How nationwide solar companies
mislead customers and reap the benefits
Today, solar power is more popular for home owners than it’s ever been before – with more than 1 million homes over the United States powered by solar energy and more coming online each and every single day.
This kind of growth is absolutely astounding, considering the fact that only about 30,000 homes in the United States were powered by solar energy just 10 short years ago.
Game changing entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Bill Gates himself are very serious about building out solar energy and green energy in general but there are some roadblocks ahead that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with political enemies of green energy or those that don’t believe solar energy can be viable on a grand scale.
No, believe it or not one of the biggest enemies against solar power and renewable energy is actually certain solar companies themselves – solar companies that advertise themselves as a friend of the consumer but are anything but.
These insidious companies are tricking customers into believing one thing about renewable energy and then swindling them out of their hard earned money, usually forcing them to sign long-term leases that strip ownership of the equipment that they purchase while charging skyhigh prices for the solar panels that they don’t even get to own.
This is the way that the solar energy world was supposed to operate, but like any other potentially lucrative and transformative industry there are plenty of less than ethical operations out there looking to steal as much cash as possible before the regulatory bodies and consumers catch on.
Here are just a handful of the ways that national solar companies are tricking consumers on a daily basis and what you can do to avoid these traps and pitfalls.
Many national solar companies aren’t even really solar companies at all!
The most important thing you can realize right off the bat is that the overwhelming majority of national solar companies aren’t even solar companies at all in the traditional sense, but instead solar financial companies looking to swindle customers by locking them into long-term leases at skyhigh rates.
These kinds of companies put out aggressive marketing and advertising campaigns to get hundreds of thousands of leads every single month, but the truth of the matter is that only a fraction of these leads ever convert into customers because the offer isn’t that attractive – and those that do take advantage of these “deals” find out rather quickly that they have been taken for a ride.
Lease agreements (or PPAs) from these companies have no benefit for customers
Many of these nationwide solar financial companies are only interested in getting individuals to sign leases or PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) that allow the solar financial company itself to remain the sole owner of the panels themselves while customers pay the manufacturer for the equipment that is installed on their homes.
Yes, your reading it correctly – many of these companies actually get customers to pay for the solar panels that they have on their homes and then turn over ownership of those panels at the end of the lease, essentially giving the solar financial company free solar panels that the customers actually paid for!
These phony solar companies are charging skyhigh margins on inexpensive solar panels and pocketing the profits
On top of that, these phony companies regularly overcharge on the solar energy equipment that they “lease” to their customers. Anyone paying attention to solar news understands that the price of this equipment has been dropping consistently, and now is as affordable as it’s ever been and will likely become even less expensive moving forward.
But these nationwide companies continue to track homeowners into paying skyhigh prices for these panels (often times two or three times as much as they actually cost to all) AND then legally require homeowners to turn the panels over after they have been paid off.
It’s incredibly ugly and it’s giving the solar and renewable energy industry a terrible black eye. People are already a little bit skeptical about the promises of green energy and renewable energy technology after being burned in the past, and these conmen aren’t making anything easier.
These predatory business practices may kill solar green before it gets off the ground level!
One of the most ridiculous things that these companies are doing – something that is spreading like wildfire amongst the solar news websites and community – is they are promising customers the ability to take advantage of the Energy Tax Credit but actually stealing it and never passing those savings along to the customer themselves.
Warranties on the solar panels and solar energy technology that they actually install in homes are nonexistent or written in such a way that looks as though they provide protection but actually don’t when it comes time to leverage them. These companies also often claim that the solar panels will produce a certain amount of energy but when they don’t require customers to go through a particular utility company and pay upwards of three times the going rate.
Predatory practices like this are going to decimate the renewable energy and green energy industry if they continue on unabated. Regulators and consumers are wising up, however, and are killing off these companies left and right – though numerous operations still remain in business today.
As always, research and due diligence before signing on the dotted line is your best armor against these villains
At the end of the day, you are going to have to make sure that you are doing plenty of research and due diligence before you sign on the dotted line and agreed to do business with any of these nationwide solar “companies”.
Look into the reputation that these companies have, look into any Better Business Bureau complaints, and independently verify that they are actually who and what they say they are and that you aren’t getting swindled.
Don’t ever sign ANY agreement on the spot until you had a chance to fully investigate every single detail and pay close attention to the fine print. It’s not even a bad idea to run this kind of document past a lawyer before you take the plunge, something that can end up saving you thousands and thousands of dollars down the road.