Deciding to Go Solar?

Imagine FINALLY making the decision to go solar. You’re stoked to see those energy bills plummet. You’re excited to be doing your part to curb the use of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. And then, the unexpected happens. Your solar installation company ghosts you without warning, leaving you stuck with a solar bill every month on top of your regular energy bills.

That’s exactly what happened to Southern Colorado resident Jeff Lamborn. Recently Jeff Lamborn’s tale of solar disappointment was covered by KOAA’s News 5 Investigates. It was April 1 and SteelCity Solar’s owner James Brown happened to be watching the broadcast. Hearing about Jeff’s awful experience, James knew something had to be done to solve Jeff’s solar dilemma.

Ghosted by Solar Company

Jeff’s story was a long and frustrating one. In 2018 he decided it was finally time to go solar. Jeff was tired of paying several hundred dollars a month in electric bills. He signed a contract with a company and soon after, they walked off the job. It took a year and in 2019 that solar company contracted out with another to finally get Jeff his solar system.

Unbelievably that second company disappeared without completing the job, leaving Jeff with a completely useless solar system. Adding insult to injury Jeff was not only still having to pay full price on his regular utility bills, but also the monthly loan bill for the solar panels. “I’m paying the electric bill plus my solar bill and instead of $200 a month, now I’m paying $350, $360 a month,” Jeff told the news broadcast.

KOAA News Investigates

April 2021 and Jeff was still without a working solar system. That’s when Jeff’s story first aired on KOAA News 5 Investigates. Hearing this awful story, we knew we needed to set things right. We decided to step in and finish Jeff’s solar project. Jeff had waited long enough for his solar system to be up and running, so we made sure to finish the job in just a few days.

James took KOAA on a full-up tour of Jeff’s solar system to show all that Steel City did to get him fully functional. This included correcting the physical anchors on the racking that had been installed with the wrong hardware, replacing all that hardware, adding in essential clamping that had never been installed, along with fixing all the placarding and safety labels that were installed incorrectly. Out on the array the plugs weren’t even complete so Steel City finished wiring up the solar panels.

The system had to pass an inspection and paperwork had to be filed. We worked with Black Hills Energy, who worked with us to get Jeff a metered installed and expedited the process.

What the Homeowner Had to Say

“They work like crazy to get this thing repaired and up and going and it’s working,” Jeff told KOAA. “If it hadn’t been for you guys, I would still be waiting for something to happen. They stepped in and now it’s complete.”

We are proud to have been a part of giving Jeff Lamborn’s solar power story a happy ending. Volunteering our time and manpower to fix this mess for Jeff just felt like the right thing to do.

James explained on the news segment that Jeff’s problem sadly isn’t unique. “I see a lot of these out-of-town companies do this to people and it just makes me angry. They’re not only hurting the industry but they’re hurting people.”

Getting a Solar System Installed

But don’t let Jeff’s story turn you off from getting solar. There are many reputable companies like Steel City and we take pride in keeping our promises and following through with timely service. Here are a few tips for working with any contractor to make sure you don’t experience a situation like Jeff did:

Ask for references: A reputable company will be happy to supply the contact information for happy customers.
Read reviews: There’s plenty of reviews online that you can browse to see a company’s work history.
Look for community engagement: Does the company participate in community projects and help out its neighbors? Are they a part of the community or an out-of-town business that can easily disappear? Choosing someone local who cares about the community helps ensure their reliability.

If you’re considering a solar system install, reach out to Steel City Solar today for a free estimate. We’ll be happy to visit your home soon with a custom quote designed for your needs.