There are Tons of Solar Scams Out There
Solar Energy is a rapidly growing industry with enormous potential. Like anything profitable and popular there are people out there looking to scam you out of your hard-earned money.
So what should you look out for?
Unrealistic and False Offers
Free Solar in Florida (or anywhere)
Nobody is giving away FREE solar installations. NOBODY. Just like nobody is giving you a free roof or a free car it just doesn't exist. You may see lots of ads making this claim. They are not run by actual solar installers but lead generation companies that will immediately farm your information out to multiple solar companies. They do not care if you don't get their outrageous offer because they are paid per lead.
Government Rebates or Stimulus
This one has become increasingly popular after the Covid-19 pandemic. Tons of ads that promise the government will pay you a stimulus to get solar installed. This is patently false information. They are playing on your hopes and then they try to hook you. Suddenly there will be a reason you don't qualify but they will just sell you solar anyways. We find this extremely distasteful and morally bankrupt.
The government does offer generous one-time tax credits but this is very different from a "stimulus". We'll be happy to discuss all the real offers that can help you in your solar journey.
Failure to Disclose Who They Work For
If you have to break someone's arm to get them to tell you who they work for that is a sign they plan to scam you. If the person who contacts you does not work for the same company you contacted (the lead generation company) you have a problem and you should politely ask them to leave. This tactic comes directly from the scam-artist playbook. Entice. Decieve. Sign them up. When you're working with a solar company you should expect complete transparency.
If you already have solar and it is time to upgrade or expand your solar PV system beware anyone offers to replace your system for very low prices or for free. This indicates that they are going to use inferior sub-standard products. Nothing in life is truly free.
SRECS in Florida
If any solar company representative tells you that you can get solar renewable energy certificates in Florida they are a scam artist or very poorly trained. In some states, SRECs are offered and the government keeps track of your eligibility for them. Private entities do not offer these. If they say they do they are a scammer every single time. Florida does not currently offer SRECs as of 3/1/2021.
High-Pressure Tactics and a Sense of Urgency
Anyone who tells you that their offer is for a very limited time or anything that forces you into a quick on the spot decision is likely a person you can not trust. They only want to extort as much money as possible as fast as possible. Anyone who asks for total payment up-front is a scam artist. Don't let them push you into a "sign at all costs" deal with a sense of urgency that is unwarranted.
Installing a Solar PV System is a big decision and a large financial commitment. You should fully understand your options and you should be able to ask as many questions as needed to make you feel comfortable. If they don't have time to answer your questions and educate you - they do not have your best interests at heart.
Fake Government or FPL Represenatives
Anyone claiming to be a government or Florida Power & Light representative is a scam artist. The US Government, the Florida Government, and FPL are not in the business of installing solar systems. They have left that to the private sector. If you get a door knocker or phone call and they claim to be any of these things you should ignore it immediately. They will offer you a free energy audit as a way to get their foot in the door and then they will start their high-pressure sales tactics.
Promises of Massive Tax Credits
There are great tax incentives for installing solar but not a single one will make your system free or make you money. The current tax credit as of 2021 is 26% of the contract value.
Beware the words SOLAR GRANT
When someone comes at you with these words they are a scam artist and a liar. They do not care about you, your family, or your home. They are focused on closing a deal that is likely not in your favor. It may make you feel stressed or confused. There are no solar grants in the state of Florida as of 3/1/2021. Anyone who claims otherwise can not be trusted. Tell them to call us if they argue. We have some words to tell them.
Extreme Delivery Times and Permitting Delays
You hired a solar company. You gave them a large down payment. They just ... disappear. Calls go unanswered. If and when they show up they may do sub-standard work, install poor quality equipment, or ask for more money due to "unforeseen circumstances". When they do install your system they may take forever to get your permitting done and your interconnection to FPL for net metering. Any contract should have clear timelines and prevent you for having to pay additional money. A quality solar company will have the experience to get you an accurate quote and install on time. Our average interconnection time is a few weeks not months.
CRAZY Low Prices
Anytime you get a crazy low price on your solar installation you should be extremely wary of the company that provided the low-ball quote. They know you'll be interested in something affordable. Then the CHANGE ORDERS come. A lot of change orders.
Suddenly your price is double or triple what they quoted. The contract you signed says that if you cancel you lose your down payment.
This can also be a sign of cheap panels and inverters. Not only are cheap panels inefficient, often ugly, and dangerous - they also often do not have a warranty that you can rely on. It is not uncommon for cheap panels and inverters to fail inspection.
Promoting Leasing instead of Buying
Leasing panels is only good for the company you are leasing from. If you are told otherwise they are a scam artist. When you buy your Solar PV System you get the tax credit. When you lease THEY get the tax credit. When you buy your panels you increase your property value.