HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Attorneys General in North Carolina and Virginia are currently investigating Pink Energy, the solar panel company formerly known as Power Home Solar.
After 10 On Your Side aired our own investigation into the company, we heard from more homeowners complaining about the now-defunct solar panel provider.
Most of those complaints were in regard to the system’s production, and some customers we spoke with said the company did damage to their homes during the installation process.
“I went to SERE school where they treat you like a POW, I went to boot camp, I was aircrew so I flew in helicopters. That wasn’t as stressful as this,” said Shane Cassidy.
Cassidy signed a contract with Power Home Solar – the company now known as Pink Energy – last December. Since then, he has dealt with several issues with the company, including poor construction which did damage to his roof and bedroom ceiling.
Before Pink Energy suddenly shut down in September, WAVY sat down for an interview with company CEO Jayson Waller and asked him specifically about the problems Cassidy told us about.
“To find quality people is tough, and we put them through vigorous training,” Waller said. “I wish everybody was perfect, but you get bad apples. You get bad priests, you get bad teachers, you get bad installers. All we can do is hear from consumers and all we can do is fix it.”
Cassidy is one of many customers 10 On Your Side spoke with during our reporting on the company. All of them told us their solar panels did not work as advertised.
“We’ve experienced a flood of customer complaints,” Waller admitted.
In response to those complaints, Waller announced that he was suing Pink Energy partner Generac, claiming their “faulty parts” were causing many of the homeowner issues with the solar panel systems.
Generac denies this and tells 10 On Your Side in a statement that if the parts aren’t working, it’s likely because Pink Energy did not install them correctly. During that same announcement, Waller alluded to what might come next.
“If this ends up putting us out of business, and it may – I hope it doesn’t – but it may,” he said.
On Sept. 21, Pink Energy put a statement on its website announcing its closure due to “consumer discontent resulting from faulty Generac solar equipment,” adding that the company “exhausted all avenues to find a way forward.”
Three weeks after that, Cassidy and other customers got a letter in the mail, informing them that the company is filing for bankruptcy. Now, customers tell us they have a different problem.
“I have a very serious concern right now. I’m paying more than I thought I would be paying for my electric. But who do I reach out to for a professional?”
The Pink Energy website tells customers with issues to contact Generac. But not all customers have Generac systems, plus Cassidy tells 10 On Your Side he’s been told he’d have to pay an additional service free to get help from Generac.
10 On Your Side contacted the Attorneys General in North Carolina and Virginia. Each confirmed via email they have received an influx of complaints about Pink Energy and are in the early stages of investigating the company.
As of Dec. 1, the North Carolina Attorney General’s office tells us they have 535 complaints, and the Virginia Attorney General’s office says they have received 126 complaints about the company.
Last week, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares joined North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and seven other attorneys general in asking loan companies to suspend loan payments and accrual of interest for customers who financed the purchase of solar panels from the company Pink Energy.
In a letter, the attorneys general asked finance companies Dividend Solar Finance, GoodLeap, Cross Riverbank, Sunlight Financial, and Solar Mosaic to suspend billing.
Customers experiencing problems with the company can reach out to their state’s attorney general.
“Many Virginians were caught off-guard by Pink Energy’s sudden bankruptcy. As a result, affected consumers are stuck paying loans on ineffective or unusable solar panels in addition to their electric bill. By joining this coalition, we’re trying to ease the strain on Virginians’ wallets while actively investigating the situation,” Miyares said.
Victoria LaCivita, the Communications Director for Miyares, provided us this statement and guidance for those experiencing problems:
Our Office is looking into the acts and practices of Power Home Solar, LLC (also doing business as Pink Energy) in Virginia to determine whether any consumer protection laws we enforce have been violated, and we are aware Power Home has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the Western District of North Carolina. We will alert the public if we take public action and in the meantime, Virginia customers of Power Home Solar are encouraged to reach out to our Office if they have complaints about the business. Furthermore, the bankruptcy trustee for Power Home Solar is Jimmy R. Summerlin and he can be contacted at 828-322-4663 and email@example.com should consumers be inclined to contact him regarding their ongoing obligations to Power Home Solar.
We are also aware of situations where other businesses, such as contractors or attorneys, may be contacting customers of Power Home Solar and offering assistance services relating to their Power Home Solar agreements or other obligations.
We recommend that consumers thoroughly research any such business or attorney before entering into any agreements or paying any money. This includes verifying licensure and disciplinary history with the State Bar (in the case of attorneys) https://www.vsb.org/attorney/attSearch.asp?S=D, licensure and complaint history with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) (in the case of contractors) https://www.dpor.virginia.gov/LicenseLookup/, and checking complaint history through other online sources, such as our Office https://www.oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/complaint/search/ and the Better Business Bureau https://www.bbb.org/us/va].