Solar Nerd articles about: Consumer Protection

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Trinity Solar logo
Trinity Solar Power reviews (and complaints)
According to Solar Power World, Trinity Solar is the second largest residential solar installer in the United States, having installed over 83 megawatts of solar last year. (Note that this doesn’t include Sunrun, which is the largest but doesn’t participate in Solar Power World’s rankings.) They operate in nine states and are known for doing door-to-door sales and telemarketing, so there’s a good chance that you’ve received one of their pitches to install solar on your home.
Titan Solar logo
Titan Solar Power: The complete review and consumer guide
Titan Solar Power is among the very largest solar installers in the United States. According to Solar Power World, they are ranked #1 in the nation for residential solar installation by kilowatts installed. This list is little misleading however, because it excludes Sunrun, which doesn’t report its numbers to Solar Power World. Nonetheless, Titan is a huge company that operates in 11 states. If you’re shopping around to find an installer for your home solar project, there’s a very good chance that you’ll come across Titan.
Freedom Forever Solar logo
Freedom Forever Solar: The complete review and consumer guide
Freedom Forever is a relatively new company on the solar installation scene, but it has grown very quickly, reaching 6th place on the Solar Power World list of residential solar installers. In the most recent year, Freedom Forever installed 92 megawatts of solar. The company operates in most of the major solar markets in the US and employs over 1,700 people. If you’re looking for a solar installer for your home, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across their name.
Illustration of a person cutting a contract
Stuck in a long solar lease contract? Here's what you can do.
As more people realize their disadvantages, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) are shrinking in popularity, dropping from a high of 59% of the market in 2012 to only 37% in 2019. That’s still a sizeable chunk of the market, and some people regret signing these contracts. With 20 year contracts being common, solar leases can tie you up for a very long time. Many consumers sign them without doing adequate research, especially after being solicited by door-to-door or kiosk salespeople.
Sunrun: The complete review and consumer guide
If you live in a city where home solar is popular, like any of the big cities in southern California or the Bay Area, you’ve probably heard about Sunrun. Maybe you’ve seen their blue vans rolling around town, or had their sales people knock on your door. Sunrun is the largest home solar installer in the US by a wide margin: they currently have about 14% of the US market. Not only that, but they recently acquired Vivint Solar, adding another 6% market share to their total.
Petersen-Dean logo
Petersen-Dean goes bankrupt: what this means for consumers
Petersen-Dean, a roofing and solar company founded in 1984 that operated in nine states, went bankrupt in 2020, leaving many of its customers in limbo. The company operated in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas. They started as a roofing company, then began offering solar installations, especially in California where solar installations are required on some new homes. While the COVID pandemic was perhaps the straw to break its back, the company was apparently in poor financial health for some time.
Door-to-door solar sales: don't get scammed!
How to avoid being scammed when a solar salesperson knocks on your door (7 tips)
With the exploding popularity of rooftop solar, competition among solar installers to capture as much of that market is intense. If you live in one of the hot markets for rooftop solar such as California, Hawaii, the southwest, and some northeast states, there’s a good chance you’ve heard your doorbell ring and found a solar salesperson at your door, ready to pitch you on the benefits of rooftop solar. It’s one thing to buy Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints!
Fraud alert
5 types of solar installer scams (with real examples)
There are thousands of rooftop solar installers across the United States, and most of them are honest companies that do good work. Unfortunately, like any industry, there’s always a few bad apples. There are great plumbers out there, but you could also end up with a company that tries to fix a leak with silly putty. This is why when you hire any type of contractor, whether it’s to install solar panels on your roof or fix a leaky toilet, it’s always a good idea to do a little research so that you can become a better informed consumer.