This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal
. The author of this post is Theresa Opeka
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is investigating a North Carolina-based solar panel company after leaving customers with thousands of dollars of malfunctioning equipment.
Complaints ranging from equipment not working, little or no energy savings as promised, high-pressure sales tactics, and failure to respond to customer service requests or honor warranties have been reported in N.C. and other states that Pink Energy (formerly known as Power Home Solar) served.
Some customers also took out thousands in loans to purchase the equipment.
Nazneen Ahmed, a spokesperson for Stein's office, told Carolina Journal that they had received about 270 consumer complaints about the company but couldn't comment any further due to the ongoing investigation.
The Mooresville-based company, which operated in 14 other states, is also being investigated by attorneys general in Missouri, Ohio, and Virginia. The company permanently closed last month.
Finger pointing on who is at fault began with a statement from Jayson Waller, CEO of Pink Energy, on his LinkedIn page. He said a faulty component made by Generac was to blame for the unusable equipment and the company's demise.
"We feel bad all our resources were used to fix the vast majority of issues from Generac failing equipment,"
said Waller. "However, the Generac issues came in waves of over 10,000 customers with issues all within a few months and cost pink energy north of 50 million dollars in services and resources with very little if any help from Generac. We remain, and I will remain steadfast in our call for Generac to do a national recall on its defective SnapRS units."
Waller said the defective parts led to a total solar system shutdown and, in some cases, fires.
In August, Pink Energy filed a lawsuit against Generac, stating it has lost approximately $155 million in revenue.
Generac fired back, saying the systems were not properly installed.
"In certain situations, especially when product installation guidelines have not been followed, as appears to be the case with some Pink Energy installations, customers may have experienced certain issues with a particular Generac component of their solar energy system - the SnapRS 801 or 801A,"
Tami Kou, director of marketing communications & public relations for Generac Power Systems, Inc., told Renewablesnow.com.
Kou also told the website that they were committed to getting upgrades and warranty replacements taken care of as quickly as possible, even though Pink Energy quit offering the Generac warranty support despite the availability of parts.
Matt Abele, Director of Marketing & Communications, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, had this advice for those currently experiencing issues.
"We'd encourage them to reach out to other reputable installers in their area and report any issues to the NC Attorney General's Office,"
he said in an emailed statement to Carolina Journal. "Customers can also reach out to the equipment manufacturer along with their loan servicer to determine what solutions may be available moving forward. In some cases, repairs and replacements may be covered under the manufacturer's warranty."
He also said that NCSEA has helpful resources on its website for anyone considering solar energy.
"NC Sustainable Energy Association has put together a number of resources to help them feel confident in their decision, including our Consumer Guide to Solar Electricity and a list of reputable installers in N.C. via our Solar Code of Conduct. We always advise that consumers reach out to multiple installers to compare quotes and ensure they receive the best system for their situation."