Pink Energy closes, WBTV answers what customers should do next
Hundreds of customers have filed complaints and lawsuits against the company claiming their solar power systems aren’t delivering what was promised
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A nationally known solar power company announced to employees it was closing its doors last week. Now, hundreds of customers have questions about what to do with their malfunctioning and underperforming solar panels.
WBTV first reported on Pink Energy, formerly known as Power Home Solar, earlier this month, when the Investigates Team uncovered more than 80 complaints filed with the North Carolina Attorney General against the company.
Many customers told WBTV that their solar panels aren’t producing the energy or the savings they were originally promised. Nonetheless, customers still must make monthly payments on loans that were used to buy the systems. In some cases, the loans are upwards of $60,000.
A group of attorneys out of Ohio is making a push for Pink Energy customers and their clients to stop making those payments.
“We’re going to ask the court to put a stop on payments and also to prevent the lending parties from reporting those stop payments to the credit bureaus,” attorney Sean Stewart said.
Robert Tscholl, Sean Stewart and Stacie Roth are representing dozens of clients who are suing Pink Energy and alleging in their lawsuit the company made “false, fraudulent and misleading representations” during the sales process to customers.
“The system itself, the promises, the over promises, and the overpricing is a common theme throughout all of this,” Tscholl said.
Even if the lawsuits are successful there will still be many customers stuck with malfunctioning solar panels.
The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association tells WBTV there are other organizations already stepping up to help Pink Energy customers.
“My first recommendation would be to reach out to one or two other reputable installers within your local area,” Matt Abele with NCSEA said.
Abele said many of customers’ malfunctioning systems might be covered under a manufacturer warranty and other solar power companies are willing to help.
The NCSEA has a helpful consumer guide for homeowners considering a solar purchase. They also have a list of companies that signed onto their solar code of conduct, which requires high standards in the practice of sales, advertising and installing solar power systems.
“Customers can feel confident that the installers that they’re reaching out to are going to be reputable installers that are doing what they’re saying they’re going to do and installing systems,” Abele said.
“I think just because there’s a few instances of what we would call industry bad actors does not mean the entire industry is like that. There are a lot of really, really good reputable installers out there.”
WBTV visited the Pink Energy office in Mooresville last Friday and tried speaking with company President Steve Murphy. Murphy did not answer any of WBTV’s questions.
In previous interviews and statements, the company has blamed the problems with the panels on the company supplying the batteries for the projects. Pink Energy even filed a lawsuit against their supplier.
A previous WBTV Investigation showed that customer complaints against Pink Energy predate their arrangement with the battery company and that some customers that don’t even have a battery storage system are experiencing problems with their systems.
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