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Trinity Valley EC News

Summer Sun Brings Out Solar Scammers

TVEC Energy Management Supervisor Chris Walker, BAP

Consumers have good intentions when they install solar panels, but we see too many Trinity Valley Electric cooperative members find out that some solar companies and their sales representatives do not.

In some situations, the sales pitch may even include the promise that your power bill will drop to zero, or that the monthly cost of the solar panels will be completely offset by a drop in your TVEC usage. It takes careful evaluation of the proposed system and of the location to know if that will be true.

Unfortunately once the contracts are signed and the panels are in place, it is sometimes too late to force the solar company or installer to make good on their promises.

Visit to find out more about TVEC’s interconnection policies, energy buyback program and installation requirements.


Contact Us First

It is very important to contact us before installing solar. In order to connect your solar setup to the power grid, we require that certain safety and design parameters meet our specifications. Improperly designed systems pose a hazard to linemen and the general public when repairs are in progress or if there is damage on the lines.

In response to disreputable companies giving false guarantees, purposely installing undersized systems and knowingly soliciting unbuildable systems, the Solar Energy Industries Association offers these guidelines to protect solar customers.

Here Comes the Sun

Ask friends, family and neighbors for references when shopping for a solar installation company and check on a company’s history through state and local consumer protection agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau, before signing any agreements. You should also compare bids from several companies, paying special attention to:

  • The expected performance of the equipment and size of the panels.
  • The full cost of installation, including any permit fees.
  • Whether it is guaranteed to produce a certain amount of energy.
  • What warranties apply to the equipment and the installation’s workmanship.
  • Also check with your homeowners’ association, if you belong to one, for any restrictions or regulations on solar panel installation and maintenance.

Good Day, Sunshine

Industry experts predict that more than 5 million homes will have some sort of solar installation by 2025. That creates a lot of opportunity for scammers. Make sure to do your research before installing solar panels, and if you think a solar company has taken advantage of you, contact an experienced attorney for help.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.