Solar Scams You Should Know About – Forbes Home – Forbes

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Demand for solar-powered home systems has increased rapidly in the last several years. With that demand comes fierce competition within the solar panel market. Scams, schemes and straight-up fraud abound in the dark underbelly of an otherwise light-filled industry. While there are still many honest and reliable solar panel companies on the market, it can be hard to differentiate the good guys from the rest. Here are red flags to look out for when selecting a solar panel company.

Door-to-Door Sales

Door-to-door sales are innately pushy, and an aggressive salesperson is always a bad sign in business. Door-to-door salespeople are usually trying to make a quick buck and may rush along your decision-making process by making elaborate promises. In the world of solar panels, this may look like a person pressuring you into signing a contract you have not thoroughly reviewed or agreeing to a financing plan that has not been entirely laid out.

When someone is standing in your doorway, it can be hard to say no. Resist the urge to go solar right then and there, and do some research on your own so that you can get your solar power from someone upstanding. We have guides for local installers and companies throughout the U.S.

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Time-Sensitive Deals

Whether it’s door-to-door or online, a forceful salesperson might inform you that a certain deal, like a financing rate or an incentive program, will only remain available for a short period of time (think a matter of days, or even hours). This is generally a sign that the company is eager to pressure you into committing now, possibly without giving you time to review your contract. Steer clear of these solar companies, and take your time to decide what might work best for your household.

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Offering Products From a Single Brand

There is plenty of diversity in the world of solar panels, with ample brands to choose from based on your needs, your price range and the architecture of your home. If a solar panel installation company offers you products from only a single brand, you can assume it has some sort of alliance with that brand. Instead of letting the solar panel company take its cut, explore a wider range of solar panel brands in order to determine what you want for your home.

Claims About Solar Tax Credit

Many solar panel companies will claim to potential customers that the federal solar tax credit will soon be eradicated. As a matter of fact, the federal solar tax credit currently sits at 30% and will remain as such until 2032. The current plan is for the tax credit to drop to 26% in 2033 and again to 22% in 2034, as part of the Federal Inflation Reduction Act.

It’s worth noting that the government will not send you a check in the mail as your solar tax credit. Rather, when you pay your taxes, you can count your solar use as a credit that decreases your federal income tax.

The Inflation Reduction Act was passed in 2022, and you should read about its clauses and specifics if you’re thinking about committing to solar power.

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Emails That Overpromise

We’ve all been sent scammy emailsand they’ll slip through because it looks much more official than it is. Steer clear of any emails, social media posts or pop-ups that boast unlikely amenities and freebies. These might include free solar panels, sales ending imminently and anything else that seems too good to be true.

Free Panels and Equipment

While you are browsing solar power companies, one of them may offer to install a solar panel or solar roof in your home for a small cost or even for free. It’s an intentionally misleading claim. Usually, what the company means is that the installation itself is free, and sometimes that there will be no down payment on the solar equipment on the day of installation itself.

But don’t be surprised if you start getting bills for monthly down payments. The world of solar power can be far shadier than you think.

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