Solar panel owners awarded compensation due to misrepresentation.

16 November 2021

Ahead of the COP26 homeowners may be considering making the move to renewable energy to power their homes. However, caution should be taken when relying on a salespersons pitch, as they may overpromise and leave you with a product which underachieves.

If you have previously purchased solar panels which failed to perform on the promise you were sold, you may be entitled to compensation. One homeowner was sold solar panels on the promise that they would pay for themselves within a 10 year period. After the panels failed to make the appropriate return within the timescale set, they made a claim against the finance company under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. A claim was brought against the finance company opposed to the supplier, as the supplier had since gone into liquidation

In the above case the judge found that the salesperson had sold the solar panels under the misrepresentation that they would pay for themselves within 10 years. The turning point was when the finance company confirmed that the panels would never have reached the required financial return promised for that representation to be accurate.

As the salesperson was an employee of the supplier, the homeowner had relied on the apparent authority that the promise they were making was accurate. The homeowner was subsequently awarded £3,160 in damages by the judge, which represented the shortfall of the award the homeowner would have received from the solar panels and the further cost of financing the installation of the same.

For a claim to be successful it must be clear that misrepresentation has taken place. Misrepresentation is a false statement of fact made by a person, acting in their scope of authority, which may have induced someone into agreeing to enter a contract.

If you would like further advice regarding these issues, please contact the Dispute Resolution team on 01245 493939.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.