Customer story: Richard

Customer stories
Last updated on 3 July 20245 min read

Richard is a retired police officer living in Hampshire, and he switched to solar with Sunsave in December 2023. We spoke to him about how his system has performed so far.

Photo of solar panel writer Josh Jackman against blank background

Written byJosh Jackman

Circle including a man in a green t-shirt with his arms crossed, against a background of a house with a roof with black solar panels and a chimney

Why did you switch to solar?

My wife had been interested in getting solar for some time, and the more I looked into it, the more it seemed like a good idea - and so we followed through with it. 

Have you ever considered getting solar panels in the past?

We first started looking at getting solar a number of years ago, but the cost was a bit prohibitive. I was still working, the children were that much younger, and it just didn’t seem to be financially viable at the time. Then I got older, money changed, and so it became doable.

How did you hear about Sunsave?

I first heard about Sunsave through an internet search. I looked at lots of different companies, and there were some good reviews of Sunsave. The way you laid things out also made everything understandable. 

It was seamless, absolutely seamless. Juliet was in contact with me within minutes of me asking any questions.

How easy was it to get the information you wanted?

When I first started speaking to Sunsave, I had a lot of questions - I was very interested in how it worked, and I wanted to see projections for electricity generation. My roof is northeast facing, and some companies were just saying there’s no point putting it on there, but Sunsave provided some very thorough analysis which I was able to double check through some of the other resources online. It all panned out quite nicely. 

What made you choose Sunsave?

The thing that really made me decide to go with Sunsave was dealing with Juliet. I had some really unusual questions and she had the humility to say ‘I don’t know’. Instead, she went away and found out, and that really demonstrated that she wasn’t there just to sell the product, she was there to fit a good system. 

I was impressed with her, I really was. 

A brick house with black solar panels on the roof, by two chimneys, under a blue sky with faint clouds

How did you find the Sunsave sales process?

It was seamless, absolutely seamless. Juliet was in contact with me within minutes of me asking any questions, and the process for actually signing up for the installation and paying the deposit was all done by email. Everything was done very transparently, and it was very easy to follow. 

What did you think of the Sunsave proposal?

My proposal had some projections which showed how the sun would track through the sky and the amount of sunlight that would hit the panels. It required a fair amount of learning to get to the bottom of what those graphs meant, but once I’d done that, I could see just what a difference solar can make. 

How did you find the Sunsave installation process?

The installation was very, very good. Mia took over as the technical guru, and I got lots of updates from her - good emails, good communication. I knew exactly what was going to happen and when, for example I knew when the scaffolders were going to be here, and they turned up exactly when they promised. 

I also knew exactly what equipment was going to be delivered, and what I needed to do to prepare space to store the equipment over the weekend. The installers also turned up on time, as promised, and they did it within the estimated timeframe (which was two days).

Did you need to get DNO approval?

Yes, but it was all done through Sunsave. I had to send off a couple of forms, but they handled everything. 

How has your system performed so far?

My system has been working properly for about four months, as it was installed in December. The winter is the darkest part of the year, so to start with it wasn’t doing very much, but as the days got longer and the sun finally started coming out, we started to see some good returns. And now you can see that the system’s working very well. 

I’ve got 18 panels on my roof, so you literally could not get any more on there. I’ve got a 5.2kWh battery, which has been really, really useful. I use the Intelligent Octopus Flux tariff, so I don’t need to change any of the battery settings - that’s all done by Octopus themselves. They do it so it maximises the amount of money I can save, and it helps even out the grid usage during peak hours. It was well worth having it fitted.

Man holding a dog toy that a good dog is trying to take from him, in a grassy garden with trees and neighbouring houses in the background

How easy has it been to track your system’s performance?

The GivEnergy app is really easy to use. I have it on my desktop, and I’ve also got it on my mobile phone, so I can look at it if I’m at home or I’m away. It gives a very good indication of the amount of energy that’s being generated, and I can check what’s been generated in days past, weeks past, months past, and so on. I can see where the energy’s going, when it’s being discharged from the battery, and what I’m still using from the grid. It’s really handy. 

I check it very frequently, I really do. Especially when the sun’s shining.

Sunsave really stood out to me with their support once the installation was finished.

How much money are you saving with Sunsave?

There was a projection that Juliet sent me, which was one of the big selling points. Rather than looking at how much I was going to save per year, I looked at the payoff time for the whole system (because I paid cash upfront), and it should be paid off completely after six and a half years - which in my mind is worthwhile. 

It also helped having the extra panels put on, because it brought the generation up for minimal extra cost. 

How do you think the panels look on your roof?

The system is unobtrusive, it looks good. I’ve had a number of neighbours approach me saying they were very impressed with the way it was installed, and some of them are interested in having their own system put on. 

What do your friends and family think about it?

A number of my neighbours have already got solar panels, and so they were naturally quite interested in my installation. They’re very pleased with their systems, and they were pleased to see I’d had mine installed too. My parents were also pleased to see me doing it, they thought it was a good idea. 

What was the best bit about your Sunsave experience?

Sunsave really stood out to me with their support once the installation was finished. There were a couple of small niggles that just needed sorting out, and they were straight on it. We had people calling round within a day, and everything was sorted. That to me was the sign of a good company to deal with, one that doesn’t just care about doing the initial work and taking the money, but also cares about the backup.

Sunsave were exemplary, I really can’t fault them. 

Would you recommend Sunsave?

Yes, and I’ve already recommended you to a number of my neighbours who have expressed some interest. Sunsave have just been very, very good, and very helpful. They’ve done exactly what they said they would do; there’ve been no surprises, no hidden costs. 

What do you think is the future of solar in the UK?

I think there’s a really big future for solar panels, but we need to be more aggressive with putting it on new builds. There’s all these new houses going up, and solar isn’t being fitted as a matter of course, which seems utterly mad to me. 

The usage of solar will definitely become more widespread, especially with batteries.

Photo of solar panel writer Josh Jackman against blank background

Written byJosh Jackman

Josh has written about the rapid rise of home solar for the past five years. His data-driven work has been featured in United Nations and World Health Organisation documents, as well as publications including The Eco Experts, Financial Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, and The Sun. Josh has also been interviewed as a renewables expert on BBC One’s Rip-Off Britain, ITV1’s Tonight show, and BBC Radio 4 and 5.

Copyright © 2024 Sunsave

Sunsave Group Limited (company number: 13741813) and its affiliates, Sunsave UK Limited (company number: 13941186) and Sunsave Energy Limited (company number: 13952135), together trading as “Sunsave”, provide renewable energy systems and finance and are registered at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ. Sunsave UK Limited (FRN: 1008450) is a credit broker and can introduce you to a panel of lenders for the purpose of arranging finance. Sunsave Energy Limited (FRN: 979494) is a lender. Both Sunsave UK Limited and Sunsave Energy Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.