Homesun is an installation company whose operations are mainly based south of Hull, which includes Wales. They advise that the further south the property is the better chances of efficient power generation and also state that the building should be at least 500 metres from the sea. Roofs should be unshaded with at least 20 square meteres of available space. Properties with flat roofs or which have listed building status are not considered.
Homesun have three payment plans, two of which rely on Feed-in Tariffs (FiTS) with the third giving the option to buy the panels outright. The first two are full and part ‘rent a roof’ schemes, the first of these being a free solar option in which the householder receives free solar panels which are installed and maintained free of charge for £25 years, funded by FiTS. The second ‘rent a roof’ plan, termed ‘Solar Share’ is geared to situations in which installation of the panels may prove to be more difficult than usual, for example involving lots of scaffolding or with regard to buildings having slate roofs. In such situations the company requires an initial fee of between £100 to £500 to sign up.
Money Saving Expert (www.moneysavingexpert.com) believes that the cost of buying the system outright is a little on the high side and therefore urges consumers to ask for a breakdown of costs before signing any agreement. It also advises customers to look around elsewhere before choosing the Solar Share option as it doesn’t believe this plan is a particularly good deal.
Homesun used to use Eaga for the actual installation, but that company has now been absorbed by Carillion. The panels are designed by the company according to customer specifications and physical criteria. The Isle of Wight website Ventnor Blog praises Homesun highly, although it also has to be said that the company sponsors the website. The blog quotes a certain Alan Cotton from Newport who is a former engineer. Apparently Mr Cotton thoroughly evaluated Homesun before signing up. He took advantage of the free installation option and now has 16 Homesun panels on his roof. Cotton keeps a diary showing how much power the panels generate and on one particular sunny November day calculated a generation figure of 13.1Kw, equivalent to £1.32 worth of electricity. He has estimated the panels to be saving him between £2 to £4 per week, around 35% of his previous electricity use.