One of the things that sometimes gets a bum rap nowadays is anything solar. How so? Before we answer that question and for the sake of those who are not yet so familiar with it, solar has a whole spectrum of wonderful things to offer if only we properly utilize it. The ability to harness the energy that the sun freely provides is one of the most amazing discoveries humans ever came across.
Through the use of photovoltaic cells that absorb sunlight, we are able to produce electricity without leaving a carbon footprint. How amazing is that? Sadly, unexpected situations occur where some people start to doubt solar power’s value.
Getting scammed is a tough experience for any individual. Being deceived by a person or a certain company to which you gave your full trust, confidence, and hard-earned money is the worst. Solar scams are just a few of the things that some people easily and unfortunately fall for. But is solar really just a scam? How can we tell the difference between a sham and the real deal?
Solar Panel Scams
Have you ever had that awful and annoying experience of getting multiple phone calls or emails from product advertisers or companies saying that you can get a huge discount off of their products if you click “buy now”? Yes, it happens all the time to almost everyone. Do you wonder how you get bombarded with these advertisements when you do not remember calling any sales numbers? It is quite simple.
Remember that harmless website where you unconsciously entered your email address or phone number for “free” daily newsletters? Unknown by many, websites actually use these personal details to gather information such as which products or items you currently look or search for online. This is the same scheme that shady companies use for solar panel scams.
These said companies will try to lure you into purchasing their photovoltaic panel systems for very low prices or cheap installation fees by overwhelming you with countless calls from different phone numbers or spamming you with emails telling you that they are available on limited time offers where you can get incentives from the government if you sign up and use their solar services.
Some may even pose as representatives from the local government to make you believe that these incentives are real. Another scheme that these scammers and spammers use is to include misleading and inaccurate information on solar installation costs. If one is not properly guided and educated on what and how solar-powered systems work, then it could be so easy for these spammers to make you a victim of their solar scam.
Reasons Why People Think Solar Is a Scam
With lots of people now realizing and reaping the benefits of solar energy, companies who manufacture and sell solar panel systems are in for tough competition. The dog-eat-dog industry of solar power systems results in some companies and businesses shredding their products’ prices in half just to make ends meet. Not only that, some even offer really low installation fees. This is when it gets dangerous though because selling products at a cheaper price means that quality may suffer. And this is when people start to think that the whole solar deal is a sham.
One of the reasons many believe that solar panels scams are real is that several shady companies who sell them advertise the names of the biggest brands like LG Solar, JinkoSolar, SunPower Corporation, etc. and offer them with a hefty discount. This sounds great, but wait until you hear that even though the panels and all their components are branded, the installation will be substandard or completed incorrectly, which will result in faulty systems.
Unfortunately, fixing faulty systems can be even more costly than the initial installation. Another reason people think solar is a dodgy business is that some solar panel dealers do not use experienced contractors for installation. Therefore, the result is a total disaster. And they can easily get away with it because the dealers have found a loophole and avoid any after-sale support.
How to Avoid Solar Energy Scams
As they say, if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Salespeople will tell you everything you want to hear just to get that sale. So, in order to avoid dodgy deals and solar scams, one must carefully assess and educate oneself regarding solar functionalities and capabilities to make sure it is something you really want. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you will not become a victim of these scams.
- Reputation and stability are key – Always look for these two qualities when finding potential solar resources and contractors. Research and carefully read customer reviews to make sure the services that these companies provide and deliver will meet or even exceed your expectations.
- Evaluate your electricity needs – If you and your family rely heavily on electricity to live a normal and comfortable life, then you must first check your previous electric utility bills to see if you can really benefit from solar-powered systems in the long run.
- Look at the roof – The overall condition and positioning of your roof plays an integral part in solar panel functioning. Before making any purchase or call for installation, check if your roof is in good condition and is positioned in a way that it gets direct sunlight for the panels to work efficiently. It is good to know that your roof can last just as long as the solar cells that you install.
- Know what financing option works best for you – The three types of solar acquisition are through cash, financing, and lease. These three each have specific requirements and their own advantages and disadvantages. Know what is best for you by evaluating your current income and future goals.
- Find out what the add-ons are – Some companies offer additional technology and services, such as consumption monitoring and energy-saving systems that can help you manage or control your electric usage as well as efficiently store the power that you produce on a daily basis. Then, you can save even more money for the future.
The truth is that not everyone is qualified to carry out solar installations whether this is due to location or financial issues. But that does not mean that every solar panel scam is real. Yes, some people take advantage of the wonderful benefits of solar power to deceive other people into purchasing the products and substandard services they sell, but the claims about the advantages of using solar panels are absolutely realistic.
Going solar can help you save hundreds and thousands of bucks the longer you use it, without ever hurting the environment. So, do not let scammers change your views on the power of solar. Being extra cautious in choosing which company you will trust your hard-earned savings with is all it takes. Do not be easily fooled by huge discounts and “free” installations. Solar energy is completely free, but it takes a lot more effort to acquire it. Remember that the usage of solar power is not just a short-term investment, so always be vigilant and think ahead.