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No Such Thing as Free Lunch or Free Solar


If you’re thinking about solar there’s something important you should know. It should be obvious, but just in case: there is no such thing as Free Solar.


Getting solar — or a battery -- installed on your house is not cheap and certainly not free. These projects are significant construction and electrical improvements. No company will install solar or a battery for free. I guarantee it.


The Romans had a term for it: Caveat Emptor. Let The Buyer Beware.


Unfortunately, disreputable companies still advertise Free Solar. I see these ads on the internet every day. Many states, including California, have laws against this type of false advertising. Nevertheless, these deceptive sales tactics persist. 


The U.S. Department of Energy advises people to watch out for “too good to be true” offers. Beware of hard-sell attempts to collect your personal data in exchange for a free solar or battery quote. Make sure the contractor you select has the proper installation and sales licenses. If you find yourself a victim of a Free Solar scam, your best option is to contact your state’s Contractor Licensing Board or Consumer Protection Department.


Homeowners are even more vulnerable now that electric rates continue to skyrocket. My advice is to be patient, get educated about solar and battery technology, and get references from experienced local installers. These local companies are most likely to design a customized system, install reliable equipment, and provide the necessary service over the lifetime of your system.


For more about the persistent and probably painful pretense of Free Solar, please tune into this week’s Energy Show.


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