Probe into solar panel firm boss

TRADING Standards is trying to track down the director of a solar panels firm after customers complained that they have been scammed.

Suspected rogue trader Peter Brookman, 53, of Ilkeston, is the director of Derby-based Fair Deal Energy, which traded in solar panel installations.

Customers told officers from Derby City Council’s Trading Standards that, after being cold-called at their homes or stopped in the high street, they had paid deposits for solar panels to be installed at their homes, which was never completed.

Some paid for surveys, but complained that no work was done.

Cllr Matthew Holmes, the authority’s cabinet member for planning and environment, said: “Solar panel installation is becoming more and more viable and therefore more popular for both residential properties and businesses.

“Unfortunately that raises the chance of potential scams that take advantage of this emerging market.

“It’s very important that anyone considering a solar installation takes time to gather at least three quotes and ask for testimonials of previous work, contacting the customers themselves to ensure they are happy with the work.”

Trading Standards said it would like to hear from customers who have recently contacted or agreed a contract with Fair Deal Energy, based at the College Business Centre, Uttoxeter New Road, Derby.

Trading Standards can be contacted on 01332 641333.

Government-backed tariffs, have made solar a more cost-effective source of renewable energy and with rising energy prices more consumers are turning to solar power.

Feed-in tariffs, introduced in April 2010, are payments made to homeowners and businesses for the renewable electricity they generate.

They provide owners of small-scale solar systems with up to 43.3p for every kWh of energy generated.