Americans were duped by bad actors in rooftop solar industry

By: Daniel Stevens, The Hill, December 8, 2017

As Congress debates tax reform, which may include provisions to hobble investment in wind and solar power generation, it is critical that when discussing renewable energy, American consumers are not forgotten. Specifically, bad actors in the rooftop solar industry must not be allowed to continue to abuse and mislead customers who are considering spending as much as $20,000 to install solar panels on their homes. 

Consumer watchdog Public Citizen began questioning the arbitration clauses included in rooftop solar contracts. The group warned that solar leasing arrangements pose “significant financial risks for families.” The National Consumer Law Center also weighed in, urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to protect low-income consumers citing, among other things, a dramatic increase in leases for solar panels “and extensive complaints of false claims as to the savings with such panels and the terms of the leases.”

Over the last year, my organization, Campaign for Accountability, has filed numerous open records requests at both the federal and state levels, to discover what Americans have told regulatory and consumer advocacy agencies about their rooftop solar panels. After reviewing myriad consumer complaints, there are some things Congress, regulatory agencies and state attorneys general across the nation should consider:

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