Scoundrels and Scalawags
Have you seen those ads that claim they will install solar on your roof at no cost to you? Are they legit?
Boy, you have to wonder about those claims. However, a friend of my brother’s got one of those systems and seems pretty happy with it. It failed once and they actually came out and serviced it. I will have to get with him find out what the deal is. The most amazing thing is he is on a coop that hates solar! I suspect a big part of this “no cost” plan involves you turning over the tax credit. I wonder if the guy really owns the system. Again, I need to learn the details.
I did hear about one bunch of solar scoundrels, locally. A fellow I know is in poor health and wants to downsize, sell the place, so his widow won’t have much to take care of. The thing is, his substantial solar power system is, um, shall we say, unapproved. Yup, it is bootleg. Guerilla Solar. I can tell you from personal experience that mortgage company inspections are thorough and without mercy. He wanted to hire a pro installer to come out and bring his system up to code.
The installer made a price to come out and inspect. He took a glance and told the sick old man that they’d have to rip out all of the old equipment, the whole works, and start from scratch. No, no, no, this is all first rate equipment, mostly bought from Sun Electronics, and in good working order. A few things like cable type and some rapid shutdown issues would need to be addressed, but that is it. The scoundrel got a senior citizen to pay for a sales call! Beware of scoundrels!
There’s a new program from Duke Power that has me scratching my head. Want solar power without all that upfront expense and clutter on the roof or in the yard? They have just the plan!
For only $8.35 per month, you can buy a block of solar power and they will give you a 4 cent credit for every kwh you use, up to the block size. Typically, for your 8 bucks, you’ll get 2 bucks, or so, in electricity. Who is going to fall for that one, I wonder? Well, it isn’t so bad as that if you can follow through the whole program. They increase your credit 1.5% per year and at year 5 you are about breaking even on your 8 bucks and at year 7 you are starting to make a profit on the whole deal.
I see two caveats to this program. First, if you move in the first 7 years, you have just made a donation to the power company. Second, are they going to follow through or are they going to drop the program in a few years? I get notices from the phone company, ebay, paypal and all kinds of companies notifying me of the “new agreement.” You know, I have drawn up literally hundreds of contracts and under the UCC rules I studied, a contract was a two way agreement that took both sides to modify. Today’s world is fast-moving and sometimes seemingly temporary. What I am saying is that this could be an ok deal if everybody sticks with it. What does the power company get out of this? YOU finance THEIR solar farm!
Better deal for you? Sure bet? Be your own power company. Call Roberto and he’ll get you started.