29 May 2012: There's been adverse publicity on the BBC about the rent-a-roof idea, whereby you get your PV panels for free, and the company installing them share with you part of the income, or at least, you get big reduction in your bills while they get the feed in tariff. Not for me, but for some with an excellent roof but no savings, this could be an answer. The problem seemed to be with conveyancing at the time of selling the house, and either solicitors or mortgage companies wanting to break the agreement or have them taken off.
This publicity was about an exceptional case, and I don't know how it ended - was there a compromise, or did the vendor take them off? I don't know. The mortgage companies are now more aware of this issue and for the desirability to both buyer and seller of leaving the panels in place.
A Shade Greener, the company who started this idea, are still in business and have a warranty scheme, by which they will protect you from this risk. They have done 9,500 free installations of which 1,000 have later been sold, and are not the company who were the subject of this publicity. They can provide you a list of mortgage companies who are completely au fait with the benefits of the idea and who will not cause trouble during a transaction. In the extreme case, they offer to buy the house off the seller if the seller has an urgent need to move or sell and is obstructed in any way.
Rushcliffe Solar is not usually the one to promote this particular method of installing panels, as it is a good principle to own everything that is in or on your house when it comes to selling. Negotiate curtains and carpets if you will, but beware of negotiating things which require scaffolding and breach of contract. But in this case, in the cause of Fairness, it is good to let you know that the free installation is still possible if you have a very very good and clear roof.