Using solar energy to power your home may instinctively seem like a good idea. Solar panels create renewable energy and do not emit carbon emissions. the cost savings alone of being able to produce your own energy instead of having to purchase it are enticing. It’s also tempting to seek the independence of producing your own energy - as most solar packages come with battery storage and generators meaning never having to worry about the lights going out. Plus, there are tax credits and energy buybacks.
With all of these benefits, it may seem like a no-brainer. But the truth is that a home solar panel system is expensive and often does not produce the results that consumers are sold on. The typical 8-panel solar system can cost around $50,000. In order to sell consumers on such a steep ticket price, the solar panel companies often employ unethical salespeople who use high pressure sales tactics to convince consumers that the system will essentially pay for itself and then some. Salespeople make lofty promises about big tax credits that you - the consumer - will be entitled to receive, major reductions in energy bills, and that you can even sell excess energy production back to the utility companies.
Then, after you purchase the system and have it installed and after the salesperson is long gone, reality sets in. To qualify for tax credits, you must jump through so many hoops that it feels impossible ultimately to find the credits meager at best. The system does not work as sold, in some cases not at all, and produces far less energy than promised. Forget substantive energy cost savings and buybacks. In some cases, you might actually see your energy bills increase! And in the end, regardless of how the system performs, your are stuck with a five-figure high interest loan to pay back.
Government actors and private attorneys are starting to take notice. A major player in the solar business, Power Home Solar, LLC/Pink Energy filed bankruptcy after announcing it was shutting its doors. Multiple State attorneys general had filed suit against the company along with several private class actions alleging fraud and deceptive acts and practices by the company against consumers. Unfortunately, Power Home Solar, LLC is not unique in the market. If you are considering a solar system, do your homework and only work with reputable companies. And if a salesperson knocks on your door promising what sounds too good to be true . . .