On Your Side Investigation: Bankrupt solar company leaves customers in the dark
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A bankrupt solar company has left thousands of customers across the country in the dark.
Homeowners are stuck with expensive systems that they say do not work. After months of getting nowhere, a Springfield couple reached out to On Your Side.
“There are so many things that went wrong,” said Amy Clark.
Amy and Damian Clark invested in solar with the goal to eventually live debt free.
“I own my house. I own my power. The only thing I don’t own is water. That was the plan so we could retire at a decent age,” said Damian Clark.
They hired Power Home Solar. Now known as Pink Energy. Their system was installed earlier this year and worked, but not for long.
“Why is it producing so little? And then it started producing less during the spring and summer than what it was showing in January and February. It didn’t make sense,” said Amy Clark.
The Clarks say a salesperson told them their trees are not a big deal. They must make monthly payments for their nearly $65,000 system or it will impact their credit.
“I’ve spent more than one night not being able to get that out of my head. This was the worst financial decision I have made in my entire life. And I’ve made a few bad ones,” said Damian Clark.
Now they pay double.
“We’ve had a $350 utility bill and a $300 solar payment,” he said.
They’re still within the five-year warranty.
The Clarks along with dozens of other customers in the Show-Me State filed a complaint with the Attorney General. So far, no response from Pink Energy.
Last month, Pink Energy closed and filed for bankruptcy. It owes $100 to 500 million.
It owes lenders, like $80 million to Chase, taxes in several states and supply companies.
This power problem goes beyond Missouri. There customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia and in North Carolina, where Pink Energy is based. They share the same complaints.
On Your Side asked Pink Energy CEO, Jayson Waller, for an interview. We never heard back. Before his company filed for bankruptcy, he agreed to an interview with our sister station WBTV in North Carolina.
“Generac is the problem here. Generac is the one who mislead us. I’d like to call it the Generac scandal,” said Waller.
Generac is the battery storage system. Pink Energy is suing Generac. It claims there’s a defect with Snap RS connections. Court documents read Pink Energy has more than nineteen thousand customers with the Generac product. Half report problems. Pink Energy billed Generac $39 million in service calls. Generac has not paid.
“We are urging everybody to help force Generac to a national recall. If they did that, we would have a heck of a lot less complaints and not a big story to write about,” said Waller.
Generac tells On Your Side, not so fast. It blames installers from Pink Energy.
A company rep told On Your Side in an email: In certain situations, especially when product installation guidelines have not been followed, as appears to be the case with some Pink Energy installations, customers may have experienced certain issues.
The same claim is made in a lawsuit recently filed by the Missouri Attorney General. The Missouri Attorney General wants restitution for customers and for Pink Energy to pay penalties. Court documents read Pink Energy installers are ‘often incompetent and do not know how to actually install the system’.
“Have we had knucklehead sales reps say the wrong thing? Yes. And we terminated those that we found. I’m saying if it’s a performance issue, with it performing after installation, it’s on Generac,” said Waller.
“It seems like they are notorious for blaming everyone but themselves,” said Amy Clark.
The Generac rep told On Your Side they will perform warranty services now that Pink Energy will no longer be providing this service to its customers.
Damian Clark called to setup an appointment.
“She said if we can’t find someone local, we’ll put you on our waiting list. She said there’s fifteen hundred names in front of yours.”
Customers with questions about the Generac components of their solar systems can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-396-1281 for assistance.
If you are interested in solar for your home or business, it’s a good idea to see if the company is a member of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association. They require members to practice by a code of ethics which says they will be: Consistent with fair business practices, members of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association pledge to: Provide products and services in the customer’s best interest. Be responsive to customer complaints and suggestions. Present honestly the capabilities, performance, and energy-savings potential of solar systems, products, repairs or modifications. Perform product servicing and repairs in a professional manner. Offer reasonable, clear, and understandable warranties on products and services. Promptly respond to and fulfill justifiable warranty claims. Advertise on bona fide prices for products and services. Sell products and services without reflecting unfairly on the products and services of competitors. Design, repair, install or modify equipment in a manner that complies with applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations. Provide solar energy products, systems, and services that meet high standards of quality and performance.
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