Warning on solar fraud

Ever had solar panels explode in your face? Or does your rooftop seems to glow in the dark?

Maybe you should have checked if your solar panel contractor is legit.

The California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) released this advisory a couple of days ago warning consumers to be careful about the growing fraudulent solar installations in the state (and elsewhere for that matter). Because of financial incentives and government credits, solar power and other alternative energy installations are becoming more and more popular to both residential and commercial consumers, and in turn are becoming big opportunities for scammers as well.

Solar energy systems are excellent investments for many home owners who wish to generate their own clean energy, increase the value and enjoyment of their property, and protect themselves from future energy rate increases. Unfortunately, as with any growing industry, companies with little or no expertise in either the technology or good business practices, or those who see the interest in solar energy as an opportunity to quickly capitalize without delivering a quality product, have sprung up.

CALSEIA said there were several customers in California who recently gave very large deposits to a sales person but never received a solar system. If you’re in the market for solar installation, here are some tips from CALSEIA to avoid solar scammers in the future:

  1. Hire a licensed contractor.
  2. Never give a deposit more than $1000.
  3. Never pay the full amount of the contract, or sign a certificate of completion before the work is satisfactorily completed.
  4. Read your contract carefully.
  5. Always look for the contractors’ license number.
  6. Verify the contractors’ license number.
  7. Confirm the sales representative is a registered Home Improvement Salesperson.

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