DEL CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s a happy ending in the making for one Del City couple who were stuck with a solar power contract for panels that weren’t even working.
Jim and Cheryl said when a solar salesman knocked on their door months ago, they were promised significant savings, only to wind up with a contract costing much more than they bargained for.
“The cost is [$49,907.52], almost more than we paid for our house, [but we were told] eventually we wouldn’t have an electric bill,” said Cheryl in a previous interview with the station.
“I’ve had people tell me solar panels are good to have [and] here comes Paul Little with Avvio [Solar, but I] would not recommend them for anything,” said Jim.
Months passed, and when KFOR first met the couple in May, the couple said the installation was causing blackouts and other electrical outages in their home.
“The holes? This is where they had it at to begin [with]… Avvio and it’s illegal. They can’t have it that low,” said Jim in an interview Tuesday as he motioned to work that eventually had to be redone by another company.
When KFOR spoke with the original company back in May, the Arizona-based company Avvio sent a technician out to inspect their equipment; the company claimed they’d installed the panels correctly, fulfilling their end of the nearly $50,000 and years-long contract.
Jim said his electric bill continued to rise after the original installation and the installation also failed an important inspection to ensure it met city safety codes.
“I can’t afford to pay on something that’s not working. My electric bill is going up, this is supposed to help it go down,” Jim continued, adding that a neighbor told him to call Channel 4.
After Jim called the station and the first story aired, an Oklahoma solar samaritan stepped in and helped Jim and Cheryl get things back on track.
“I’d been without [working] solar panels for … six months or so [but] News 4 and Astrawatt helped out,” he said, adding that the project manager helped re-install necessary equipment, connect the couple to the right utility technicians and get the project approved.
Jim and Cheryl’s electric bill has also dropped steadily in the last couple of months.
“We’re waiting on the third one to see how much it goes down,” said Jim, with genuine relief on his face.
“I have no way of helping pay them back for what theyve done for us [and] it almost makes me want to cry,” he added.
While solar power or other renewable energy sources may increase cost savings, sometimes it’s hard to recognize a legitimate opportunity from a scam, and there are a number of factors to consider when planning for a home solar electric system, including assessing home energy efficiency, estimating electricity needs and obtaining a range of estimates and bids for projects.