Kirkby couple issue warning after solar panel ‘no shows’

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FRUSTRATED Kirkby householders are warning people not to hand over money to firms advertising solar panels until they know that they can be installed on their properties.

The warning comes after pensioners Lynn and John Stafford, along with nearby neighbour Doreen Stout, who all live at Greenacres, handed over £500 to Redditch-based company Energy Saving Group for solar panels at the beginning of the year.

Both households were later told that their properties were unsuitable for solar panels, which convert the sun’s energy into electricity.

Mrs Stafford who paid her deposit back in January, said: “They sent someone round and he said it was fine. We paid the money and they said they would be contacting us.

“Then eventually, after lots of phone calls, they sent another surveyor round and he said he didn’t think our home was suitable.

“He said he would send a report and we would get a cheque as soon as they had rejected it.”

Mrs Stafford also handed over £500 in February and described the firm’s actions as ‘shocking’.

She said: “The money I used was out of my holiday money. I always save for my holidays and I thought this (solar panels) will pay for itself and I have got time to save again. But we have not had our money back or anything.”

They are now urging Ashfield residents not to pay money unless they know their properties are suitable for the solar panels.

Mrs Stafford said: “They should have done the survey before they took the money.”

Mrs Stout and Mrs Stafford contacted Ashfield MP Gloria de Piero when the firm failed to return their money.

On Monday, a spokesman from her office confirmed that Energy Saving Group had promised to send out a cheque on Friday.

Miss de Piero said: “Mr Stout and Mrs Stafford raised this with me a few weeks ago. I took the matter up for them and am delighted that the company will now refund their money.”

Despite attempts by Chad to contact Energy Saving Group, no-one was available for comment.