Solar panels have become a popular choice for homeowners across Florida and businesses alike, providing a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of energy. However, as with any emerging industry, there are scams designed to exploit unsuspecting consumers. Here are the most common solar panel scams and how to avoid them.
Unscrupulous Sales Tactics
One of the most common scams is the use of high-pressure sales tactics. Sales representatives may use a variety of tricks, such as offering limited-time discounts or scare tactics, to convince you to purchase the spot. They may also falsely claim that the offer is only available for a limited time or that there is a shortage of FL solar panels.
To avoid this scam, take your time to research the company and its products, and never feel pressured to make a purchase immediately. You can also ask for references and check them to see if the company has a history of using these tactics.
Solar Panel Scams Include Overpriced Equipment
Another common scam is swapping out high-efficiency solar panels for cheaper versions made overseas. Homeowners assume they are getting the best solar panels and never think to check the products that arrive. Using low-quality solar panels allows solar companies to overprice jobs and increase profit.
Avoid this solar panel scam by researching the per-watt cost of solar panels in your area. This will give you a good idea of the average cost of solar panels and help you avoid paying more than you need to.
The installation of solar panels is a critical aspect of their performance. A shoddy installation can reduce efficiency and damage your home or business. Unfortunately, some companies will cut corners on the installation process to save money, putting your investment at risk.
There are two ways this could happen: through a poorly designed system or by choosing a solar installer that lacks roofing experience.
National solar companies use high-pressure marketing to get a lot of customers, forcing them to work quickly on estimates. To save time, they will use cookie-cutter solar designs that are not specific to the energy needs of each home. Unfortunately, designing a solar energy system is not a “one size fits all” process. This approach leads to homes lacking enough panels to meet energy needs and solar panels placed on roof slopes that don’t get enough sunlight. A poorly designed system will almost never lower monthly energy costs.
A lack of roofing experience can also lead to improper installation. Installing home solar panels requires drilling holes into the roof to secure the mounting brackets. Contractors without roof experience often don’t take the time to properly seal and protect these areas, which leads to roof leaks. The only way to fix a roof leak when installing solar panels is to remove and reinstall them. Avoid this high and unforeseen cost by choosing a solar energy company with a valid roofing license.
Choose a reputable and experienced solar installer and speak to past customers to avoid this scam. You should also only work with a company that has a labor warranty and inspect your home after installation.
Fly-By-Night Companies Or Solar Installers
Fly-by-night installers are unlicensed or unqualified individuals or companies who offer installation services at low prices. This is one of the most common solar panel scams in Florida. They may use inferior equipment, perform subpar installations, or simply take your money and run. To avoid this scam, do your research and only work with a licensed, local solar company with a proven track record of quality installations.
Finally, some companies may sell inferior solar panels that are not up to industry standards. As a result, these panels may not function as well as they should or break down more quickly, resulting in a waste of money.
To avoid solar panel scams, thoroughly research the company you choose and ask for references and certifications. You should also look for panels certified by recognized organizations, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Protecting Your Investment
Solar panels are an excellent investment and can lead to significant lifetime savings. However, if you are ready to make the switch, you must be aware of all Florida solar panel scams. Follow these tips to prevent falling victim to solar panel scams and protect your investment.
Have questions about solar panels? Get help from our local experts by calling (904) 595-6835 or sending us a message online. Raze Solar offers solar panel installation services to Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and all areas in between. View our services to learn more, and follow us on Facebook to see recent projects.