If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen ads to go solar that seem too good to be true–and that’s because they likely are. As the popularity of solar energy continues to grow, so has the potential for scams and deceptive practices. We’ve called out very specific solar fake news that was circulating in 2019 in a past article, but in this blog, we’ll explore how homeowners can spot and avoid some new and common solar scams to ensure a safe and reliable transition to solar energy.
Research and Due Diligence
As with any major investment, one of the best ways to avoid falling victim to scams is by conducting thorough research. Start by researching reputable solar companies in your area. Check online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends or neighbors who have gone solar, and verify the company’s credentials, licenses, and certifications.
Reputable solar companies often have a proven track record and a history of satisfied customers. Avoid companies that lack an online presence, as it can be a red flag for potential scams. (Check out NATiVE Solar’s Google reviews)
Beware of High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Scammers often use high-pressure sales tactics to push homeowners into making quick decisions. If a sales representative insists on an immediate commitment or offers an unusually attractive deal that requires a rushed decision, it’s a warning sign. A legitimate solar company will provide you with the necessary time and information to make an informed decision.
Compare Multiple Quotes
Don’t settle for the first solar quote you receive. Get quotes from multiple solar providers to ensure that you’re getting a fair and competitive offer. Comparing quotes can help you identify discrepancies in pricing and services, giving you a clearer understanding of what to expect. You can use our free online calculator to get a ballpark idea on a price for a system for your house, and you can receive an exact complimentary quote from NATiVE right now!
Understand Financing Options
Going solar can be a significant investment, and many homeowners may need financing to cover the upfront costs. Scammers often use financing schemes that may not be in your best interest. Be sure to understand the terms, interest rates, and repayment schedule before committing to any financing options. Legitimate solar companies should be transparent about financing, offering options that suit your budget and needs.
Check for Proper Licensing and Certification
Reputable solar companies are typically licensed and certified to install and maintain solar power systems. Check with your state’s regulatory authority or energy commission to ensure the company is in good standing and adheres to local regulations. Additionally, reputable companies often hold certifications from industry organizations like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), which ensures they meet high standards of professionalism and expertise.
Read the Fine Print
Before signing any contracts or agreements, carefully read the fine print. Pay attention to warranties, guarantees, and any potential hidden fees. A trustworthy solar company should be willing to provide a clear and easy-to-understand contract that outlines all the details of the installation, maintenance, and warranties.
Be Wary of Unrealistic Promises
Solar scammers often make unrealistic promises to lure homeowners. If a company guarantees that your energy bill will be completely eliminated or that you’ll make a substantial profit from selling excess energy back to the grid, be cautious. While solar energy can significantly reduce your energy costs, it’s important to be realistic about the savings and benefits.
Verify the Equipment and Components
Legitimate solar companies use high-quality equipment and components from reputable manufacturers. Ask for information about the solar panels, inverters, and other components being used in your system and verify their authenticity. Low-quality or counterfeit components can lead to system inefficiencies and costly repairs.
Understand the Installation Process
A reputable solar company will explain the installation process to you in detail. If they are vague or hesitant to provide information, it’s a red flag. The installation process should include obtaining the necessary permits, roof inspection, panel placement, and connection to your electrical system. Make sure you are informed about each step and have a clear timeline for completion.
Ask for References
Don’t hesitate to ask the solar company for references from previous customers. Speaking with homeowners who have had solar installations by the same company can provide valuable insights into their experience and satisfaction. If the company is reluctant to provide references, consider it a warning sign.
Don’t Get Scammed – Trust NATiVE!
Going solar is a smart choice for homeowners who want to save money and reduce their environmental impact. However, it’s crucial to be cautious and informed to avoid falling victim to solar power scams. By conducting thorough research, comparing quotes, understanding financing options, and working with reputable companies, homeowners can confidently transition to solar energy while protecting themselves from potential scams.
As a legitimate and reputable solar provider, NATiVE will prioritize your satisfaction, provide transparent information, and support you throughout the entire solar journey.