Thame Green Living statement from our partner
Dear Solar Streets Partner (… Thame Green Living …), 4th May 2023
We are sorry to report that our installation partner and inventor of Solar Streets, IDDEA Limited, has gone into
administration and will no longer be able to install for Solar Streets.
The problems that have caused this situation
During 2022 like many other Solar PV companies IDDEA found it difficult to get components from China because of
another Covid outbreak, meaning they could only install at around a third of the rate they had done previously. As the
majority of Solar Streets orders also include batteries, which were particularly hard to get, it meant that orders were
often incomplete, meaning the final invoices could not be issued and the final cash balance could not be claimed. When
parts did become available, they were at a higher price than that built into the customer quotation. Ian Dunstone,
IDDEA’s Managing Director, decided to honour the original quoted price, which dramatically reduced the profitability of
each installation, giving the company severe cashflow issues.
That reduction in profitability coupled with the lower numbers of jobs has ultimately reduced their cash reserves to an
extent that they cannot carry on and literally days ago took the decision to enter Administration. Ian has asked me to
convey to you his sincere apologies about the situation it has left many people in.
We, as the Green Group, tried to acquire the business ourselves from the Administrator, but were unsuccessful as the
other bidders have deeper pockets and more up-front cash than we have. We are owed months of commissions and so
are also greatly impacted by this event.
We continue to believe in the concept of Solar Streets as the benefit to climate change and customer bills (especially
given current high energy prices) remains. We had worked on a significant expansion plan with IDDEA, if extra
investment could have been secured, to grow numbers of installations during 2023/4 and hope we can still find some
way to do that. There are still only 1,259,759 homes (Dec 2022) in the UK that have Solar Systems on their roofs,
representing just 6% of the owner-occupied homes. We have 25 schemes in action, but 300 councils have declared a
climate emergency. The opportunity, in fact the necessity, remains.
The future of the business assets of IDDEA
We did not immediately announce this news as the Administrator had already secured an offer to acquire the business
in terms of assets: the customer orders and staff. It was hoped that the new buyer would honour the current
installations under their ownership, pay the staff, and complete outstanding orders. The Administrator selected them as
the successful bidder last week and we had hoped everything would have been signed and sealed early this week and
that Solar Streets would continue with a new installer.
As of midday on Thursday 4th May this has not yet happened, and we have not been contacted by the new owners, so we thought it appropriate to tell everyone what is happening now, so customers can decide what they want to do.
The Community Benefit payments from July 2022 to date have been lost as part of the Administration process. We have
put an invoice into the Administrator on your behalf, but only expect to get some or none of that back. If you have
asked us to hold onto the Benefit from previous years, we still have those amounts in the Green Group bank account, so
that is safe. We hope that any future installation partner will pay out at the same rate of £50 per household and £100
per business to your Fund, but we will update you when we know more ourselves.
Advice for customers
Customers can either wait a few weeks and see if the business is resurrected as planned, or can act now:
- If they have paid a deposit, they will be protected by the HIES Consumer Protection guarantee as long as the date the deposit was registered with HIES is less than 4 months ago, and they will be able to claim the deposit back via them. See www.hiesscheme.org.uk
- If the deposit is older than 4 months, if it has been paid by card (and many have), there is a potential route to reclaim that from the card company as the customer has not received the goods for which they have paid
- For other customers, or customers who still want to have their installation completed, we hope to have an installation solution that will take into account the deposits and the installation would be completed as if the deposit had been paid to the new installer. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this as any new company picking up the installation will not receive any of the deposit – this is quite an ask, so we will confirm if this is possible as soon as an alternative installer is identified
- For those customers who have gone elsewhere and their deposit from IDDEA Limited has not yet been returned, they should also apply to HIES
What if you have a quote, but have not paid a deposit yet and still want to proceed with an installation?
- Once we have a new installation partner we will let everyone know and their IDDEA quote will be checked before confirming the installation can proceed at that price, or the increase will be explained and agreed upon with the customer and new installer – the paperwork will then be reissued in the name of the new installer and contracted to their terms and conditions
- We hope that any new installer will be able to honour the Solar Streets pricing model, providing a discount versus the standalone price and Community Benefits paid as before – we will keep you informed
- We will update www.solarstreets.co.uk with advice for customers, any new information, and customers can contact us via [email protected], especially if they want to continue to get a quote
- As ever, we think it is prudent to seek alternative quotations from other suppliers, ensuring they have a similar consumer protection code to HIES in place
Thank you for your support and we hope you will wish to continue to work with The Green Group and Solar Streets. We will update you as soon as we know more – please be assured we are working hard to find a solution.
Should you wish to discuss any aspect of this then please get in touch.
The Green Group (UK) Limited