As the popularity of solar panel powered homes continues to rise, so do the scams. We don’t want you to fall prey to these tactics so we’ve been talking about the issue. It is still a rising problem in many states and we want you to be aware and prepared in case you ever find yourself in a scammy situation.
So we’ve put together 5 warning signs to be aware of when dealing with solar panel salespeople.
Top 5 Solar Panel Scams to Be Aware Of
We want you to be a prepared and educated solar consumer, be able to know the good companies from the bad, and see the warning signs of a potential scammer before you sign anything!
Many of the salespeople that work for shady companies tend to use the same sales tactics. So we’ve highlighted 6 of the most common sales tricks to be mindful of when dealing with a solar panel salesperson.
1. Posing as a Utility Company
Some of these solar scam companies will try to contact you under a false name that may sound like a government or utility agency. They may offer absurd deals or offer you solar panels “at no cost to you” with a small upfront payment. In this case, “Springs Utility” showed up on people’s caller ID and the company claimed to be selling solar panels at no cost to the caller. The real Colorado Springs Utility company said that they would not offer solar panels for free and they do not make sales calls. If you receive a call like this, call your utility company to check the accuracy of it. Fake companies use fake names to add authority and gain trust with consumers, but they are definitely not to be trusted!
2. Really Low Prices
Another way solar panel scammers try to trick the consumer is through offering incredibly low prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Solar panels are not a cheap investment and a really cheap price may mean a really cheap product that doesn’t work or breaks down after minimal use. Compare the pricing to other companies and if it’s way lower than the other solar panel companies in your area, then it may not be a good idea to invest. If anyone tries to sell you something that is way underpriced, we give you permission to walk away!
3. Rushing the Sale
A tactic often relied on by scammers is getting a customer to sign the contract without even reading it. Be cautious of the salesperson that rushes you into signing something without fully answering your questions or places urgency on the sale. Also, be suspicious if the salesperson requires or even demands a deposit that day. A good solar panel company will give you time and resources to think over the sale and will guide you through the purchase process. You should never feel rushed to make an investment in your home. If you feel like something isn’t quite right, then it isn’t. Respectfully decline to sign!
4. Confusing Contract
ALWAYS READ THE CONTRACT! If you are responsible and diligent about reading the contract, you will avoid many of the scams that take place. Oftentimes, solar panel scammers write legally binding agreements into their contract that they do not mention in their sales pitch. In fact, some may tell you the opposite of what you are signing. Beware of signing contracts that include a “Power Purchase Agreement.” This can often end in you paying the company for any solar energy produced. The right solar panel equipment and company will reduce your bills and over time the savings pay for the panel investment itself. After the initial installation, you should only be saving money, not owing it. These companies may also trap you into an unbreakable 20-year contract or require more money to get out of the contract like this case here. Be sure to read everything, ESPECIALLY the fine print!
5. Promising “Huge” Tax Breaks
Any company that promises a “bag of cash” or an incredibly substantial amount of money back on tax breaks, is probably scamming you. The federal solar tax credit is 30% if your system was installed in or before, 2019 and will decrease to 26% for all systems installed in 2020, 22% for systems installed in 2021 and by 2022 the tax credit will no longer exist unless renewed by Congress. If a salesperson promises you a tax break that is anything larger than this, they are not to be trusted!
There are real incentives available for solar-powered homes and these come in the form of rebates, tax credits, performance payments and tax exemptions. The criteria for each differ by state and you should do research to determine exactly what your state offers. If you’re being sold on anything different than that… it might be a scam.
6. No Delivery / Follow Up
Many times customers don’t realize their investment was a scam until it comes time to install the solar panel system. Reports like this claim that after the payment was made, no one ever showed up to install the panels and when contacted, no one from the company could be reached. We do NOT want this to happen to you! Make sure to ask all prospective solar energy vendors questions about their follow up process and post-sale customer service. A good solar company is going to stick by you even after the purchase is made!
Steel City Solar is No Joke.
We want to prepare you for what is out there. Too many customers come to us after being ripped-off by solar panel companies that scammed them and we want to prevent this from happening to you!
Come to us first. We take pride in providing the best possible solar panel systems and services to our customers. Our team consists of master electricians and expert solar panel installers. We are ranked #1 in the region and hold the highest inspection pass rating of Southern Colorado.
We are proud to stand behind all of our installations and we want you to have the best experience possible when buying from us. Don’t let the scammers have their way, come to Steel City Solar instead and relax knowing we’ll do it right.
Want to learn more about solar?
We’d love to talk to you about ways to Install a new Solar System for your home your energy usage through solar power in Sothern Colorado. Contact us here or give us a call at (719) 569-5166.