• April 9, 2014 - Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Released - Solar Thermal has got the great government funding through the Domestic RHI which it deserves! Solartwin Solar Thermal panels have just become not only a cost cutting and very green option to heat your water but now you will receive additional... More →
  • November 6, 2013 - Notice to Solartwin customers - Letter's from Stenfield & Co - A number of Solar Twin Ltd customers have been in touch this week to query a letter they have received from legal firm Stenfield & Co. - The content relates to Solar Twin Ltd's liquidation, and claims that customers "undoubtedly paid more than... More →
  • July 12, 2013 - Renewable Heat Incentive Updated - Solar Thermal to have Heavy Support - The Government have today released the Renewable Heat Incentive: The first step to transforming the way we heat our homes. If you are looking to buy a SolarTwin System contact Genfit. "the scheme will be open to anyone in these groups who installed... More →
  • May 27, 2013 - DECC announce they are doubling the RHPP grant for solar thermal from £300 to £600 - Solar Thermal Panels Receive Huge Renewable Heat Premium Payment - Solar Thermal has received a huge boost, it's a great time to buy a Solartwin Product. - Greg Barker tweeted about the scheme - - Big uplift for #RHPP Vouchers to put a shot in the... More →
  • February 14, 2013 - Solartwin DIY reviews - SolarTwin Reviews from Reviewcentre - "Review Centre is a community of real people, just like you, sharing their product and service experiences. - Our community of reviewers are a passionate bunch who want to help you discover what's right for... More →
  • January 17, 2013 - Crackdown on aggresive solar selling - YouGen, a leading consumer body serving the renewable and energy efficiency sectors, is calling for a change in the law after a review by the Office of Fair Trading revealed unscrupulous selling tactics by solar and other energy efficiency... More →

Please lobby to STOP solar heating market rigging! Here’s how.

Filed under: Latest News

Open letter to everyone interested in supporting UK innovation.

Please sign the “Support Solar Innovation” petition here.

Britain was the cradle of the industrial revolution. We should not strangle green revolution at birth. Please forgive me for writing to you, but, to be blunt, our great British innovation business needs your support. British solar heating innovation (and not just Solartwin’s award winning UK manufactured technology) is once again coming under threat of extinction, because of market-rigging.

With up to £250M of state subsidy for solar heating coming up for grabs next summer under the delayed “Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive”, our fearful old solar competitors are flexing their muscles in UK’s secretive regulatory arena. Old solar incumbents have majority votes in every single one of them: fully in charge, well coordinated, and it is clear that they intend to crush us over the next few months.

The challenges are immense. One of the latest market-rigging stunts, which, shockingly, comes from the internationally respected British Standards Institution, is a blatant bid to throw us off the market by implementing a Draft British Standard which, among a host of other exclusionary clauses, requires solar heater pipes to be metallic. Ours are silicone rubber, in order to be able to freeze. The BSI stunt is just one of several which are operating right now.

  • Further detail on the BSI stunt, how cleverly it will rig us off the market and how the BSI chair is…
  • The background Solartwin story summarises some other times when competitors have tried to put us off the market.

The above two links are really worth reading.

How can these solar market challenges be resolved?

I can not afford to bribe extensively, evenif that action (delicately called sponsorship in UK) were a legal option and even though there are some opportunities available. I was recently asked to stump up £18k to fund the attendance of usually absent one voter at the powerful committee (DECC’s MCS solar thermal TWG to be precise) which, vitally, defines the boundaries of what solar technology IS and is NOT eligible for UK state funding. Foolishly, I said no: I should have haggled. Foolishly, he asked for money in front of witnesses. Wisely, he then turned up for free.

As for help from the law, judicial reviews cost £20k-£100k each. We would have to fund several of these against 3-6 wealthier parties. Not a viable option. As a small family business with 15 staff, where everyone is working so very hard already, we have neither the funds nor the human resources to take this slow and burdensome route.

