CLAYTON, N.C. — A North Carolina-based solar energy company promised that its customers would save big on their electric bill, then sold them pricey solar panels that didn’t work, customers told WRAL’s 5 On Your Side.
Phillip Harris, from Clayton, installed Pink Energy solar panels a year ago. He said he’s making payments on his $39,000 solar system and still has a regular Duke Energy power bill to pay.
“This was supposed to be a guaranteed investment and it wasn’t,” he said.
Pink Energy, formally known as PowerHome Solar, told Harris that his solar panels would produce enough electricity to reduce his power bill by 96%. But right now, only six of his 18 panels work.
“I figured it was going to be better [and] help my payments,” Harris said.
Nine people have complained to WRAL’s 5 On Your Side about the same energy company over the past three months.
Jayson Walker, Pink Energy CEO and co-founder, said the problem is a faulty component made by a third-party.
Pink Energy receives one of their parts, called the SnapRS, from the manufacturing company Generac.
“If we don’t make the part, we can’t fix a part that keeps failing,” Waller said.
Waller wants the SnapRS from Generac recalled.
“If the government gets involved in a recall, those customers will be reimbursed in full,” he said.
However, in a statement to WRAL’s 5 On Your Side, a Generac spokesperson Tami Kou blames Pink Energy installers for the malfunctioning part.
“We are aware of instances where Pink Energy failed to install products in compliance with NEC (National Electrical Code) guidance, as required by our installation instructions,” she said.
Waller said his company warranties installation of the systems for 10 years, but problems with individual parts are warrantied by the manufacturer. He says that’s why Pink Energy is directing all SnapRS warranty repair claims to Generac.
Kou said that process has slowed down their ability to address customer complaints.
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