Solar Panel Installations Scam: How It Works
Solar panel installations and fake products – all are back in the news. This year one of the biggest scams around is the Solar Power System or Solar Panels for Your Home scam. It is part of the home improvement fraud group and is doing its rounds again. We’ll explain in detail how it works below – meanwhile, if you are looking for legitimate solar services here is a verified vendor.
Victims of this scam are consumers who want to cut their energy bills using rooftop solar panels or windmills. How does the scam work?
Scenario 1: Solar Panel System Fraud:
Watch the video below to see in action the sneaky Solar Panel Installations Scam exposed:
There are reputable solar companies out there that will save you money, but scammers are also in the game, luring you into paying a huge deposit to a contractor who doesn’t deliver the system. Some would just vanish with the deposit, others (the majority) would deliver a bogus system that’s not even close to provide what is supposed to.
It is the same type of fraud that happens when home improvement crooks stop by your porch promising to either fix your shingles or deliver an effective alarm system.
Scenario 2: Solar Companies Upgrades and Warranty
In a different variation of the scam, solar panels owners have been receiving telephone cold calls offering to supply upgrades or accessories alongside extended warranty products. These calls from people claiming to represent solar companies come with misleading claims such as the need for an inverter replacement, that a component is broken or faulty or that the performance of the system will be increased.
Scenario 3: Solar Industry Trick – Free Health Check and Service Letter
Did you receive a letter in the mail notifying that “you have not received your free health check and service” and “your warranty may be due to expire”? The solar industry has its tricksters too, just like any other home-related ones (air conditioning, furnace, etc.) What does the letter say? As a call-to-action, it asks the recipient to contact the sender to validate the warranty and request a free health check. It looks like this:
Be wary of any unsolicited approach and never agree to services, to having work done, or for someone to visit your home if approached in this way by so-called solar companies. If you own a solar panel, you should always talk to your suppliers before allowing any work or maintenance to take place on their panels. A solar panel system does not necessarily need servicing, although it may benefit from being cleaned if the panels are dirty.
Later on in this article, we have a Top 5 list with the highest-ranked solar panels systems, in case you think of purchasing one from a safe seller.
Educate Yourself Before Solar Panel Installations: Save Money
However, before considering an alternative energy solar you should get educated about solar panel use. Also, get a good understanding of how the solar panel installation works. Here it is:
When sunlight hits the module on a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, the modules convert the sun’s energy into electricity that can be used to power your home. Whether the electricity is being drawn from the PV installation or utility company, your home’s power performance will stay the same.
The Direct Current (DC power) that the installation produces is wired to an inverter. This inverter converts the DC power into an Alternating Current (AC). The AC power is the standard electrical current use for powering most home appliances throughout the world.
The electrical current then flows from the inverter to the home’s electrical service panel that feeds electricity into the household. You can also use a tracking meter, which can keep track of the home’s electrical consumption, the total output of the solar installation, and more.
These tracking systems often have live display systems or online monitors, so you can track how much of your home’s electricity needs are being met by your system’s production and how well your system is performing at any point in time.
During the day, if the solar system’s production exceeds the house’s electrical needs, the excess electricity is fed back to the power grid. When this occurs, you can observe the electrical meter spin backward.
Most local governments have a system of credits set in place that require utility companies to buy this excess energy back from various renewable energy standards, portfolios, and goals. In addition to reducing your electric bill, these credits can be sold to utilities.
This generates revenue to pay back your investments for the PV system, and eventually turn into profit.
At night, or anytime a household is using more electricity than a solar installation is producing, the extra energy needed to power the house is pulled from the grid, as it normally would be. When you install a solar system on a home, the only noticeable difference you’ll see is on your electric bill.
How To Avoid The Solar Panels For Your Home Scam:
When it comes to solar panel installation fraud, learn how to distinguish the real companies from the scammers. Think about it. How much do you pay for your energy per year? How about for 10 years?
If you are looking into the solar panel option, get bids from at least three-four companies and then check out their Better Business Bureau reviews. Needless to say, you should never pay the full price upfront or a deposit of more than four figures.
Alternative energy is a new industry. That’s why questionable individuals might take advantage of the novelty and try to sell concepts and products that might not be doable or legitimate. Maybe before asking yourself ‘how much do solar panels cost?’ you should first look at the solar energy pros and cons and evaluate if it’s the right thing to consider for your house.
Are Solar Panels Really Worth It?
The short answer would be yes, the solar panels are worth the investment. The installation just needs due diligence. Connect with owners of homes with solar panels, ask questions, look at the investment, and decide. The same thing you can do if you are a business owner and consider installing a commercial solar. Research, research, research. Check out carefully the online presence of reputable companies and educate yourself some more.
Let’s take a look at some solar panels pros and cons below.
