RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Customers of a solar panel company that sparked a 10 On Your Side investigation may see relief from the loan payments they owe on their financed solar panel systems.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jason Miyares asked several loan companies to suspend loan payments and accrual of interest for customers who financed the purchase of solar panels from the company Pink Energy. Miyares joined a coalition of eight other attorneys general in asking Dividend Solar Finance, GoodLeap, Cross Riverbank, Sunlight Financial, and Solar Mosaic to suspend billing.

Pink Energy customers started bringing their complaints to 10 On Your Side earlier this year, claiming sales representatives promised the installed solar panel systems would help reduce – or even eliminate – their electric bills.

Some customers shelled out more than $100,000 for their solar panel systems, most of them financing their purchases through third party companies, only to claim the systems don’t work as promised.

In September, Pink Energy shut down for good and later filed for bankruptcy, leaving many customers feeling like they had no recourse.

“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.

Attorney General Miyares joined attorneys general from Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee in signing the letter.  

View the letter here.  

Ricardo Pistone was one of the customers 10 On Your Side interviewed for our initial investigation into the company.

“When they come into your home to sell you this product, they make it look like they’re the saviors of the electric world,” said Pistone, who signed an $85,000 contract with the company — then known as Power Home Solar — in July 2021.

“Everything they said sounded great. They said my electric bill would go down to $13, $14 a month. It doesn’t work out like that,” Pistone said.

In their letter, the attorneys general explain that many of the complaints received by their offices allege that Pink Energy made “false representations regarding the systems’ capabilities and anticipated electric bill reduction.” 

As a result, consumers “who were led to believe they were making an environmentally friendly and financially prudent decision by purchasing a solar power system from Pink, are now stuck making loan payments for an underperforming or non-functioning solar power system on top of their monthly electric bill.” 

For six months, Pink Energy declined our multiple requests for an interview with the company’s CEO, but on Sept. 7 of this year, Jayson Waller spoke publicly for the first time in a press conference.

Waller acknowledged the increasing customer complaints and blamed what he called “faulty equipment” supplied by their partner, Generac.

“These faulty parts caused the solar panels to not produce the energy they were expected to generate, causing those customer complaints and our sales team to oversell and under deliver,” he said.

Generac provides some Pink Energy customers with a device called snaps, which are designed to shut down power to solar panels if the voltage gets too high. Waller said the faulty snaps didn’t allow the solar panel systems his company was installing to function at their highest level.

He then announced that Pink Energy filed a lawsuit against Generac, claiming the company owes them more than $39 million for invoices related to calls associated with their equipment.

In a written statement, Generac told 10 On Your Side that they “stand by their products” and that “in certain situations, especially when product guidelines have not been followed, as appears to be the case with some Pink Energy installations, customers may have experienced certain issues with the snap r-s 801 or 801-a. “

Still, Waller blamed Generac for customers’ frustrations.

“Our customers have been hurt, our employees have been unfairly judged, and our company’s reputation has been severely damaged,” Waller said.

Immediately after the press conference, Waller also sat down with us for a brief one-on-one interview where he addressed some of the customer complaints in Hampton Roads – including what homeowners have described as aggressive sales tactics.

“We don’t have any sales tactic issues. Our proposals again are spot on we don’t have issues with that. The issues have come back to the Generac problem.”

Waller added that the company has made an effort to monitor its sales – pursuing customers largely over the phone, so the conversations are recorded.

“Everything is recorded so if there’s ever a question it’s like ‘Hey Julie, we understand that you thought it was this, let us send you the video so you know what’s going on,” he said.

You can watch our full interview with Pink Energy CEO Jayson Waller below: