I-Team: Calls for accountability in solar industry
RIVIERA BEACH, Fl. (CBS12) — Thanks to better technology, big tax credits and the push to "go green," there's never been so much interest in residential solar power.
Florida, with its abundant sunshine, has one of the fastest growing solar markets in the nation, according to industry experts.
But there's also a long list of complaints against solar companies, and accusations of deceptive sales practices.
The CBS12 News I-Team has been documenting the complaints and investigations into one particular company, Vision Solar, for months.
We've heard from dozens of customers who say the company deployed deceptive sales tactics and failed to take out permits for their installations. In several cases, the company did not connect their solar panels to the power grid, leaving customers paying for panels that did not work.
The company has previously blamed rapid expansion for customer service issues, claimed that any deceptive employees have been terminated, and said it is working to resolve connectivity problems.
Vision Solar has been sued by the Connecticut Attorney General, is under investigation by the Florida Attorney General, and is the subject of a national class action lawsuit.
According to industry insiders, it's not just Vision Solar that's the subject of these kinds of complaints.
Mike Antheil, founder of Sailfish Solar, said the problem of deceptive, door knocking solar salespeople has become so pervasive, he needs to speak out about it.
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