Reader disagrees with solar scam
As the owner of a company that has made the full transition from roofing contracting to solar contracting with roofing services, I was shocked by the Flashings article, "Scam targets consumers seeking solar roofs," in the November 2012 issue, page 16. To paint with such a broad brush and imply there is a scam taking place without pointing to even one specific example is irresponsible.
The article states the upfront investment is the equivalent of paying for 30 to 40 years of electricity in advance as though this is a matter of fact. This is just not true. More than 90 percent of homeowners who choose solar have no upfront investment because they are going through third-party financing, which provides power through a power purchase agreement or lease program (which, incidentally, can yield savings to the homeowner in excess of $20,000 during the life of the agreement).
The article goes on to state contractors (implying they are solar companies) are signing up customers, taking deposits and leaving town with the money. The rest of the paragraph lumps them in with the entire group of home improvement contractors to support the position. This is just not happening.
More than 40 percent of the article is dedicated to the promotion of Roof Integrated Solar Energy™ (RISE™) and the Certified Solar Roofing Professional™ (CSRP™) certification.
Using the concept that there is a solar roofing scam taking place as a springboard to promote these programs does not sit well with me.
Kelcy Pegler Sr.
Roof Diagnostics Inc.
Professional Roofing responds: Thank you for your letter. The information we published came to us from the October 2012 Consumer Reports magazine article, "Protect yourself from the latest scams." It is not uncommon for consumers to be victims of fly-by-night contractors. NRCA consistently advises consumers to be wary of contractors whose prices are too good to be true, who don't have a permanent place of business, who have no proof of insurance, etc. Such contractors contribute to a negative view of the roofing industry. The article was merely reminding readers similar scams can take place in the solar marketa segment becoming more populated by roofing professionals. Aligning with NRCA and RISE, as well as achieving the CSRP designation, will help professional contractors elevate their image and that of the industry.