Protecting Your Wallet and Your Home from Solar Fraud

Protecting Your Wallet and Your Home from Solar Fraud

While harnessing the sun’s energy through solar panel installation on your rooftop can promote tremendous long-term savings on energy bills, questionable sales tactics and scams have increased since the interest in renewable energy rose. As there are some common frauds to be aware of, here are some tips on how to avoid solar panel installation scams.

Solar Scams to Watch Out For

Free Solar Panels

Offers for so-called “free” solar panels often come loaded with major strings attached, like demands to provide sensitive personal information, consent to unnecessary electrical system upgrades in your home, or signing restrictive long-term contracts.

Predatory Lease Agreements

Some sketchy companies lease the panels and charge you based on energy use rather than a fixed monthly rate. Ensure you understand all terms and can use 100% of the system’s power.

False Tax Credit Promises

Some solar panel installation companies attempt to mislead potential customers by claiming government rebates, tax credits, or incentive programs for which the consumer may not qualify.

Red Flags to Spot Solar Scams

In addition to outright scams like those described above, many solar companies employ more subtle predatory practices to exploit customers. Be on the lookout for these solar panel installation red flags any time you evaluate installers:

Unbelievably Low Prices

Suppose an offered deal for solar panel installation is significantly lower than the pricing quotes you receive from other solar companies in your area. In that case, it indicates the use of low-quality equipment prone to failure.

No Certifications 

Reputable installers should be fully accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC), which ensures providers follow ethical business practices and install equipment according to industry regulations.

Negative Reviews

Reading reviews on any solar panel installation company you are considering working with can provide great insight into the quality of their business practices, so be on the lookout for any mentions of behaviours like installing faulty, low-grade equipment, tacking on hidden fees, providing terrible customer service, or other red flags.

High-Pressure Tactics

As with any major household purchase, you should never feel rushed or pressured by sales reps seeking to push you into signing contracts or paying non-refundable deposits related to solar panel installation before you have had time to research the company thoroughly and compare multiple bids.

No Quote Provided Upfront

All solar panel installation companies with legitimate, ethical business practices will provide a complete written quote outlining all associated costs—such as equipment purchases, system design, delivery fees, labour and construction costs, building permit fees, etc. before asking you to commit financially.

No Warranty on Materials or Workmanship

Reputable solar panel installation companies stand behind their products and services by offering customers multi-year warranties covering everything from equipment performance to construction craft in the event key elements fail or underperform as expected.

Finding a Trustworthy Solar Provider

With scams abounding in the solar industry, follow these tips to secure quality solar panel installation services:

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions

Any transparent, reputable solar company will have no issues patiently answering your questions without hesitation or making you feel bothersome for asking.

Verify Certifications

Verify that prospective solar installers hold current CEC accreditation rather than simply trusting a sales rep’s word about credentials and qualifications.

Avoid Making Hasty Decisions

Thoroughly evaluate multiple solar providers rather than allowing staff to pressure you into immediate action.

With solar scams running rampant throughout the industry, watching for classic warning signs is your best defence. Carefully research local providers to filter out unethical solar companies, and take your time rather than jumping on the first deal to ensure your solar investment will provide lasting value.

Protecting Your Wallet and Your Home from Solar Fraud
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