Just incase anyone asks)
    Originally posted by Mark Caton
    Thanks for that Mark. I received a letter like this and was just doing some research and saw your post. Whilst doing my research i found out that my installer, Solar Essence, had gone into liquidation and as you come from Norfolk where they were based, i wondered if you could confirm that for me.
    • Mark Caton
    • By Mark Caton 25th Jun 18, 12:56 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Mark Caton
    I just received the ESE "health check" letter and the fact that it was addressed to "Homeowner" rather than myself immediately triggered my scam alarm. If they don't know who lives here their "records" must be pretty sketchy and they obviously don't know the age of my system or the fact that I already have cover. The whole letter is amateurish, lacks company information and doesn't even include a website address. What really put me off was the inclusion of a "grocer's apostrophe" in the word "consultant's" which is most unprofessional and indicative to me of a shoddy organisation.

    I don't know how these people harvest likely addresses to pester but I don't think it's as simple as browsing Google Earth as Hengus suggests. My installation doesn't appear on Earth yet, it's 2 years old and Earth evidently hasn't been updated since. They obviously don't check the electoral register either, at least in my case, as they don't know my name.

    Mark Caton may be able to correct me but I don't think inverters have advanced significantly in the 2 years since installation of my PV system as the letter is trying to suggest. With no moving parts in the system, I can't see that there is much to "service". My panels occasionally get a manual clean when the seagulls have used them as a toilet but I can do this myself as I live in a bungalow and can reach the panels with a long handled soft brush and garden hose from my garage roof.
    Originally posted by ewan uzarmi
    Hi Apologies for the delay reply. I don!!!8217;t enter the forum much,

    The question on inverter improvements is a good one. Like many electronic items things do improve all the time. Efficiency can be improved in some older systems with an inverter swap and other add on items however these will obviously have a cost which eats into the overall return of the FITs.

    Only when a problem occurs, reduced generation or no generation, action should be taken. Not as part of a maintenance agreement. It is true to say there are products out there that could improve yield, AT A COST. The majority of these products would of been available even back in 2009 however in many circumstances the outlay of a system would of been significantly higher.


    I have visited a concerned "new" client today who!!!8217;s original installer has ceased trading and who had just signed up to ESEs' 19.99 a month maintenance contract. Over the remaining life of their FITs agreement this totals 4,797.60, 239.88 a year. Happy to say they will be cancelling their agreement after my visit.


    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Caton; 25-06-2018 at 1:52 PM.
    • Mark Caton
    • By Mark Caton 25th Jun 18, 1:36 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Mark Caton
    Hi all again, Second post. I don't visit the forum much but I intend to do so more frequently.

    Back to my opinion of ESE Services Limited.

    I have visited a "new" client today who contacted me after reading my previous post and who lives in the great county of Norfolk also.


    After ESE had contacted them with the same old "Homeowner" cold call letter they took ESE up on a "Free Health Check". ESE duly came out. Stood in the garden and looked at the panels pointing out defects before then looking at the inverter and again pointing out defects, Looking at the electrical side and, yes you guessed, pointed out defects!


    The ESE "sales rep" (I just cannot call them engineers - Sorry) then proceeded to tell the homeowner how the system was under performing in relation to the suggested annual generation level (kWh) as stated on the MCS certificate. ESE then suggested an upgrade, replacing the inverter and fitting micro inverters to all of their 10 panels at a cost just under 4000! to increase yield.
    The client refused the upgrade but accepted the monthly maintenance package at 19.99 per month.

    Now it is fair to say by replacing the one inverter for 10 micro inverters, might, improve yield if shading was a factor (which it isn!!!8217;t) and it might slightly improve yield generally but I would NEVER recommend this to a client new or old at the cost of 4000 when the existing inverter is working perfectly. And with this said once I checked the overall yield on the generation meter discovered ESE suggestion of underperforming was actually a lie as the annual yield is in excess of the MCS certificate SAP calculation.

    My visit took approximately half an hour and I am more than happy to say I have saved them 4797.60. The amount they will now not be paying ESE Services Limited for a maintenance agreement over the next 20 years. The number of defects I found!!!8230;!!!8230;.3 (Generation meter not sealed, no effect to generation level, Second AC isolator could have been fitted at original install but I may be a little critical here as the inverter is in sight of the only AC isolator anyway, no effect to generation level, and while there I did notice some roofing felt had fallen onto the inverter case, no effect on generation level, so I removed this and pointed it out to the homeowner what I had done).

