KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee’s Attorney General is joining other seven other states in asking for five different solar power lending companies to stop asking for payments from customers who are still waiting for work to be done.
Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined the coalition of eight attorneys general, led by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, in sending a letter to Dividend Solar Finance, GoodLeap, Riverbank, Sunlight Financial, and Solar Mosaic. This letter urges the companies to suspend loan payments and the accrual of interest for customers who purchased a solar power system from Pink Energy and have not received a working solar power system. The AGs are also asking the companies to help Pink Energy customers experiencing issues with their systems.
“This office is committed to protecting Tennessee consumers from unlawful and illegitimate business practices,” General Skrmetti said. “Companies that cheat customers through false representations should and will be held accountable. I’m proud of our Consumer Protection team’s diligence in investigating this matter.”
WATE”s Don Dare has spotlighted issues with Pink Energy. In October, he met a Maryville man who was looking for answers after Pink Energy workers did not finish installing his new solar panels. Later that month, he spoke with an Anderson County couple who was seeking answers after the company declared bankruptcy. A former employee also shared with WATE that the company closed without warning, leaving hundreds of workers and thousands of customers stranded.
In the letter, the AGs explained many of the complaints received by their offices allege Pink Energy made “false representations regarding the systems’ capabilities and anticipated electric bill reduction.”
The coalition adds that there are allegations Pink Energy misrepresented consumers’ potential eligibility for tax credits. However, as the AG outline in the letter, “For many consumers, not receiving the promised tax credits has left them unable to make the necessary lump sum payment required to keep your company, or an affiliated lender, from substantially increasing their monthly loan payment. These consumers relied on Pink Energy’s representations regarding the tax credits in deciding that they could afford the terms of their loan, and the increased monthly payments are beyond what their budgets could handle – especially when the solar power system is not functioning properly (or at all).”
Skrmetti joined attorneys general from Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia in sending the letter. In addition, attorney generals in Ohio and Missouri are also investigating or taking action against Pink Energy.