Florida Solar One Unveils Another Solar Panel System Scam in Florida
Florida Solar One Uncovers Yet Another Solar Panel System Scam in South Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Fort Lauderdale-based solar construction company, Florida Solar One, has yet again uncovered a solar panel system scammed customer. Florida Solar One is stepping into the spotlight to help customers figure out what to look for in a contractor, what are some red flags, what gives away a scammer, and many more points meant to address the proper selection of honest lenders, contractors, and individuals. The latest victim we have come across is a retired lady who retired person who was blatantly lied to conned into signing a contract to install a solar panel system that is not beneficial to her whatsoever.
Here is the breakdown of the deal. A customer hired a local contracting company to repair a leaky solar thermal system. A company did the job and convinced her to go fully solar and eliminate her FPL bill. This FPL monthly bill would then be substituted with the loan payment, which would be set to be lower than the monthly electric bill. This will all be possible after they get a big, fat 30% of the job’s value check in the mail soon after the project is completed.
Now, are you ready for the REAL breakdown? The homeowner had an average FPL bill of $300. She is retired and has no tax burden (hence, no need for a tax credit). A solar panel system that would work just fine for her would cost, at a moderate price, would be around $40,000. Instead, this company convinced her that it costs $83,000 to make her bill go away and get a rebate, not even a tax credit...a rebate, of $25,0000. They also told her that it would be no money down and the payments would be amortized over 10 years. They somehow convinced this lady that, to eliminate her FPL bill of $300, she would have to take a loan that would have a monthly payment of $633. WHAT?!
The company that signed the deal is a bank. A bank cannot sign a construction CONTRACT without being a licensed CONTRACTor. This company subcontracted a local installer to act as the licensed contractor and to provide the labor and equipment. The installer does the job as fast as he can with as little craftsmanship as possible. The contractor installs a system that is never going to be approved by the inspectors or the building department; it violates all the building codes, standards, and gets rejected inspection after inspection. The system is so poorly installed that all the panels must come off and be reinstalled. Well, now our little, old lady is stuck with a roof that has 150 holes in it. The contractor technically finished the job and got paid for it. Whether the system gets approved or not is not his problem. The company can just go bankrupt and open under a different name the next day.
So, what happens now? The customer has a solar panel system that she cannot use because it will never be approved, and FPL will not allow her to connect to the grid. The contractor has no obligation to complete the work, and since the bank paid him already, he has no financial burden tied up to the project. The bank can see that the project was installed on the home, and even though it was not approved, the project was complete and finished, so they will start collecting on that loan. What about the client who got scammed? She now must pay the $633 loan monthly payment and STILL has to pay FPL.
What is the takeaway from all of this? The answer is simple: read the contract and make sure you choose a good, honest solar contractor (grounded by solar panel training) that will look out for you. There are many solar panel system scammers in South Florida, and more and more often, we are getting calls from customers who feel like they got lied to and taken advantage of.
About Florida Solar One: Florida Solar One started in 2008 in the Florida Keys and moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2010. They can be reached at 954-236-4599 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also visited at 1024 NE 43rd Ct, Oakland Park, FL 33334.