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Arizona AG warns of residential solar scams

PHOENIX — The Arizona Attorney General’s office is warning that some residential solar panel systems might not always be the ray of sunshine consumers are looking for.

Attorney General Tom Horne said Friday that intense competition between solar companies has lead some of them into bad business techniques.

For consumers looking to spend the initial investment in solar with the expectation of future savings, Horne said there are some red flags to consumers should be aware of such as over the phone or high-pressure sales techniques.

“Solar is a wonderful new technology but there’s a lot of scamming going on in the selling of solar power,” Horne said. “Especially be aware of people who solicit by telephone and high-pressure sales like if they say you have to decide by today or tomorrow … high pressure is an indication of a scam.”

Horne said high pressure can often push consumers into buying system that might not deliver on promised savings and could end up costing them more than what they were paying without solar.

“That’s one of the complaints is they promise savings that (the consumer doesn’t) in fact experience,” he said.

Horne recommends getting multiple, itemized quotes as well as doing research on companies.

“Check with the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Better Business Bureau, the Registrar of Contractors and avoid the companies that have a lot of complaints against them,” he said.

Horne said his office is investigating some of the companies they have received complaints about but could not disclose any business names.