The use of solar energy is gaining in popularity and people are curious about the savings it can provide. Unfortunately, many con artists understand this well and have designed schemes that can turn the dreams of residential solar power into a nightmare for some homeowners.
Unlike buying a car or a house, most customers are unaware of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. That means it can be hard to tell a reputable solar company from a scammer, and scammers can come in many forms. Some are charming salespeople who come to the door. Others unleash a torrent of phone calls, emails, and letters.
When PV solar is done correctly, switching to it can reduce energy costs and carbon emissions for customers. While avoiding solar power scams and enjoying the benefits of solar energy is not difficult, it requires vigilance.
The following tips can help you avoid being a victim of solar scams:
- Never get sucked in – Scammers are masters of hard selling. Their job is to get you to sign their contract now, Now!, NOW!!! Don’t let them bully you. Do as much research on solar companies as possible before signing anything. Make sure you ask about installation, features, and rates. Any offer that seems too good to be true probably is. Companies like SolarGuru Energy and its network of high-quality dealers have nothing to worry about under your scrutiny. Ask all the questions you have until you have the answers.
- Never begin work without a contract – Some scammers insist you sign a contract before starting work, while others simply pressure people to begin without a contract. Don’t let them. When dealing with a reputable company, they will insist on a contract and accompany it with information about what they mean to you. Moreover, don’t confuse a free estimate – which many solar companies will give you – with an actual contract. A shady company may give you an estimate and claim it is your contract. It’s not. Signing a contract should be straightforward.
- Check the track record of the company. What is the company’s history? You could usually find valuable information by doing a simple online search or you could pick a company with more positive than negative reviews. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau or your local consumer protection agency.
- You should look for warranties guarantee by contract – A company that is willing to issue a legally binding warranty will likely be dependable. However, read the warranty to ensure that it covers the claims made by the company. As an industry leader, SolarGuru Energy is known for its comprehensive warranty.
- Beware of people posing as utility or government workers – Solar panel fraud often begins with fake employees claiming to be from reputable companies or government agencies.
- You can finance PV solar systems through purchase, loan, or lease. Don’t be swayed by one type of financing – there are three main options. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Reputable companies can explain their financing options clearly and will offer a range of options. If you choose a type of financing, make sure it fits your current financial situation and won’t cause long-term problems. Additionally, some solar panel scams involve the offer of “free” panels. In exchange for the free panels, you will have to sign sub-par lease agreements that will eventually hurt you in the long run.
- Ensure you are aware of any federal or state tax benefits that come with installing PV solar. Fraudsters often misrepresent or outright fabricate the size of those benefits. Reputable companies can point you to websites or government agencies with accurate information.
- Contact your local consumer protection agency and the police if you think you have dealt with a solar scammer. Restitution may be available in some cases. Additionally, you should inform your local utility company and your elected representatives. Often, these scams can be detected and prevented by warning people and changing things.
- Investing in PV solar will pay off for many years to come. Partnering with the provider who installs your system is essential. By doing your research and avoiding snap decisions, you will have a partner with whom you are able to preserve a long-term partnership. Visit SolarGuru Energy‘s site to start researching the perfect solar set-up.
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