ORLANDO, Fla – A Winter Park owner says a door-to-door solar power contract could have been a $ 50,000 mistake.
Months after signing, he still does not have a solar power system and now fears the company may not realize the huge savings it was promised.
“What do you have to show for that with regard to solar? Asked Todd Ulrich.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing,” replied William Cavins.
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Ulrich spoke with Cavins outside his house which was supposed to be powered by the sun. But six months after signing a $ 50,000 solar power system contract, Cavins says vendor, Meraki Solar Solutions, can’t tell him when it’s going to be installed.
“We were shocked with what we are going through,” Cavins said.
According to Cavins, a salesperson showed up at his front door offering solar power without a deposit, a federal tax incentive of $ 15,000, and claimed that the company’s solar power generation panels would save him money.
“The electricity bill would be essentially zero,” Cavins said.
As part of the deal, the company offered new financing for the roof and would return the existing solar water heater system upon delivery of the power cells.
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Cavins said a subcontractor finished the roof, but months later there is no solar installation date and no response.
“And I can’t find anyone to tell me what’s going to hit next,” Cavins said.
Since COVID-19, Action 9 has received at least 30 complaints from homeowners who
felt burnt by solar companies. Many consumers had signed door-to-door contracts that they regretted.
The complaints Action 9 received had familiar patterns. Some complained that the solar installations were never completed according to the contract. Others claim that in reality they weren’t entitled to any tax incentives and that their monthly electricity costs had increased, sometimes dramatically.
Billie Ramos was one of those customers who complained. She claimed that a solar company promised low monthly payments and a tax incentive it never offered.
“I feel like I’ve been totally exploited,” Ramos said.
After Action 9 contacted the company about Ramos’ issues, it paid off its loan to resolve the complaint.
Cavins seller Meraki Solar has received a few dozen complaints from the Better Business Bureau, but is rated A-plus.
Ulrich contacts the company, based in Pensacola.
Cavins is concerned that even if the system is installed, it will not deliver the promised tax breaks and energy savings.
“How are you going to feel about this deal?” Ulrich asked.
“You don’t want to hear the word on TV,” Cavis replied.
Solar might be a wise choice, but on your terms. Never sign a door-to-door contract on the same day. Better yet, find businesses on your own, get at least two estimates, and find your own financing.
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