Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Why NPower and Solar are not a perfect FiT.

I've previously posted about NPower and their tardy response to almost every element of solar power and FiT registration. Making-feed-in-tariff-application.

I'm slightly embarrassed because despite lots of adverse comments from  other NPower customers I defended them and thought that they (despite the evidence) were working hard to ensure that FiT customers were looked after.  

Well now I'm not so sure....

Since I received notification in August 2011 that my system had been registered, I've had no contact from NPower whatsoever. At the end of September I contacted them and enquired, 'when do you want my PV solar output reading?'

A very nice young lady rang me and stated that if, 'I emailed my meter reading details' she'd process the details. Obviously, I sent off details on the same day and sat down and waited for the cheque to arrive.
In Early November fearing the worse I emailed the nice young lady and asked if she could let me know when the payment would be received. She replied very quickly stating "I can confirm that you will receive your payment before 25th November."

It's now November 29th 2011 and NO PAYMENT..... NPower have made an art form out of making a complaint on-line. You have to have the patience of a saint and the persistence of bull terrier to complete their complaint form. In the end I gave in and used their postal address to complain about their poor service.

I'm in the fortunate position of being not desperate for the money, but that's not the point. I'd rather have the money in my bank account earning some interest (don't start me off) than have it being used by a multi billion corporation.
NPower would pursue one of their customers who hadn't paid for the electricity they'd used very hard. They'd probably use debt collectors and impose penalties and surcharges for any future usage. What they almost certainly won't do in this case is offer anything other than their apologies for my inconvenience...

Watch this space.

Postscript: 20/12/2011

I've had no response from NPower to my letter posted to them on the 29th November. I realise that this must be a busy time of the year, particularly if you work for a company with NPowers record for receiving complaints. However, it would have been nice if they'd at least acknowledged my letter.
I've emailed them today requesting a status update, or an acknowledgement of my complaint.  

Postscript: 21/12/2011

I received a letter from NPower this morning letting me know I'd be receiving a cheque in the next 5 days. Sounds like a happy ending? NO, NO, NO.

The cheque is for the period 29th September 2011 - 6th December 2011. They have ignored all my correspondence and have not included any of the output from the initial installation date in June 2011 - End of September 2011.

If you deal with NPower or are considering them as a potential supplier, think carefully.

Final Postscript (Hopefully): 02/01/2012

I received a phone call from NPower on the 21st December 2011 to confirm that "Due to an oversight" they had not paid me for the disputed period. They would arrange a BACS payment and the funds would be in my account within 5 days. 11 days later I've finally received the payment. 

No apology, no response to my emails or letters and perhaps more significantly  no interest paid on the sum based on the 3 month wait for payment.I wonder how quickly they would react to one of their customers being in arrears with their electricity bill?


1 comment:

  1. Just a cautionary note - our installation began 14 October and FiT registration went fine with SSE. But SSE are planning payments based on their quarterly billing schedule. Whilst our system will be 3 months old at mid-Jan it seems likely we will get a payment for 4.5 months micro-generation after 1 March, thereafter 1 June, 1 Sept etc. So maybe your Npower billing regime is a factor?

    On another note - are you registered on Pv-Output at http://pvoutput.org/about.html? I'm on there with a lot of UK users - my system is SunRig. It's a great site to help you compare how your system is doing apropos similar ones, there's a lot of variation, depending on location, weather variations, type of panels, etc.