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Large deposits sought by solar installers

  • 07-11-2022 8:54pm
    Registered Users Posts: 638 ✭✭✭

    Seems to be that some installers are looking for large deposits for solar installation, what is the best way of protecting yourself incase a company disappears or goes bust between deposit paid and installation, which in some cases can be months ?

    I'm guessing credit card would maybe give a degree of protection? but not sure..... what did ye use when paying deposit / whats the best and safest way?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭Breezy_

    Look for different installer

  • Registered Users Posts: 288 ✭✭chrisd2019

    Do some research on the installer and also ring around alternative options.

  • Registered Users Posts: 638 ✭✭✭Moreilly

    Getting loads of quotes at the moment, the differences in price for the same equipment is unreal !, Seems to be effectively a lot of installers are making the money from installing( which is fine) and the grant money on top baked into the price...

    Would a c card give some sort of protection, even if the deposit was small?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    What is a large deposit? 25% ? More? Need to be realistic it's a sellers market and how do they know you will be there at the end?

    I paid half my total or 33% if you include the grant that they fronted me. And that was pre boom market....

  • Registered Users Posts: 638 ✭✭✭Moreilly

    Yep, it definitely a seller's market out there! I don't mind the deposit as such...but I do want protection against a company going ti*s-up with my deposit!!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,205 ✭✭✭DC999

    Yeah, I was 50% deposit too. It's a fair concern. I made sure I knew they had a history and got a referral from someone I trusted who used them. I put my deposit down maybe around May. I was ok to pay a little more for an installer I felt were decent. Wasn't just about the lowest cost. But I know prices have climbed a lot since then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Credit Card or debit card is the only way to protect yourself.

    DO NOT do bank transfer and definitely do not do cash.

    If they offer a discount on bank transfer or cash - RUN - as even the likes of sum-up only charge 1.69% commission (and no fixed fees)

    Same with any large purchase that has a forward delivery date.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,564 ✭✭✭circadian

    Same, went with an installer that cost more but I was sure of their ability and that they wouldn't go missing on me. Done a great job which wasn't an easy one and was worth every cent extra over some of the more cowboyish outfits who were quoting the bare minimum either for a quick turnaround or lack of expertise.

    Think I paid 40% to get going. Not seen the grant yet which I applied for myself, they submitted all the works and had the BER assessment carried out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    Meh. I did bank transfer. See above. Do your homework, get referrals.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    I did bank transfer but I used a local company with referrals.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,117 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    I used Bank Transfer too, the installer needs to have cash in hand for roofers and also needs to take all the material costs, the installer needs to ensure he/she does not get left with unpaid bill at the end so needs to cover all direct costs at outset.

    50% seems reasonable to me after doing research/referral

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,842 ✭✭✭granturismo

    How long after you paid the deposit did they start and complete installation? thanks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,205 ✭✭✭DC999

    Install happened a month later than they agreed. So within 2 months of adding deposit.

    We're live 3.5 months and it's working away. But it's still not fully complete and they are owed the remaining 50%. Some snags they haven't sorted, grant stuff not passed to me.... So the lesson learned is don't pay the balance until everything is complete.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 11,589 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee

    We also paid a 50% deposit in advance but had done a lot of research, gotten a few quotes and OH is very well versed in the field so he picked a company who were well priced, reliable and knew what they were talking about. I have seen them recommended in various places including here on Boards. Installation was around start September this year, paid remaining 50% when they were finished. We've gotten the grant back also but that was after a number of phonecalls to SEAI so I'm not sure if that is the normal turnaround or not.

    So to answer the OP pick a company that have been recommended to you and that are local and appear reliable before handing over any cash. Any of them that are worth their salt should be really busy with installations these days and therefore (you'd hope) unlikely to go bust.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18 dublin7d7

    I paid 30% up front by bank transfer after getting 3 quotations.

    You just have to trust it I suppose

    They're coming to do panels tomorrow and wiring next week. They initially told me 12 weeks but they are ahead of that , because I think they have another job in the locality. Fingers crossed, I'll know better 8 days time. Living near Athlone

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,381 ✭✭✭Gerry

    I think a small initial deposit, is ok to hold the booking. But like 20%. Bear in mind its not like making custom furniture, there are 1000 customers waiting for the same materials they are using on your house. And if you can't pay the balance on the day, don't hook it up, and add a callout charge to return and hook it up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,551 ✭✭✭con747

    I paid 30% deposit on a €7000 cost to me install after grant and my supplier never looked for the balance on the day so after 2 weeks I contacted him and sent it on. He is one of the best rated installers on boards.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    I paid 50% of the gross price as a deposit. The lead time was just a few weeks, if it was months I’d probably have been less happy.

    Ultimately it’s a sellers market. I went with the most competitive price so shoulder shrug I suppose.

    Installer didn’t badger for balance on the day or even the same week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Fine if you are happy and are confident and have strong referrals.

    But as per the query of the op, the ONLY way of protecting yourself is to pay with card.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    honestly your post is the reason i replied... making it sound like cash transfers are doomed to being cheated. in fact i didnt ask my installer if i could pay by card - maybe i could have. I paid my deposit immediately when asked... I got installed earlier then expected - and i attribute that to being "keen and less hassle".

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