Solar Myth #4: Solar is a Scam

Sabrina Lopez
March 5, 2019
5 min read

On the fourth and final week of our Solar Myth Busters series, we examine how some solar companies use misleading offers and incentives to lure customers. These misleading hooks can sometimes result in a "bait and switch" scenario, ultimately giving our whole industry a bad reputation. Today, we're going to share a few tricks to help you spot the bad players and avoid a bad solar experience before it ever has a chance to take root. 

Below, we discuss how a few bad players can give an entire industry a poor reputation. Still, research and watch for a few common tricks. You can easily find a reputable and qualified solar installer who values honest and long-term relationships above quick profits. 

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Solar is a scam, and all solar companies are dishonest.  


Every industry has scammers, including solar, and with the ever-changing landscape of solar incentives at both local and national levels, there are plenty of places for the dishonest to hide. But the truth is that plenty of talented and passionate solar installers are working hard to help people save money while ensuring a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for everyone. Millions of happy customers across the country have aligned with these "good guys" and are reaping the benefits of clean solar energy every day.  

The trick is knowing how to separate the good and bad guys. Fortunately, we've been around a while and have watched many so-called "solar experts" come and go. We know their tricks and are happy to share tips to help you avoid a solar scam artist. So, let's get started!

Beware the "too good to be true" offers.

Even with the best research, getting pulled into a discussion with a "solar expert" using misleading headlines or offers is easy. We've all seen these ads that seem too good to be true:

"Maricopa County Approves $0-down Solar!"

"APS Will Pay You to Go Solar!"

"Click to See if You Qualify for a Special City of Phoenix Solar Offer!"

Sadly, more often than not, these are deceptive ads that should be taken with a heavy dose of skepticism. Sometimes, they're phishing scams designed to capture your contact data. More common are the "bait and switch" financing scams, where the people who push these misleading ads are counting on the public's unfamiliarity with actual solar incentives to peddle their financing package or lease.

If you want to learn about approved solar incentives, we recommend first finding a reputable solar installer. Resources like the Better Business Bureau, Registrar of Contractors, and customer review sites like, Angie's List, and Yelp are great resources.


Learn if your support team is part of the same company.

It's a common practice that many "solar experts" are just salespeople who are subcontracted to operate as a separate, independent sales force to drive leads. In other words, the people you buy your solar energy system from might be someone other than the people who will ultimately install or service it long-term. This approach is most common with "door-knockers" and canvassing teams.

Be sure to find out if the people you're giving your money to are the same people who will be installing and servicing your system. After all, solar panels will operate for many decades, so you are beginning a relationship that will last for a very long time. Ask a few questions, like: 

1. Are you an employee of the company who will install and service my system?

2. Does your company do your installations, or is that subcontracted? Who is the subcontractor?   

3. Does your company operate a service division I can call if I have issues? 

Not all subcontractors are bad—in fact, some are quite good. The point is to find out who is "behind the curtain" to ensure you're getting involved with a reputable team with a good reputation and resources to help if something goes wrong.

Avoid high-pressure pitches and take your time.

It's important to remember that going solar involves many variables. From the various panel and battery options to incentive programs, financing options, and the best utility plans, it's important to be informed to avoid scams. To vet it all, you'll need to put your trust in honest people with nothing to hide and resources to deploy on your behalf. Know who you're dealing with, do your research, dig deep, and choose wisely.  

If you've been considering switching to solar, now is the time to act! With the 26% solar tax credit decreasing again at the end of this year, going solar now will ensure the biggest and fastest return on your solar investment. Contact us today to start your solar project and lock in this lucrative solar incentive before it's gone.

Other parts in our Myth Busters series: