Customer story: Fraser

Customer stories
Last updated on 13 June 20244 min read

Based in Oxfordshire, Fraser had a solar & battery system installed by Sunsave in June 2023. We paid Fraser a visit and asked him about his experience.

Customer having solar panels installed

What sparked your interest in solar panels?

I’ve always been interested, ever since this technology came onto the market. I guess my interest increased in the past year due to several factors, mainly the rising electricity costs, and more marketing from solar installers. My main motivation was to cut my energy bills.

How did the energy crisis affect you?

We bought our current property five or six years ago, and it came with quite a lot of electric underfloor heating. When we first moved in this was quite cheap to run, but back in January 2023 it became hugely expensive. We were previously on a fixed tariff, but when the tariff changed our bill suddenly went from £200 per month to £800 per month. This hit us quite hard, so I resolved to pull my finger out and do something about solar.

Your marketing stuff persuaded me that your motivations were good, that your main reasons for doing this were to save me money and save the planet.

What were you looking for from a solar panel system?

Well, I wanted the aesthetics of the house to be good after the installation, and there were very few companies that actually guaranteed the specific product they’d be putting up on the roof. They’d guarantee a price, but didn’t tell you about the manufacturer, the colour of the panels etc. To be honest, you were the first website I found that could guarantee an all-black solar panel, and it showed you had a supply chain you were confident of.

Why did you choose Sunsave?

I must have contacted half a dozen companies to get quotes. I told them what my parameters were and they all sent me some details, but there was a problem with the information provided to me; some companies assumed I was a nuclear scientist, and others assumed I was completely thick. 

I found it really difficult to find somebody that was selling something that made sense to me, where the logic came through to me. It was your package with the graphs and tables that hit the sweet spot. I’d also been struggling to understand the meaning of ‘peak kilowatts’, but the information you sent me explained it in black and white. It gave me a bit of a eureka moment. Basically everything that I had questions about was explained in just the right amount of detail

And then your forecasts of what I’d generate on a typical day and typical month - the graphics and the tables - were exactly what I was looking for, and it meant I could compare them easily with my own calculations. 

I also got a warm feeling from the website - it had a nice, cosy, family feel. Plus, your marketing stuff persuaded me that your motivations were good, that your main reasons for doing this were to save me money and save the planet.

What was the Sunsave sales process like?

The sales guy I spoke to was very, very good and persistent, but he never pestered me. The communications were very good, too. Even when things were getting delayed, they were all legitimate delays and were well communicated.

How did the installation go?

Everyone that came to the property was hugely impressive in terms of their professionalism, timing, tidiness - everything was absolutely brilliant. A coordinating manager made sure everything was in place and then he disappeared, but it all ran like a really well oiled machine. Well coordinated, well organised. The plan for routing cables through to the battery didn’t quite go as expected, but the installers adapted really quickly and did a tidy job.

We like things to be nice and clean, and with your installers, it was like they were never here. It was brilliant.

What benefits has your Sunsave system given you?

I’ve had my system for 20 days, but we’re already seeing the benefits. Today my wife baked a Christmas cake, and it’s not cost any electricity. Literally the sun came out and she thought ‘I’m gonna put the oven on now’. It’s made us a bit more aware of when power’s free and when it’s not. And we’ve got the battery, which takes us through the night quite comfortably. 

We know that if we’re in and the sun is out, we’ll use our appliances. The sun will be shining and we’ll think ‘let’s do the tumble-drying right now, let’s do this, let’s do that’. 

We’ve generated 306 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and in the 20 days we’ve had the solar panel system we’ve consumed 305 kWh. So we’ve almost generated exactly what we consume. Although we’ve had to buy from the grid now and again, because it’s not all been generated at the right time. 

It’s been really, really positive. The benefits have been much better than I was expecting. It really surpasses what I was expecting for October. Just based on these 20 days, our solar and battery system will pay for itself in six years

How would you describe your experience with Sunsave?

I’ve had a really good experience. Very, very difficult to critique.

Would you recommend Sunsave to a friend?

I absolutely would, because it was a confident and smooth process all the way through. I think your ethics are in the right spot, and my experience from start to finish was a really good process. We keep a tidy house, we like things to be nice and clean, and with your installers, it was like they were never here. It was brilliant.

What advice would you give to others who are considering solar?

Firstly, try to be an intelligent customer. Have a look at somebody else’s solar PV system so you know what to expect - I guess that’ll get easier to do as more and more people switch to solar. 

Secondly, if in doubt, go bigger. Like buying a television - never buy a 50inch TV if you can fit a 70inch TV in there.

Born in Yorkshire and now living in London, Charlie has been in the renewable energy industry since 2017, having worked as a writer and then editor of green technology advisor The Eco Experts. His work has focussed on educating UK homeowners about a wide range of residential power and heating solutions, including solar panels, storage batteries, heat pumps, infrared panels, and EV chargers.

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