    My charge for this advice, work............0. (That!!!8217;s what genuine, honest, decent contactors will do)

    So with regards to this maintenance agreement the T&C!!!8217;s I now have do read reasonably well but like many of these there are loop holes and the big one is agreeing to having upgrade works conducted if ESE feel they are needed. I feel that is more likely to be the case.

    So can the homeowner conduct their own maintenance? Well in many cases you do already. Keeping an eye on the generation meter your FITs is paid against is the simplest. If the numbers don!!!8217;t move there!!!8217;s a problem. If the same quarters FITs payment is significantly less than the same quarter last year there might be a problem. If the inverter is showing a code on the screen or LED lights are illuminated or flashing again there may be a problem. Even if there is a problem the cost of replacing an inverter can be 500 - 1200 + VAT plus labour and fault find survey. Still much less than ESE maintenance agreement.

    As I posted before I am an MCS accredited installer and NICEIC approved electrical contractor based in Norfolk. My company details can be found on the MCS installer data base, NICEIC website and RECC. I still will not give out my company name as I do not want this post to be portrayed as an effort to drum up work, but, if anyone here has the ability to find my company online (and some have) and wishes me to visit them with regards to any PV related problems I will be more than happy to attend (Norfolk/North Suffolk areas)

    So is ESE worth it? That!!!8217;s up to you but as mentioned before there are a number of local installers still out there who provide a service second to none, who will provide free advice (cup of tea may be taken as payment!) and who will appraise your installation honestly. If you do not know an installer out there ask other people before an internet search. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising money cannot buy.

    I hope this helps everyone.

    Mark
    • Mark Caton
    • By Mark Caton 25th Jun 18, 1:40 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Mark Caton
    Thanks for that Mark. I received a letter like this and was just doing some research and saw your post. Whilst doing my research i found out that my installer, Solar Essence, had gone into liquidation and as you come from Norfolk where they were based, i wondered if you could confirm that for me.
    Originally posted by 27melvyn
    Yes I'm sorry to say Solar Essence has ceased trading. Word of mouth is a good forum to finding an alternative PV service provider or the MCS website. Searching using your postcode will yield a number of local installers in your area of which I would be one. I can be found on there.

    Hope this helps

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Caton; 25-06-2018 at 1:53 PM.
    • Hemel Saint
    • By Hemel Saint 28th Jun 18, 3:07 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Hemel Saint
    {Content removed by MSE Investigator} is receiving further coverage...
    https://www.northamptonpartnershiphomes.org.uk/be-aware-scam-emails
    Last edited by MSE Investigator; 30-07-2018 at 11:10 AM.
    • Bggwill
    • By Bggwill 2nd Jul 18, 12:44 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Bggwill
    I just received the ESE "health check" letter and the fact that it was addressed to "Homeowner" rather than myself immediately triggered my scam alarm. If they don't know who lives here their "records" must be pretty sketchy and they obviously don't know the age of my system or the fact that I already have cover. The whole letter is amateurish, lacks company information and doesn't even include a website address. What really put me off was the inclusion of a "grocer's apostrophe" in the word "consultant's" which is most unprofessional and indicative to me of a shoddy organisation.

    I don't know how these people harvest likely addresses to pester but I don't think it's as simple as browsing Google Earth as Hengus suggests. My installation doesn't appear on Earth yet, it's 2 years old and Earth evidently hasn't been updated since. They obviously don't check the electoral register either, at least in my case, as they don't know my name.

    Mark Caton may be able to correct me but I don't think inverters have advanced significantly in the 2 years since installation of my PV system as the letter is trying to suggest. With no moving parts in the system, I can't see that there is much to "service". My panels occasionally get a manual clean when the seagulls have used them as a toilet but I can do this myself as I live in a bungalow and can reach the panels with a long handled soft brush and garden hose from my garage roof.
    Originally posted by ewan uzarmi
    I recieved this letter written to homeowner and I live in a council flat block so if any solar panels were to be installed the council would be in charge of any maintenance. Also very funny as there are no SOLAR PANELS ON the block
    • Penelopa.Pitstop
    • By Penelopa.Pitstop 3rd Jul 18, 1:32 PM
    • 346 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Penelopa.Pitstop
    I received letter today, the thing is, it was addressed to homeowner and we don't have PV solar panels. The source of addresses must have been Google Street View, because we have Hot Water Panels on the roof, as every other house in the close.

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

367Posts Today

5,151Users online

Martin's Twitter