Defending Quality, Safety, Ethics and the Planet
The news last week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that now more than ever we need to accelerate the shift to clean energy. For 19 years, Third Sun Solar has believed the best way to achieve this shift is by providing quality solar installations and using a high integrity consultative approach with prospective customers as they explore their options and investigate how and if solar is right for them. Our success is largely due to following these principles, and we believe that treating our customers with this respectful approach has led to our loyal customer base and helped the solar industry as a movement.
Indeed, our industry already faces many challenges as we are in an uphill battle we work to compete against an entrenched century old fossil fuel industry. With the recent growth and popularity of solar driven by improved technology and more public awareness, we have seen a growing number of national companies (and fly by night contractors) moving into the Ohio market. While we recognize that healthy competition is welcomed and is ultimately beneficial to consumers, we are also very concerned that “a few bad apples” could hamper the progress we have been working toward for almost two decades. Specifically, we have received complaints regarding aggressive sales tactics, deceptive marketing and low quality craftmanship from some of these new entrants.
When installing solar, there are several nuances that are state specific. All our public utilities operate under the guidance of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and they are required to follow specific rules regarding net metering and interconnection policies. These policies differ by state, so it is important to work with an installer familiar with Ohio policies, so the customer can be properly educated and understand their options and the true economics of their investment. Whether it is a lack of knowledge or intentional deceit by these new companies, the result is a misinformed customer and the potential to tarnish the reputation of our budding industry.
As these companies decide to cut corners, play loose with the facts and apply aggressive sales tactics, we receive a wide range of complaints. When working with a solar installer, it is important to ask the following questions:
– How long has the installer been working in your area?
– Does the installer use their own employees or hire subcontractors?
– Does the installer hold an electrical license (and is that electrician in Ohio or some far away state?)
– Are they insured in your state?
– Do their employees receive workers compensation and employee benefits?
– Are they using local weather data or national averages for their production estimates?
– What type of reviews do their customers and employees post online? Check Google Reviews, Better Business Bureau, Indeed, and Solar Reviews.
– Are they willing to provide references that have had their system installed longer than a year longer than five years?
The old saying “under promise and over deliver” should be the moto of a mission-driven company. This will build loyalty with customers and provide a positive reputation on our industry.
At Third Sun Solar, we have worked hard to build a strong, credible clean energy industry in Ohio over the last 19 years and would hate to see this reputation suffer from a few bad actors. Please consider checking out reviews from both customers and employees when selecting an installer. A company who poorly treats their employees, may not have much regard for their customers once the contract is signed. Remember, it is these very employees that will be responsible for the installation of your solar equipment (and the safety and quality of the work, electrical work within your home and the proper weatherproofing of the attachment to the roof).
We believe in this industry, and our planet is need of our services. Let’s not ruin this opportunity to make a lasting impact on our climate by taking short cuts and misleading people who believe in the benefits of solar.
If you would like an expert and honest quote for your home, business, or non-profit please sign up for a free solar estimate.