Solar company hits back at criticisms of free solar

Free solar panel installer A Shade Greener has hit back at recent claims in the media over concerns that the rent-a-roof scheme fails to comply with  the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ guidelines. 

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) ran an article which raised concerns that free solar schemes – which are the bread and butter of solar companies such as A Shade Greener – are in breach of mortgage arrangements.

According to the RICS consumers contemplating installing free solar panels need to be wary because of question marks relating to liability over faulty solar PV panels, along with the impact these installed systems could have on the saleability of the property. Should structural problems occur as result of the installation homeowners potentially risk violating the terms of their mortgages, given that it could influence the market value of their home.

The official advice from the RICS is to get consent from lenders before signing up for free solar. However, Yorkshire-based solar company A Shade Greener said that their lease and procedures did comply with the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ (CML) guidelines. Not only that, but when the CML were putting together their guidelines they consulted with Anne Emmerson, who is A Shade Greener’s legal director and in-house solicitor.

“We have also liaised with mortgage companies individually to ensure that individual lenders' requirements are also taken into consideration. Since we commenced installing in April 2010, many homes have been sold with our free system in place without any problems and many of our customers have obtained remortgages, again without a hitch,” said Stewart Davies, chairman of A Shade Greener.

With more than 7,000 free solar panel installations the company added that to the best of their knowledge there have been no issues with lending requirements.

A guide is available for solar panel providers, which the CML has put together to try and minimize any issues which may arise.

"By following the guidance, providers will face fewer concerns from mortgage lenders,” commented senior policy advisor, Jennifer Bourne.

“Of particular importance is the need for providers to ensure they include adequate break clauses in the event of the mortgage lender having to take possession in the event of the borrowing defaulting on their mortgage, and the solar installation having a negative impact on marketability of the property,” she added.

There are of course both pros and cons of free solar schemes. So when considering rent-a-roof scheme likes those offered by A Shade Greener, it’s important to arm yourself with all the facts.


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