Ohio AG sues solar company over ‘shoddy work’ and ‘aggressive sales tactics’
Employees of Pink Energy, formerly PowerHome Solar, say the business suddenly shut down last week.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina-based solar energy company after more than 100 customers complained to the state about issues ranging from shoddy and substandard work to high pressure sales tactics.
Pink Energy, formerly known as PowerHome Solar, faces allegations of “aggressive sales tactics, misrepresentations of cost savings after installation of the solar panel systems, warranty issues, poor construction and installation, and customer service issues.”
Attorney General Dave Yost is suing the company for multiple violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act.
Since January 2020, at least 124 consumer complaints against the company have been filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
19 Investigates has learned the lawsuit filed Monday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas is not the only legal action Pink Energy is currently facing.
In July, Sara and Sean McConville of Streetsboro sued the company in federal court. Their case is one of 13 federal lawsuits filed in Ohio against Pink Energy.
The McConvilles, who paid just about $48,000 to have solar panels installed on their home, claim that representations made by the company were “false, fraudulent, misleading, scientifically inaccurate and scientifically impossible to obtain.”
“We’re going to ask the court to put on stop payments and also to prevent the lending parties from reporting those stop payments to the credit bureaus,” said Sean Stewart, an attorney representing the couple.
The lawsuit also asks for damages.
The number of complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney Generals Office continues to grow, as there have now been at least 76 complaints made to the state this year and 18 just this month.
19 Investigates read through the list of complaints and found they varied but ultimately come back to the same issue: the solar panels do not produce anywhere near the amount of power that was promised.
The CEO of Pink Energy, Jayson Waller, has heard the complaints and has blamed a part manufactured by Generac Equipment for the malfunctioning solar panels.
Pink Energy is currently suing Generac in federal court for faulty equipment Waller said led to the solar company’s loss of revenue and increased complaints.
But many of the complaints about Pink Energy predate the use of Generac Equipment, and the scope of the complaints is much larger than just failing systems.
“I would say, look, we are not perfect. I am not here to put all blame on every Pink Energy issue on Generac. I am first to tell you, we have installation issues, we have sales issues, we’ve had customer service issues,” Waller said.
Shortly after Waller made those comments, he sent a letter to employees explaining the company was going out of business due to declining sales.
19 News went to a Pink Energy office in Valley View to see if it was open, but the front door was locked.
The Ohio Attorney General is asking the court for an injunction to keep the company from operating in the state, and for damages to consumers.
Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.
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