Barclays Bank has become embroiled in a fresh mis-selling scandal after the ombudsman found evidence that some households were misled into taking out loans to put solar panels on their roof. The Financial Ombudsman Service said it had seen a significant increase in complaints from households who were typically told the panels would “pay for themselves” and could cut their bills. In fact, households often found that the loan repayments exceeded the income and savings they made from the panels and some were left thousands of pounds worse off as a result. The ombudsman said that it had received about 2,000 complaints in the past year and that its investigations had found “evidence of pressure sales techniques, and misleading sales literature or representations by the salesperson”.
Times 7th May 2018 read more »
BP’s new solar arm is steeling itself to battle global energy and tech giants for a slice of the burgeoning “smart home” market with the acquisition of an Irish tech start-up. Lightsource BP will buy software developer Ubiworx for an undisclosed figure after two years working alongside the “internet of things” specialist. The acquisition secures the group’s plans to implement a global roll-out of its energy systems following a £150m investment from oil major BP late last year. The Lightsource system brings together a solar panel, battery and electric vehicle charger to create a digital system which responds on a second-by-second basis to changes in the power market. By using artificial intelligence and algorithms, Lightsource customers are always using the cheapest possible power with no upfront technology costs. The digital energy system is also set to create “virtual power plants” by simultaneously releasing stored power from groups of batteries and vehicles to help National Grid meet customer demand when capacity is in short supply.
Telegraph 5th May 2018 read more »