One remaining option is publicity and lobbying. While this option can sometimes backfire, it is the least unattractive route that is viably open to us right now. After all, the option of doing nothing will certainly fail. Publicity and lobbying, in its widest sense, is why I am disclosing my competition concerns publicly, even though it may not be commercially advisable to do so. Fortunately we have got no bank overdraft, so our bank cannot pull out the rug and make us fail, should they ever get to find out.

The really positive point is that, in the past, thanks to the help of our great fans and customers, we have actually managed to get equally awful boycotts overturned. And it is heartening to know that we have even more customers today! So we are asking you if they could possibly help. I can merely offer you my warmest thanks, but no payment.

If you are interested in doing whatever suits you, it would be just great for me, my colleagues, British innovation and the environment. Here is a menu of lobbying ideas: of course you may find just stopping here, or your own dishes more to your taste…

  • Perhaps pass this email on to some friends who might be interested. Perhaps it will go viral: a numbers game.
  • Or try telling people. Friends, family… Do you know any journalists or bloggers?
  • Get links to the story posted on your or other peoples’ blogs, twitter etc. All about stepping up the pressure on the sleazeburgers. These two links are the main ones: BSI stunt and  Solartwin story.
  • Invite me to speak at meetings and I will try to make diary space.
  • If you know any lawyers who who relish “no win no fee” work perhaps they could call?
  • Nominate us for awards such as: Green Business Awards or UK energy Awards 2012 or  Innovation in Engineering or Green Product of the Year.

Time to write, right now. It would be great if you could make a very brief, positively worded request for a change to…

  • Your Member of Parliament, perhaps asking why green energy regulators are actually damaging UK inventions. Contact your MP here.
  • Office of Fair Trading, perhaps asking why consumers appear about to lose. Enquiries@oft.gsi.gov.uk
  • Department of Business Innovation and Skills perhaps asking why UK made solar innovation (Solartwin 2-3 other innovators are about to be sat on, by largely imported old solar technologies.) Contact BIS ministers here.
  • Solar Trade Association, perhaps asking them to be more open to innovation and to reinstate Solartwin as members. Their new Chief Executive is Paul Barwell. info@solar-trade.org.uk
  • Microgeneration Certification Scheme, asking them to asking them to be more open to innovation and to innovators and to liaise with OFT regarding our concerns. mcshelpdesk@gemserv.com
  • Department of Energy and Climate Change, perhaps asking them to support innovative UK solar technology via MCS, because, after all, they set MCS up, and to improve MCS governance so that it aligns international standards. correspondence@decc.gsi.gov.uk
  • Advertising Standards Authority, expressing concern about their odd Zero Carbon Solar ban. The ban is here.  The ASA are here.

Every little bit will help. I hope this is interesting / amusing / challenging. Thanks again for reading this far and also thanks in advance if you are able to lobby in a way which suits you. Wishing you a sunny day and a sunny long term future as well.

Regards, Barry Johnston.


Written and published by -
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Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Released

Solar Thermal has got the great government funding through the Domestic RHI which it deserves! Solartwin Solar Thermal panels have just become not only a cost cutting and very green option to heat your water but now you will receive additional funding too! The Domestic RHI rates – Released April 2014 Ofgem have produced a […]

Read More | Archives

Notice to Solartwin customers – Letter’s from Stenfield & Co

A number of Solar Twin Ltd customers have been in touch this week to query a letter they have received from legal firm Stenfield & Co. The content relates to Solar Twin Ltd’s liquidation, and claims that customers “undoubtedly paid more than you should have and it is highly likely that you will have been […]

Read More | Archives

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The Government have today released the Renewable Heat Incentive: The first step to transforming the way we heat our homes. If you are looking to buy a SolarTwin System contact Genfit. “the scheme will be open to anyone in these groups who installed an eligible technology since 15th July 2009” so if you have a […]

Read More | Archives

DECC announce they are doubling the RHPP grant for solar thermal from £300 to £600

Solar Thermal Panels Receive Huge Renewable Heat Premium Payment Solar Thermal has received a huge boost, it’s a great time to buy a Solartwin Product. Greg Barker tweeted about the scheme – Big uplift for #RHPP Vouchers to put a shot in the arm of the market ahead of full Domestic #RHI tinyurl.com/ktxz3o2 — Greg […]

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