Beware of Solar Power Scams: Lessons Learned in Choosing a Trusted Solar Installer
Solar is booming in Ohio like we haven’t seen in our past twenty+ years in the solar business.
We’re happy to see solar increasing in popularity in the Midwest. However, as various solar companies continue to enter our region, we’ve watched unsustainable business practices hurt homeowners in our communities.
We have seen some big news recently as one of the largest national solar installers closed their doors. We express our sympathy to the customers, team members, and communities personally affected by this closure. We’re also saddened by the dark light this news casts over the solar industry.
In this blog, we’ll share with you some of the lessons we’ve learned from the rapid rise of solar in Ohio and the fall of this big solar installer.
Beware of Solar Power Scams: Advertisements
Trust the old adage: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
Solar isn’t free, and anyone telling you that it is, is just trying to win your business- at whatever cost.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a rapid increase in misleading advertisements, primarily on Facebook and Instagram, touting local grant programs, free solar, and cash-back deals.
There are no local grant programs for homeowners, solar has never been free, and cash-back details rely on an inflated loan to accommodate a cash-back discount. In the end, the customer pays.
Don’t get us wrong. Solar is a great investment. It’s a stable investment with a quantifiable return, an increase in property value, and fantastic environmental benefits. But it’s not a scheme to get out of paying your monthly utility bills, nor is it an investment where you get rich quickly.
Please think twice before selecting a solar installer who is miss leading in their advertisements. In our opinion, it’s an indication that they are not putting the customer first.
Our solar consultants are highly trained experts in solar technology, policy, and loans. They pride themselves in the value they offer to customers. They educate thousands of homeowners each year. If needed, they loop in their teammates on the operations side to get accurate, quality answers for you.
High-pressure sales indicate that the company you’re working with doesn’t have your best interest in mind.
You shouldn’t feel pressured to go solar before you’re ready. You want all your questions answered about the products, warranties, loan terms, and more. If you are uncomfortable, it’s the role of your salesperson to help you understand what you need to know to become comfortable. While we would love to be your solar installer, we want you to make the best decision for you, your family, or your company.
Why do high-pressure sales happen?
High-pressure sales strategies result from contracted sales employees who are paid commission and rely on making the sale to earn a paycheck. These sales reps are often not properly trained or supported in their work. They may not fully understand the local policy or products they’re offering.
It’s no surprise that these sales conditions make for unpleasant customer experiences.
Making the important decision to go solar should be a bright, exciting time, including the sales experience.
While a solar system is very low maintenance with no moving parts, issues may occasionally arise. In this case, a dedicated solar service technician will need to service your system. While the equipment warranties are long – often 25+ years – knowing that your solar installer will be around to support you should any equipment warranty or other issues arise is vital.
We increasingly get calls from homeowners who need their systems serviced by installers who no longer exist. We hear about faulty products installed by non-licensed electricians, voiding product warranties. We also hear stories about solar systems that have been improperly installed and never worked, all while the homeowner is stuck paying their electricity bill and their solar loan payment.
Always check to see if your installer has a dedicated service team and will be there for you after your installation.
Here at Kokosing Solar we have a dedicated service team who works diligently on behalf of our customers to submit warranty claims and skilled service technicians who are passionate about fixing issues if they arise.
Identify a Trusted Partner
Here is our go-to checklist for choosing a trusted solar installation partner:
- How long have they been in business?
- How many projects have they done?
- Do they provide references? When you call those references, what do they say?
- Does your installer have a fully trained & licensed electrician on staff?
- What do their customers say? (stick to Google Reviews and away from third-party solar referral sites that give biased information)
- What do their Employees say? (Check Glassdoor.com)
- Does the installer have NABCEP certiﬁcate holders on staﬀ?
- Do they have a dedicated service team?
- Are they BBB certiﬁed?
- Will they tell you if solar will not work well for you (due to roof condition, shading, or other factors)?
- Are they listed on SolarEthics.org?
Kokosing Solar has been designing, building, and financing clean energy solutions for residential and commercial clients across the Midwest since 2000. In 2022 we became Kokosing Solar and are strengthened by the 71 years of experience of Kokosing, Inc., one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.
Our organization mirrors the characteristics of the mighty oak tree through growth, strength, and reputation. With each passing year, our legacy and longevity builds with roots firmly set in our Core Values.
Today, Kokosing Solar’s mission is Putting People to Work to Build A Clean Energy Future. Our branches extend far and wide as we engage in projects that support our team members, their families, and the communities where we live and work.
We look forward to putting even more people to work and helping even more clients achieve their solar dreams at a sustainable pace as the shift to clean energy grows in our region.