REVIEWS. Photovoltaic panels: “We sold a dream”, “it’s a big scam…” Disappointed customers tell their failures

Readers of La Dépêche du Midi responded to our call for witnesses. Victims of scams or incompetent installers, disappointed by lower than advertised profitability, got bogged down in paperwork… Many of them regret their investment in photovoltaic energy.

If some of the readers Dépêche du Midi who responded to our call for witnesses said they were very satisfied with their PV installation, others were extremely disappointed after their purchase. Anthology.

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“We Sold Dreams”

“We used to have monthly electricity payments of €90 a month,” says Ludovic from Strasbourg. “But since we bought an electric vehicle and a heat pump, I estimated that our bill would rise to 250 euros a month.” That’s why he decided to equip the roof with solar panels. However, he soon became disillusioned. “It was explained to us that with the ideal orientation of our house to the south, we would produce more. And that in any case, if the design office decided that the project was not profitable, it would be canceled. In the end, we were sold a dream.”
A year since his panels have been in operation, they are not meeting the household’s needs: “Not only do we pay 400 euros a month to pay for the installation, but we also have to pay our EDF bills.” Added to this for Ludovic was the paperwork, the difficulty of reselling his excess electricity and its virtual storage. “A real gas plant! We’re falling behind. I deeply regret my purchase. It cost me over 30,000 euros in total for barely 6 mhw a year. It’s just a steal.”

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“The profitability is not there”

Nicolas from Castelsarrasin in Tarn-et-Garonne is doubly disappointed. “I have a facility in the south-east of France and another in the south-west. Revenues are significantly lower, about a quarter of what was reported. And it’s been like this every year for 12 years.”
Nicolas notes that “power purchase contracts are imposed and do not include inflation. Even though EDF has been increasing its prices as a supplier for at least two years, it buys our electricity back at rates that have never been updated. The profitability is therefore not there. The amortization of the initial investment takes many years to come.”

“It’s a big scam!”

Sébastien, who lives in Pellat, in Tarn-et-Garonne, had to deal with fraudsters. “The company I contacted told me that I would only have to pay €180 a month to pay off the solar panels and that I would no longer have an EDF account.” But the final score was completely different. “I had to subscribe to a virtual battery storage supplier. It cost me 250 euros per month. I was charged for the electricity supply!”

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Once that subscription was cancelled, Sébastien turned to the historic operator. “But I was told by EDF that this was not possible because the installation already had the first production contract. In desperation, Sébastien tried to pay back by selling back the electricity he had produced. “But in one year I only got 120 euros, while I continued to pay the credit on the panels. Today I don’t know what to do with it. For me, it’s a big scam.”

Incompetent installers

“I set up a photovoltaic panel project with a supplier who supposedly works with Ariège companies,” says Benoît, whose first name has been changed to remain anonymous. “The first team of installers arrived from Marseille! They fixed the rails with screws that were absolutely not suitable for my slate roof. The result: the bags were damaged.”
A second and then a third team arrived to repair the damage, without success. “To this day, the roof rails are still in place and the panels are stored in our garage, preventing us from having any access to our vehicles. I would like to point out that these panels, which are supposed to be German, are actually made…in China.”

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