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Breaking news 30 April 2010. EST false “zero carbon” solar environmental performance claim corrected.
But what about the Which? solar cowboy king?
Will there be a domino effect?
Government sponsored green energy quango Energy Saving Trust admits making a major false environmental claim that solar heating “doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.”
The EST were, in fact, misleading the public, by following the Solar Trade Association’s false PR line. Most solar water heating systems do release carbon because they are plugged into the mains electric supply in order to run. This typically negates their carbon savings by about 20% and this blatant lie, (like last year’s STA “we conduct extensive research and testing into Legionella” lie) is so commercially sensitive that, when we were members, the STA unlawfully fined us £1000 for resisting their demands to censor our literature.
Barry Johnston, MD of Solar Twin Ltd said today:
“This is a 20% difference. It is like the difference between a 40 mpg car being mis-sold as one which does 50 mpg. Would you trust a car salesman who conned you to thi extent?
“As a supplier of an innovative heating system which has been specifically designed to be as environmentally benign as possible by being zero carbon, I am delighted that EST have had the courage and good grace to commit to correcting this error. I am sincerely grateful to EST staff for being open to evidence-based challenge and I hope that EST will now review all of their solar heating information. Much of it is not as robust as it could be: being a trusted state funded body EST have a duty to delliver accurate and unbiased guidance.
“It is high time for Which? magazine to admit that they were mugged by a rogue trade association in their May solar cowboys article. By kingmaking only one solar business, whose Managing Director is at the forefront of this false environmental zero carbon claim as the Chairman of the Solar Trade Association, Which? have not just endorsed a solar heating cowboy, but their head honcho. I call on Which? once again to publicly withdraw their endorsement.
“I would also ask the industry watchdog, the REAL code to investigate this company and also to refer TESCO Solar (who ignore maintenance costs in their payback calculations) to the OFT so that their claims can be investigated independently.
” I would also ask people who have bought solar heating systems to examime all of the sales claims which have helped them to make up their minds to buy:
“Money. If consumers are expecting a six year payback then should the supplier cough up the balance if it has not paid back after six years?
“Environment. If their system has been misrepresented as being “zero carbon” or “needing no energy to use” then are they able to claim back the electrical operating costs?
“Safety. If their system has been described as compliant with HSE Legionella guidance then can they have a shunt pump fitted for free in order to make it so? Having tried and failed to gain industry consensus on the way forward here, and with agreement of our local Trading Standards, later this year we will be reviewing the safety of those few (about 1% or so of installations) of twin coil solar installations which we installed in the past, before we became aware of this issue, so that they are HSE Legionella compliant in time for the winter. Simple advice on these making these cylinders compliant is given here.
“Competition. The solar industry’s lies on zero carbon, Legionella compliance, and against several innovations have alll gained currency by being repeated across Europe, in third party documents, several if which have ended up being given regulatory status. Some deceptions start in the top echelons of the supplier industry and then feed out to the wider installer community, thus constraining innovations as well as environmental, safety and even cost improvements. Coupled with a conspiracy of silence, the exclusion of dissenters from regulatory meetings, concealment of critical documents, masonic-style retribution against those who ask sensitive questions all indicate a self-regulating and self-serving industry which is well overdue for a comprehensive, Europe-wide competition investigation.
“On Which? This week I resigned from which? having been a lifelong member. Will Which? ‘s lawyers please stop wasting members’ subscriptions on opposing my efforts to bring these issues to the consumer’s attention? Will Which?’s trusted legal team find some time to comment on the right of the thousands of solar consumers who have been mugged by this industry. conspiracy of silence?”
I hope there will be more solar sleaze cleanup news soon.”
Written and published by - Genfit
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