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Can installer claim SEAI grant for customer

  • 30-03-2023 7:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,653 ✭✭✭

    A number of solar installers have said they deal with the SEAI grant on their customers behalf. They charge only the "after grant" price and receive the SEAI grant directly. I think this is a great idea, as the customer is less stretched financially and and the installer is on the hook to make sure the job is done properly as per safe electric and SEAI requirements. I asked a few installers and they do this....big and small companies.

    However, one solar company said the SEAI don't allow this and if the SEAI found out, it would put my grant at risk. What are the facts on the ground here? Is it ok to claim the grant as normal, but for the funds to go direct to the installers account? It would seem so according to all but one installation crowd I spoke to.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,380 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    So for me the process was that we paid the solar company in full and got the grant paid to us.

    They did quote is the full price and then the prixe after grant, but there was no option to pay them the post grant price and they receive the grant

    As part of the application, you need to fill in an online form for SEAI and put in the bank details you want the grant paid to

    Everything after that is done by the installer, they upload the required documents post installation and then SEAI reviews it. Assuming it's all in order the grant gets paid out

    At least that's what happened for us recently (installation last month, grant paid last week)

    I think the companies that receive the grant directly are filling in the application on their customers behalf and putting in their own bank details

    This is probably a bit of a legal grey area since IIRC there's a tick box on the form which asks you to confirm you're the person named in the application. I think you'd need some authorisation to fill in the form on someone's behalf, possibly even power of attorney

    I'm pretty sure a lot of those companies probably have a form where you give the required information and also authorise them to apply, but it's probably an open question as to whether that's entirely legal.

    Also there's probably GDPR questions since the installer would be processing and storing information you give them, as well as passing it on to a third party

    So I can see why some installers don't want to go with that approach

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 8,170 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jonathan

    Sounds like that installer is telling fibs to get your business. SEAI are no doubt aware aware of the practice, particularly when they would have multiple payments going to the one bank account each grant payment run.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,653 ✭✭✭...Ghost...

    I have only asked the installer I will likely be going with about the grant process, while most others simply said they take care of it.

    The customer fills in the details and fills in the bank details of the installer. I didn't ask for all the details, but seems straight forward and I didn't get the impression they were pulling the wool.

    This was most installers I spoke to. Only one said they don't do it

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,380 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Fair enough, sounds like a smart way to get around filling out the form on the customers behalf

    There's a lot trust involved for the installer that they'll get the grant payment. Fair enough if they're willing to take the risk of the payment being delayed (or the customer filling out the wrong bank details), but I can also understand wanting to get paid in full to be safe

    It doesn't make any huge difference in the long run but it does make things easier for the customer, they don't need to pay as much up front

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,418 ✭✭✭con747

    I was quoted after grant price, installer filled out the forms needed apart from the initial application which I done with my bank details and when the grant was paid to me I just transferred it on. No issues, made it all seamless and as said above the risk was all on them. If an inspection showed something wrong I wasn't left waiting for the grant money to be paid.

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

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,454 ✭✭✭DC999

    There’s no risk to you to let the installer claim the grant. In fact it gives you more ‘leverage’ as they don’t get paid the grant until they submit all the forms to SEAI. Meaning they should be less likely not to have submitted the NC6 to the ESB on your behalf (that SEAI don’t check it’s passed to ESB, simply that there is an NC6 form completed).

    I had to chase our installer as the SEAI date was running out and their email said they then close the ‘application’ and I’d have to request a new grant number. So better the company do it themselves.