The idea behind solar energy is pure. Companies want our society to rely less on grid energy and become more self-sufficient. But like most pure ideologies, charlatans can exploit the idea for their gain.
If you’re considering switching to solar energy, you have the right idea. But make sure you’re not deceived by some thief pretending to care about renewable energy.
Not all solar companies in the market are looking out for you, some just really want your money. Click here to learn about solar panel scams.
Solar Panel Scams
Many solar panel scams claim to offer government rebates, selling energy-saving devices, or the classic, giving away free solar systems. In a time when scam artists don’t have to face customers to dupe them, it’s essential to be on your guard.
Though there are legitimate companies that use door-to-door, cold call and high-pressure sales tactics, beware. These tactics are often indicators that a company has to force its product (or lack thereof) onto the consumer.
Receiving an unexpected call, email, or visit from a solicitor could be a scam, so watch out for indicators during the interaction. Be especially suspicious of any company that desperately tries to get you to sign-up or issue payment right away.
How to Avoid Solar Panel Scams
The easiest way to avoid solar panel scams is by doing an online search for testimonials. But if you’re talking to a salesperson, it can be difficult to whip out your phone and conduct research. In this case, ask probing questions about the company.
There is a possibility that a legitimate solar company simply has a pushy salesman. In these cases, stand your ground, don’t feel pressured to sign up, and research the company online.
Some great companies have corrupt sales associates, so try not to judge a book by its cover. The best way to avoid this is by looking at other consumers’ online reviews. If other consumers write raving reviews about a company, but you had a bad experience with one of their sales associates, address it by writing your review. Then, request to speak with someone else.
Offering Cheap Replacements
Another standard solar panel scam companies use offering to replace your existing solar panels free of charge. In most cases, this offer signifies cheap or faulty replacement equipment. Remember, no one offers things of worth freely.
In cases like this, it’s better to stick with your high-quality solar panels rather than switching to cheap pieces of garbage.
Telemarketing is a legal sales tactic, and it has ethical standards. But some companies don’t care about ethics; they only care about lining their pockets.
Because people can exploit telemarketing tactics, it’s good to understand what constitutes ethical telemarketing.
Telemarketing companies cold call people to figure out whether consumers are interested in the products they sell. If consumers are interested in the product, the telemarketing company transfers the consumer’s information to the solar panel company.
But some companies don’t pay attention to the government’s Do Not Call Register. Telemarketing companies are required by law to refrain from calling people on the Do Not Call Register. If you’re on the Do Not Call Register and receive a call from a solar panel telemarketing agency, hang up the phone.
With social media came even more opportunity for scam artists to exploit the general population. Since there are minimal vetting processes for companies such as Facebook and Instagram, anyone can advertise freely on their platforms.
Illegitimate companies can advertise without penalty. Many of these companies offer free deals in exchange for your information. The catch: there is no deal, and they just want to steal your information.
Most of these ads are easy to spot because of their shoddy design and vague descriptions. As with any other scam on this list, the best way to make sure a company is reputable is by looking at their reviews.
The US government offers certain cash rebates and tax breaks for homeowners who use renewable energy in their homes. Some states allow deducting a portion of the cost for solar energy from your state tax bill.
Local municipalities and state governments may also issue government rebates, from either the municipality or the government utility company. These institutions only offer rebates for a limited time and expire after specific solar energy installation limits.
An easy way to find out if a scam is promoting a fake rebate is by checking local and state government websites.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates cover specific percentages of electric bills from solar panels. Some states offer these certificates, and if you live in one of these states, the government keeps track of your eligibility. Any private entity claiming the ability to provide SRECs is a scam, and you should immediately avoid it if you encounter one online.
Avoiding Scams Best Practices
The best way to verify scams is by getting to the source. Contact the organization independently. If the organization doesn’t have any contact information, you’ve reached your answer already.
To ensure you get solar power from a company, you can trust, check the Department of Energy’s website. They have information on their website that shows what to look for when seeking a company that commits to responsible sales and marketing tactics and industry best practices.
Go Clean Energy Today
Choosing solar energy is a responsible decision, but it should always be done under the right circumstances. Avoiding solar panel scams is just as crucial for the environment as the solar panels themselves. How can we clean up our environment if we can’t even run ethical businesses?
At Sunstate Solar, we understand the consumer’s needs and know how to provide high-quality service to people in the communities we serve. Click here for more information on how to buy the right kind of solar energy.