No one wants to get scammed.
Today, scam calls are driving us all crazy—not to mention email inboxes full of junk and the newer method of texting junk to us.
Yup, scammers are running rampant these days, especially within the home remodeling industry. The last thing you need is to get scammed when you’re trying to complete a home remodeling or improvement project.
Solar panel scams can come out of nowhere, and if you’re not working with a quality solar installer, then there’s a chance that you’ll be tricked out of your hard-earned money. We’re here to help you avoid solar panel scams, and hopefully, get some high-quality solar panels installed and working properly on your home in the near future.
Spotting the Scams
If you’re going to avoid a solar scam, you first have to identify it as a scam. Like any other scams, solar scams can sometimes be very difficult to identify, so the key is to know and understand the tactics that reputable and not so reputable companies use to sell their products.
In California—somewhere that solar has become very popular—there are quite a few tactics utilized in an effort to scam potential solar customers out of their money. Here are a few of them, but first, check out this video of real people who have been scammed.
High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Solar panels are a very large investment. Like other large investments, you’ll need time to make sure that you’re ready to move forward on the purchase of your solar panels and solar energy system.
Beware of companies that want you to commit to them on the same day. Instead, look for companies that give you resources to make the best decision possible for your home and your needs. You’ll want to work with someone who is willing to work with you, and that wants you to succeed. At Sun Badger we take the time to educate you on all things solar. Doing this allows our customers to see their options and make a well-educated decision.
Posing as a Government or Utility Representative
Sometimes solar scammers will pose as government or utility company representatives. These scammers are going to offer you large discounts or paybacks that don’t actually exist. If a solar company tells you that you’ll be able to receive a tax credit or other form of payment from the government or utility companies, have them show you the research. Be sure that it applies to you and don’t just take their word for it.
There are legitimate companies that can show you why things cost the way that they do and why you might be eligible for tax breaks. There are also times when discounts and promotions aren’t a scam at all but instead a way for you to get more bang for your buck. Finding those companies isn’t too difficult if you look in the right places. You’ll want to look for regional businesses that are knowledgable of the local, state, and federal tax and utility credits.
Unrealistic Prices or Failing to Deliver
Another scam tactic that companies will often use is offering unrealistically low prices. Often they’ll use this tactic with a high-pressure sales tactic to push you into purchasing before you’re ready to buy. Sometimes companies that offer these low prices won’t fulfill the job and instead will skip town with your money. Other times they might be offering high-quality panels but skipping out in other areas. To keep from getting scammed by low prices, do some research on your own, so you know how much solar should cost you.
While some companies will leave town without even starting the project on your home, other companies and scammers might do half of the work before leaving town. After you pay for the project, they might start on it and then won’t do the work well or up to the standards that you’re paying for. To keep this from happening, look into every company and the online reviews that they do or don’t have. Without reviews, it can be hard to trust a company.
Workmanship and Product Life Warranty
Finding a company that offers a workmanship warranty and honors the product life warranty can give you the confidence that you need to invest in solar. Better yet, finding a company that offers a workmanship warranty through the lifetime of the product guarantees that you’ll have high-functioning solar panels for years to come.
Getting Started without a Contract
Some companies might push to get started quickly or without a contract. Not having a contract should always be a big red flag. Not only because it doesn’t guarantee that the job will get done, but also because it’s not a smart or safe legal practice. Without signing a contract, if someone were to get hurt while installing solar on your property, you could be the one held liable.
To avoid this scamming method, make sure there is a legitimate contract signed by both parties before any solar installation starts at your home or place of business.
Promoting Leasing Instead of Buying
If you feel solar is a great option for your home, but you don’t have the money to buy, some companies might try to convince you to lease. Like any other lease, you’re simply renting the solar panels from the solar installer that helps you set up the system. Leasing solar panels is not as good of an option as outright buying them. If you don’t purchase your solar panels, you won’t be able to receive any of the tax benefits of purchasing solar, and there won’t be any value added to your home.
Instead of leasing, consider finding a company that can help you finance the cost of the solar panels. At Sun Badger Solar, we offer solar-specific financing with low-interest rates. It’s important to us that you get the tax credits you deserve for installing solar.
Solar Panel Scams – Checklist
If you’re going to avoid solar panel scams effectively then, you might need a shortlist that you can check when you start looking for solar more seriously. Here is a solar panel scam checklist based on the list of different tactics we looked at from above.
- Avoid salespeople that use high-pressure tactics.
- Watch out for individuals that pose as government or utility company representatives.
- Watch for unrealistic prices to avoid companies that won’t get the job done right.
- Look for companies that offer good contractual warranties.
- Avoid companies that want to start without a contract.
- Avoid leasing solar panels instead of buying them.
Finding a Reputable Company
There are other ways that companies can seek to scam you out of your money. To make sure you avoid solar panel scams, you’ll have to keep an eye out for shifty characters that are in the business only for the money. While there’s a lot of scams out there, solar panels are worth it in the long run.
If you’re looking for an honest and reputable solar company and live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, or Florida, we’d love to talk about how Sun Badger Solar could help you. We’re a stand-up company that seeks to put the customer first. Reach out to us today for more information or to learn more about how solar could save you money!