Solar Energy Pros And Cons
Let’s look at some interesting facts about solar energy and the solar industry in general. The amount of sunlight that comes to Earth in a single day would supply all the electricity needs for every human being on the planet for an entire year. Also, experts say that solar is a renewable energy resource that will last for a couple of billion more years. We’ll never gonna run out of it.
One of the most important facts about solar energy is that it is in any way hurtful to the atmosphere. It doesn’t pollute or generate carbon dioxide, which a lot of people believe is changing the global climate. There’s also no noise pollution with solar energy. Electricity is created silently when sunlight hits a solar panel. The sunlight reacts with materials in the panel to produce an electrical charge.
This charge could be converted to direct current (DC current) to be used in homes. If a home with solar panels generates more power than the home uses, the homeowner may even be able to sell some of the excesses to a power company for use on its grid.
The electricity created by home solar energy can be used in dozens of ways – just like electricity from the power company: heating water, running appliances, and providing light are all possibilities for home solar energy. When you have home solar energy, you don’t need to worry about power outages – or rate increases by your utility company. Another of the more interesting facts about solar energy is its potential in the transportation industry, although admittedly, practical solar applications for mass transit in the U.S. are probably still years away.
Solar energy for cars has been developed but it’s not nearly advanced enough yet for the needs of modern vehicles. So those are some facts about solar energy that sound positive and promising. How about the cons?
For one thing, solar panels take up a lot of space. That means solar energy ‘farms’ as they would be called, would have to be huge to provide a significant percentage of a large city’s electricity supply. There is also a large investment or upfront cost of installing solar – especially in a home. It can take years to recover the cost, even though solar equipment is nearly maintenance-free once you have it. Plus, some geographical areas are better suited to solar power than others.
If you live in an area where it’s cloudy a lot of solar energy may not be sufficient for your needs. Furthermore, your output from solar panels will be reduced if they’re shaded by trees or other structures.
Solar Panel Installations Fraud: Locations
The Solar Panel System scam has been reported to make victims in the following cities: New York, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, Washington, Jersey City, Brisbane, San Francisco, Newark, Austin, Houston, Phoenix, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Dallas, Aquia Harbour, Santa Clarita, San Bernardino, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Norwich, El Paso, Calgary, Perth, Poway, Charlotte, Perris, Adelaide, Arvada, Rancho Cucamonga, Edison, Albuquerque, Devonport, Anaheim, Fresno, Pflugerville, Chicago, Boston, Riverside, Vallejo, Mesquite, Ipswich, Palm Harbor, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Shrewsbury, Spokane, Fruitville, Dundee, Ventura, Herne Bay, Glendale, Paramus, River Vale, Hartford, Miami, Virginia Beach, Aurora, Lynn Haven, Orlando, Rio Rancho, Prosser, Berkeley, Perdido Key, Peterborough, Beverly, Elk Grove, Dudley, Huntington Beach, Peachtree City, Dover, Gardena, Jacksonville, Goole, Colorado Springs, Elizabethtown, Cincinnati, Four Corners, Carlsbad, Kansas City, Hackensack, Oakham, Santa Ana, Atlanta, Willingboro, Yonkers, Oildale, Amsterdam, Berkeley, Sacramento, Morris Plains, Las Vegas, Nashville and Gold Coast.
Can You Get Free Solar Panels?
Well, unless your friend donates them to you, beware of any offers of free solar panels even if they are thrown in as a special deal from any company trying to promote themselves. We’re not saying refuse them, but do a bit of homework first. Make sure you check the name of the company offering on the Better Business Bureau website. Better safe than sorry.
How To Report The Solar Panels For Your Home Scam – Contact Attorney General or FTC
Make your family and friends aware of the Solar Panel Installation scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the questionable solar panel companies to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
Top 3 Solar Panel Systems Ranked by Quality and Safe Sellers
We collected a list of the most reliable solar system products that are on the market for sale. They all ranked between 4.5 – 5-stars on Amazon and have over 100 purchases. You can trust the sellers. Here they are – click on their name to see the specs, uses, and various prices:
This one is one of our favourites. It has low weight design, extra durable, no glass. Uses: Marine, Cars, Off Grid. EL tested solar modules; no hot-spot heating guaranteed; It comes with 25-year power output warranty; 5-year material and workmanship warranty. Check it out HERE.
The ACOPOWER 100W Foldable Solar Panel Kit comes with 12V battery and generator ready suitcase with charge controller. The product has 5-star reviews only. You can buy it HERE.
This is a HQST 400 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline solar panel kit with 40A MPPT charge controller. Designed specifically for customers new to solar. Easy and convenient to install with pre-drilled holes on panels and Z brackets for fast mounting and securing. Check it out HERE.
How To Protect Yourself More:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
Related Articles And Pages:
Verify a website below
Are you just about to make a purchase online? See if the website is legit with our validator: