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Local Companies Unite to Beat Solar Panels ‘Scam’

Two Doncaster based companies and one from Thorne have come to the rescue of Balby residents Dennis and Patricia Jennings who were conned out of £1500 by a West Yorkshire based solar panel company.

Dennis and Patricia wanted to install a solar panel system on their bungalow roof and were approached by Yorkshire Solar Panels Ltd at their home with what appeared to be a fantastic deal and Patricia duly wrote out a cheque to the value of £1500.

The deal seemed to be further genuine when a representative from the company visited the Jennings’ property 24 hours later to conduct a survey. However, that was over three months ago and they have been unable to contact the company to get an answer or their money back.

Their hunt for answers has so far been unsuccessful even with the help of both South Yorkshire Police and trading standards and a visit to the company’s headquarters in Bradford proved to be futile as the couple were met with a vacant office and a ‘to let’ sign on the door.

Thorne based Libra Energy UK Ltd and Doncaster companies GES Mechanical UK Ltd and QC Scaffolding therefore joined forces and have provided Dennis and Patricia with a 2 kWh system free of charge and the Balby couple are now benefitting from the generous feed in tariff payments and cheaper electricity bills.

Libra Energy supplied eight high quality solar panels and associated kit which will was installed by GES Mechanical and QC Scaffolding provided the platform for the installers to work on. All work carried out was done at no cost to the Jennings.

Paul Bradbury, the UK general manager of Libra Energy, read about the Jennings’ plight in the Doncaster Free Press and decided to do something about it. “When we read about the disgusting treatment of Mr and Mrs Jennings we felt compelled to act,” he said.

“The UK solar industry is still in its infancy and is going through a tough time at the minute; fraudsters such as Yorkshire Solar Panels Ltd are the last thing we need.

“There are plenty of people who would be appalled by what has happened to this couple but few who would act upon it. We decided that rather than just sit back and shake our heads in disgust, we would do something positive about it.

“We made the offer to supply a complete system free of charge and were delighted when GES Mechanical offered to install the system with further support from QC Scaffolding and Canadian Solar who all offered their services for free.

“Mr and Mrs Jennings have shown true resilience in dealing with serious health issues and they have impressed us with the way they are trying to highlight this issue in order to prevent others being conned.

“We felt that their actions and tenacity should be recognised and that by supplying this system we could show our support.”

65 year-old Patricia, who is currently overcoming cancer, said: “We were at the end of our tether as nobody wanted to help us – we tried everyone but nobody wanted to know.

“I then decided to contact the Free Press as a last resort and I really didn’t think anything would come of it. Luckily they were interested in our story and Paul (Bradbury) got in touch with the paper and things moved on from there.

“We just wanted to share our bad experience with others and to warn everyone that things like this do actually happen unfortunately. We hope these people get caught sooner rather than later and are brought to justice.

“We can’t thank Paul, Marcus and Richard enough – things like this don’t happen to us very often and we’re extremely grateful for the generosity they have shown.”

Managing director of GES Mechanical, Marcus Payne, commented: “I’m delighted to be in a position to help out Dennis and Patricia and I hope they are enjoying the benefits of their new solar PV system.

“I had no hesitation to get on board once Paul had contacted me about the story and applaud them and the Doncaster Free Press for bringing this story into light.

“This kind of publicity is not ideal for the solar industry but we hope our positive actions have gone a long way to restore the faith to anyone who might be considering a solar PV system installation in the future.”

Richard Dunn, installations manager at QC Scaffolding, said: “We got involved with the install as Dennis and Patricia are a Doncaster couple and we’re a Doncaster company and we just basically wanted to help them out.

“Their story touched our hearts and we were more than happy to do our bit to hopefully help eradicate the bad memories of their unfortunate experience.”

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