MOORESVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The Ohio Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Mooresville-based solar company Pink Energy/Power Home Solar and is requesting that the company reimburse damaged customers following more than 100 consumer complaints.
In mid-September, Queen City News reported Pink Energy was facing multiple lawsuits and had laid off half their workforce before closing their business completely just last week.
Pink Energy, formerly known as Power Home Solar, said their issues were tied to another company: Generac. Generac manufactures some of the solar parts they install.
Pink Energy CEO Jayson Waller said his company started installing Generac products, like the SnapRS device, in April 2020. The SnapRS is a component of the solar panel circuit that helps the system shut down in case its voltage gets too high.
According to a separate lawsuit against Generac, Pink Energy started noticing that the SnapRS component would overheat and melt in April 2021. In August 2021, they said this issue caused a house fire.
CEO Waller told Queen City News when he alerted Generac about the issue, they told him they had a remote fix. But, he said they later learned that the fix was only temporary and would often shut down the customer’s system, costing them more than they bargained for.
“We went from taking 800 phone calls into our call center a month to over 30,000 in just 60 days,” Waller explained.
Ultimately, the company, with around 20,000 customers, decided to stop installing the Generac component altogether, but not until August 2022, one year after the first home fire.
“Why did it take you so long for you guys to stop installing these products?” asked Queen City News reporter Sydney Heiberger.
“They assured us in several emails and conversations that this is put to bed. ‘Glad that we fixed the problem; the firmware is working great,’” said Waller.
The separate earlier lawsuit claims Generac admitted the SnapRS device had a 41 percent fail rate. At this point, Pink Energy said they had to completely shift gears from selling and installing solar panels to servicing broken ones.
“We’ve replaced 50,000 of these Snaps here to date,” Waller said.
Amanda Cude, one of the Pink Energy employees laid off, said she doesn’t believe the company’s downfall can be entirely blamed on Generac.
“At what point does Pink Energy take responsibility for some of the things that have happened?” asked Heiberger.
Cude said problems at Pink Energy, like accusations of misleading sales tactics, existed before the company’s partnership with Generac.
According to the BBB website, more than 1,100 complaints against Pink Energy were filed in the past three years. At least 13 lawsuits were filed against the company in July and August alone.
Now, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a lawsuit against Pink Energy/Power Home Solar. The lawsuit states, since Jan. 2020, they’ve received more than 100 consumer complaints against Power Home Solar alleging instances 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.
[Power Home Solar] enters into contracts with Ohio consumers for these solar panel systems, which cost tens of thousands of dollars and often result in the consumers having to finance the purchase over the course of several years, with expensive monthly obligations to third party financing companies.
Defendant induced many Ohio consumers to purchase these solar panel systems by using high pressure sales tactics.
Defendant induced many Ohio consumers to purchase these solar panel systems by using false or misleading statments and promises that the consumers would realize impressive savings benefits in future energy costs.Ohio AG Dave Yost | State of Ohio
See the full lawsuit and list of alleged violations below:
The lawsuit requests that Pink Energy/Power Home Solar reimburse all consumers found to have been damaged by the companies ‘unlawful actions,’ and pay civil penalties in the amount of $25,000 for each separate and appropriate violation, among other requests shown above.
This is a developing story.