Don’t Fall for Solar Scams: Protect Yourself with Multiple Bids

Don’t Fall for Solar Scams: Protect Yourself with Multiple Bids

Everywhere you look lately, it seems someone is pitching solar energy. If you spend any time online, it’s likely that you’ve come across advertisements featuring individuals who appear to be a utility company representative claiming that if you have a meter “like this,” you may qualify for free solar power. Or they might warn you that this is your last chance to go solar.

Out-of-state marketing and lead generating companies are responsible for most of the dubious solar ads you see online. Deceptive and high-pressure in-person tactics employed by fly-by-night companies aiming to make a quick profit are also generating complaints to state government, usually because these salespeople make exaggerated promises about incentives and savings on electricity bills.

Now, don’t get me wrong, solar energy is indeed a smart investment for many. Still it is important to be alert for misleading messages or “too good to be true” promises.

Fire Mountain Solar’s Top Solar Consumer Protection Tips

The good news is, there are simple, practical steps you can take to protect yourself from potential swindlers, and ensure you are working with a trustworthy solar installer who will prioritize honesty and deliver a top-quality solar installation.

How to tell the best solar installer in Washington

1.  Always get multiple quotes to ensure you are getting the right sized solar system at fair pricing, including one from Fire Mountain Solar. When comparing bids for projects of similar scope, they should consistently fall within a reasonable range of each other. If this is not the case, request a comparison that clearly demonstrates why. It is important to note that it is not only higher-priced bids that should raise concerns; significantly lower bids may indicate potential shortcuts or compromises in quality.

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2. Your best option is to choose a contractor who has local roots, such as Fire Mountain Solar if you’re in Washington. Local contractors have a vested interest in maintaining their reputation within the community and are more likely to be available for years to come. This is particularly significant when it comes to warranty support. In Washington, the Washington Solar Energy Industries Association (WASEIA) is an excellent resource for finding local contractors who have made a commitment to upholding the highest standards of workmanship and ethics.

3.When screening a potential solar installer, ask them if they are a WASEIA member. If they’re not, ask them why. Wouldn’t any business want to be part of an organization that sets the bar high for ethics and best practices in their industry?

4. Just as you would with any company you are considering doing business with for an important purchase, it is advisable to check their online reviews before making a decision. Pay special attention to reviews from third-party agencies, as they tend to provide a more objective perspective. While no company is perfect and not every negative review may be reasonable, the majority of reviews and how a company responds to negative feedback can give you a good sense of their overall reputation.

5. Ask any Washington solar installer you talk with to tell you about the Solar Consumer Protection Act. If they don’t know anything about it, proceed with caution.

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Fire Mountain Solar – Working to Protect Consumers by Doing Solar Right

Fire Mountain Solar (FMS), is one of Washington’s oldest solar contracting companies, and is dedicated to doing solar right. Since 2001, we have worked to educate Washingtonians about the immense benefits of solar energy. We strive to provide reliable and clear information to prospective customers, enabling them to make informed decisions about investing in solar power. Our objective is to be recognized as an exceptionally reputable and skilled solar contractor that is deeply rooted in our community.

As an example of our commitment, co-owner Alana Nelson was a co-founder of Solar Installers of Washington (SIW), the original solar trade association in the state. Nelson served on the SIW board for more than six years, actively participating in the development of legislation and the establishment of high industry standards. Currently, she holds a position on the board of WASEIA, the successor organization to SIW. Through her efforts, Alana Nelson embodies FMS’s unwavering dedication to providing outstanding solar solutions and exceptional customer service.

When you choose Fire Mountain Solar, you can be fully confident in our integrity and expertise.