Solar Scams Targeting Senior Citizens

Source:  Skilled Roofers.

With so much information in the news regarding solar energy in recent years, many people are interested in using solar panels to save on their utility bills and help protect the environment.

However, many scams claim to offer cheap or free solar panels for residents only to charge them expensive installation fees that they didn’t expect.

How to Know If A Solar Installation Company Is Reliable

Do a little research before signing a contract with any company and don’t buy on impulse. Know what is being installed and how much it will cost. Do the math to see if you’ll come out ahead or not.

Choose a reputable company, as it is better to pay more upfront for quality products and installation than to save now at the cost of your roof later.

Ensure that the company has insurance, licensing, testing certificates, and several references you can contact.

Types of Solar Scams

Door to Door Scams

There are several different types of solar scams that target senior citizens. One of the most popular is a scam where a company comes to the door and offers free solar panels for signing up with their company.

Although there is no initial cost, they require you to agree to monthly charges ranging from $50 to $ 100 every month.

PG&E Scams

Another type of scam is companies that say they can lower your PG&E bill by 20% to 30%. To make this deal, you have to sign a contract.

However, once you sign the contract, you receive a letter from PG&E saying there is no record of your account being open with those charges, and therefore if you do not pay those bills, your power will be shut off.

Excessive Installation Fees

The third type of scam comes from companies who claim to offer cheap solar panels for your home but charge you thousands in installation fees.

Many people are unaware that there is a federal tax credit available for 30% of the cost of solar panels, which helps bring down the price significantly. However, these scam artists hide that information and instead tell you that if you buy their solar panels, they will do all of the paperwork for you and help with the tax credit.

They claim it is too difficult to get the money and want to take care of everything for a fee. Additionally, these companies often use counterfeit equipment or low-grade materials to offer the product at a lower price.

Tips On Avoiding The Solar Scams for The Elderly

Solar scams are on the rise, but there are several easy ways to avoid them. Most of the time, you simply need to know what’s involved in solar energy and how it all works before making any decisions. Follow these tips to get started:

  1. Do your research. Find out about solar energy before you get into anything that may be a scam.
  2. Be wary of companies that offer free solar panels for signing up with them. Although there may be no initial costs, you run the risk of monthly fees if you do not read the fine print in your contract.
  3. Find out about federal tax credits and how they can help reduce the cost of installation in a solar energy system.
  4. Get advice from those who have used solar energy before. They will give you some inside information on whether or not it’s worth it and how much you can expect to pay.
  5. Find out if the company is reputable and has a good track record with customers. You can ask for references as well as look online for reviews. If they are primarily negative, then you might want to steer clear of that company.
  6. Look for hidden fees and know what the contract says before signing anything. If you don’t understand it all, have someone look over it for you.
  7. Make sure websites are secure before sending any personal details or financial information online. Also, avoid giving this kind of information to any company unless you are sure it is secure.
  8. Do some fact-checking and make sure the information they tell you is accurate. If something sounds off, find out more about it before moving forward with anything that might be a scam.

Remember that solar energy can be a great way to save money on your electric bill and help the environment at the same time. Still, it’s important that you know what’s involved in the installation and cost of solar energy before making any decisions.

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