Ohio Attorney General files lawsuit against Pink Energy/Power Home Solar, wants company to reimburse damaged customers
The complaint alleges Pink Energy misled customers and provided shoddy work on solar panels installation
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Less than a week after the company announced it was shutting down, solar panel installer and seller Pink Energy is facing a new legal challenge from the Ohio Attorney General. The complaint alleges Pink Energy, named as Power Home Solar in the complaint, used deceptive and unconscionable tactics in order to convince Ohio consumers to buy solar panel systems and performed shoddy and substandard work installing them.
The complaint from the Ohio AG requests that a judge issue a permanent injunction against Pink Energy and its officers to prevent them from selling and installing solar panels in the future. It also seeks an order requiring Pink Energy to “reimburse all consumers found to have been damaged” by Pink’s “unlawful actions.”
The WBTV Investigates Team previously reported on hundreds of consumer complaints and lawsuits filed against Pink Energy, formerly known as Power Home Solar. The company was founded by current CEO Jayson Waller and is based out of Mooresville, N.C.
In dozens of complaints filed with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, Pink Energy customers claimed their solar panels were under-delivering compared to the promises made by the Pink sales team. In fact, customers alleged they saw little savings on their power bill and were actually paying more when factoring in the monthly payments on the loans that financed the solar panel purchases.
“Now that I have a system and still paying on it, it’s not really saving me any money,” Brian Greene told WBTV.
The new legal filing against Pink Energy makes the same allegation, saying “customers “are also now paying large monthly payments for the financing of their solar panel system.”
WBTV has copies of contracts from customers showing loans upwards of $80,000 and costing anywhere from $200 to $300 per month.
“I still have $300 per month power bills. That’s what I was trying to avoid,” Alexander Peets said.
In its complaint, the Ohio AG also claims it has received more than 100 consumer complaints against Power Home Solar (Pink Energy) alleging instances of aggressive sales tactics, misrepresentations of cost savings, and a host of installation and warranty issues.
Peets told WBTV that contractors at his house trying to fix the installation problems with his panels told him the wiring was so poor he’s lucky it didn’t burn his house down.
Almost all of the complaints reviewed by WBTV are from customers claiming they aren’t realizing any savings.
“Defendant induced many Ohio consumers to purchase these solar panel systems by using false or misleading statements and promises that the consumers would realize impressive savings benefits in future energy costs,” the Ohio AG’s complaint claims.
In an interview with WBTV earlier this month, Pink Energy CEO Jayson Waller claimed his company was fixing the problems alleged by customers.
“Have we had knucklehead sales reps, do their own thing? And we’ve terminated those that we found,” Pink Energy CEO Jayson Waller told WBTV in an interview.
Waller also claimed the issues with panels underdelivering were because of a malfunctioning battery that was supplied by another company for the solar panel projects. Pink Energy filed a lawsuit against that company.
A little more than a week later, Pink Energy sent an email to employees announcing it was closing its doors.
Federal court dockets don’t show any record of the company filing for bankruptcy.
WBTV reached out to a spokesperson for Pink Energy about the new complaint from the Ohio Attorney General but we have not received a response by publication of this report.
Last week, WBTV tried asking Pink Energy President Steve Murphy about the complaints plaguing the company. He did not answer any of our questions.
The North Carolina Attorney General has not announced an investigation or elevation of the standard complaint process regarding Pink Energy. The Missouri Attorney General announced they filed an investigative demand against Pink Energy in March but hasn’t commented on any significant movement in the case since.
WBTV also started finding out answers for customers about what options are available to them now that Pink Energy claims it’s closing.
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 the 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.
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