Alarming Reports of Troubling Sales Practices
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have sent a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE) expressing their concerns over the numerous consumer complaints against solar company Sunnova. The letter highlights troubling sales practices, including allegations of pressuring elderly homeowners in poor health to sign long-term contracts costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Reports Cite Maintenance Delays and Predatory Sales Strategies
The letter to the DOE also references interviews with individuals who struggled to deal with large contracts that their elderly parents signed shortly before passing away. State consumer complaints have also alleged maintenance delays and predatory sales strategies. While the reports mentioned in the letter focus on specific incidents, the lawmakers emphasize that these incidents are not isolated.
Past Issues and Better Business Bureau Alert
This is not the first time Sunnova has faced scrutiny. The Better Business Bureau issued an alert earlier this year, giving Sunnova an “F rating” due to deceptive sales practices, poor customer service, and repair technicians failing to arrive on schedule. Consumers have reported that their issues were only resolved after filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
Previous Accusations and Allegations
In 2019, a report accused Sunnova of misleading consumers on costs, contract length, and potential savings. The report claimed that Sunnova’s practices during the contracting process did not meet the obligations that power companies have. Additionally, Sunnova faced 436 complaints in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Scamming Vulnerable Consumers
Last month, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Sunnova had allegedly scammed vulnerable consumers, including the elderly and sick. Door-to-door salesmen reportedly persuaded individuals to sign 25-year solar panel leases, leading to accusations of exploitation.
Sunnova’s Response and Financial Troubles
A Sunnova spokesperson defended the company, stating that all customers, regardless of age, go through a validation process and that Sunnova is committed to resolving any issues that may arise. However, Sunnova’s stock price has plummeted in recent years, and the company has experienced significant financial losses.
Lawmakers Seek DOE’s Attention
Lawmakers are urging the DOE to take action in light of these consumer complaints and allegations against Sunnova. They emphasize the need to protect vulnerable consumers and ensure fair and transparent practices within the solar industry.
The DOE and Sunnova have not responded to requests for comment at this time.