Local family feels burnt after spending $ 100,000 with solar business promising big savings – WFTV
ORLANDO, Florida – A local family feels burnt out after purchasing 2 solar systems totaling $ 100,000.
Dilip Singh blames a solar contractor for a poor installation and for the promise of big savings on the electric bill that he cannot achieve.
Todd Ulrich from Action 9 spoke to Singh.
“If you know then what you know now, would you buy this system?” Ulrich asked.
“No, not from this company,” Singh replied.
Singh says the Empire Solar Group seller promised he would cut his electric bill every month.
“They design the system so that I don’t have to pay the power company except for taxes,” Singh said.
But according to Singh, his electricity bill has only dropped by 50%. Not enough to cover her monthly solar system loan payment of $ 38,000.
Singh says Empire Solar has promised a federal refund check for $ 15,000. Instead, his tax credit was less than $ 1,000.
“So the discount is nonexistent,” Singh said.
And his daughter, Sharon Panday, tells the same story about Empire Solar Group and the promises it made.
“Have you been burnt by this solar company? Ulrich asked.
“I believe it because I have a loan of $ 64,000,” Panday said.
She says the company’s tax refund didn’t work and it only lowered her electric bill by 50%. Add that to her monthly solar loan payment and Panday says her electricity expenses have more than doubled.
“So now I’m going to pay more for the energy,” Panday said.
One of the most common homeowner complaints about solar systems is the lack of savings. Leave customers with large loan payments and monthly utility bills.
Complaints to the Federal Trade Commission have more than tripled since 2012, and many consumers have said they are left with higher utility costs.
John Sherwin of the Florida Solar Energy Center says roofing systems can deliver real green savings, but consumers should be wary of warranties.
“You want to get multiple quotes. If they promise you zero energy bills, you want to know where and how they get that information, ”Sherwin said.
Empire Solar, based in Utah, is rated B on the Better Business Bureau for responding to complaints.
Action 9 has contacted the company regarding Singh and Panday’s issues with their solar system, but has so far received no response.
“And they don’t want to do anything about it,” Singh said.
Experts at the state’s solar power center suggest getting at least three estimates before signing a contract. This gives you a much better idea of the size and cost of the system compared to what you could actually save.
Response from Empire Solar Group:
Thank you for allowing us to explain our side of the story. For reasons of confidentiality, I cannot share his entire contract with you, but I can share parts that are part of all of our contracts. In the story he states he was supposed to get a tax refund of $ 15,000, here is that part of his contract along with his savings. It’s not buried in a 25 page contract, it’s on pages 2 and 3. We also give customers 3 days to cancel so they can review the contract with whomever they choose. I think that was an unfair portrayal when trying to make sure all clients understand and have the time and capacity to ask any questions they want. We also now have an A + with the BBB. The size of his system and his estimated production: we contact him again to see how we can help him and get him back to being a satisfied customer.
8. UTILITY RATES ALL UTILITY RATES AND COSTS PROVIDED TO YOU ARE ESTIMATES. UTILITY RATES MAY GO UP OR DOWN AND ACTUAL SAVINGS, IF ANY, MAY VARY. HISTORICAL DATA IS NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENTATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TARIFFS, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICE OR THE STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
10. TAX INCENTIVES / BENEFITS. FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAX AND OTHER INCENTIVES VARY WITH RESPECT TO REFUND AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR TERMINATION BY LEGISLATIVE OR REGULATORY ACTION, WHICH MAY INFLUENCE SAVINGS ESTIMATES. CONSULT A TAX PROFESSIONAL FOR MORE INFORMATION.
24. LIMITED POWER OF INDEPENDENT ENTREPRENEURS. NO EMPIRE SOLAR GROUP EMPLOYEE OR REPRESENTATIVE IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A PROMISE TO YOU THAT IS NOT CONTAINED IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT REGARDING COST SAVINGS, TAX BENEFITS OR GOVERNMENT OR UTILITY INCENTIVES. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON ANY PROMISES OR ESTIMATES THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
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