Beware of Solar Scams in Florida: How to Protect Yourself
Posted by Ben Piper on Jan 26, 2023
Solar energy is a smart choice for homeowners looking to save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. However, the solar industry is not immune to fraud and scams. Unfortunately, in recent years, Florida residents have reported a number of fraudulent schemes involving solar panel sales and installation.
These scams range from door-to-door salespeople offering unrealistic deals to companies claiming to be affiliated with the government or utility company. To protect yourself and your investment, it's crucial to be informed and stay vigilant when considering solar energy options. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common solar scams to watch out for in Florida, and provide valuable tips on how to protect yourself from these fraudulent practices.
Consumers should be cautious and do their research before making any major purchases or signing any contracts. Some common solar scams to watch out for include:
Companies that offer to "lease" solar panels to you.
While leasing solar panels may seem like a convenient option for those who are unable or unwilling to purchase the panels outright, it's important to understand the terms of the lease and the long-term costs involved.
Some solar leasing companies may require customers to sign long-term contracts, typically 20 years or more, that include high monthly payments. Additionally, the lease agreements may include various fees, such as maintenance and repair costs, that are not immediately obvious. These costs can add up over time, making leasing solar panels more expensive than purchasing them outright.
Another potential danger of leasing solar panels is that you may not have full control over your energy usage. Some leasing companies may have restrictions on how much energy you can generate or consume, and if you exceed these limits, you may be charged additional fees.
Furthermore, when the lease period ends, the customer may have to buy the panels at a steep price, or may have to remove the panels from the property.
Door-to-door salespeople offering deals that seem too good to be true.
This is one of the most common solar scams to watch out for. These salespeople may knock on your door, claiming to represent a solar company and offering you a deal on solar panels or installation that seems too good to be true. They may use high-pressure sales tactics to convince you to make a quick decision, such as offering limited-time discounts or special promotions. They may try to get you to sign a contract on the spot, without giving you time to research the company or the deal.
It's important to be wary of these tactics. Many of these offers are not legitimate, or the salespeople may not work directly with the company or have enough knowledge or expertise about solar technology to properly inform homeowners about solar energy. They may inadvertently make promises and claims that are not realistic or accurate.
Companies that claim to be affiliated with the government or utility company.
These companies use this false affiliation to gain the trust and credibility of potential customers, and to pressure them into making a quick decision. They may tell customers that they are eligible for special programs or incentives that are only available through their company, but these claims are not true.
Companies claiming to offer "free" solar panels or installation.
These companies may advertise that they will provide solar panels or installation services at no cost to the homeowner. However, it's important to remember that nothing is truly free, and these companies may have hidden fees or other costs that are not immediately obvious. These companies may require you to sign a long-term contract with high monthly payments.
Always do your own research
It's important to report any suspicious activity or potential scams to the appropriate authorities, including the state's attorney general office, Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other consumer protection agencies. They will investigate the matter and take necessary action. It is always recommended to check with the state's attorney general office, Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other consumer protection agencies for any complaints or reports about the company or contractor before making any decision.
Additionally, you can also check if the company is a member of any industry association such as the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FLSEIA) which are known for promoting the highest industry standards and providing accreditation to solar companies.
At Solar Source, we pride ourselves on being a reputable and trustworthy company.
Having been in business since 1984 and we have a long history of providing high-quality solar products and services to our customers. Our longevity in the industry is a testament to our commitment to ethical business practices. We have a team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to helping our customers understand the benefits and drawbacks of solar energy, and to make an informed decision about whether solar is right for them. We stay in business for this long because we value our customers and we are committed to providing them with the best service possible.
Topics: Homes, residential solar contractor, solar electricity