Friday, July 14, 2006

SEI, Helps RipOff Republic manitain its title

SEI Helps RipOff Republic Maintain its Title

Ireland has earned the title of "The Rip-off Republic". This title is again being freshly claimed in the area of alternative energy.

SEI (Sustainable Energy Ireland) (unwittingly) gave a licence to overcharge for alternative heating products in Ireland. It did this in two ways.

1. Its literature suggests VERY high prices for typical installations. For instance it suggests that a lower end Wood Pellet Boiler might cost €9000 including VAT and a high end one cost €16,000 including VAT.

Now anyone can check prices for pellet boilers on the internet and see that a respectable make of boiler for an average house can be easily purchased for well under €4000 including VAT. Installation costs should be no more that €200 to €400 depending of the complexity of installation. But by suggesting such a foolishly inflated prices, SEI has opened the floodgates for overcharging.

2. By operating a system of "Approved Installers" SEI has again, unwittingly given a licence to print money to the less ethical installer out there, and there are plenty of them. As I explained in another post, the SEI "Approved Installer" actually means very little as it stands. Just about anyone could potentially become an approved installer. I was quoted €1000 for a simple installation that would take less than half a day. (I know it sounds like I am exaggerating - I have the e-mail to prove it)

Savvy Customers

What is needed to balance out the situation is (1) more information, (2) more competition and (3) more savvy customers. This is the reason I opened and maintain this blog - to pass on information and encourage competition by having more savvy buyers in the marketplace.

"Information is the Enemy of Corruption"

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