Two well-known solar companies are currently subject to investigation procedures by the Securities and Education commission.
The two businesses in question are Solar City and SunRun and the details of the investigation as we understand them are relating to their disclosure about Customers who took out a contract which was then subsequently cancelled afterwards according to an article recently published in the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-probes-solar-companies-over-disclosure-of-customer-cancellations-1493803801.
How Serious Is This Investigation
The reason that is makes such a difference, and one worthy of such serious action is due to the fact that cancellations can affect the overall health of businesses financially any inaccuracies in reporting such data as this would be considered to be fraudulent. There has also been a surge in complaints from customers who are stating that they are being told by pushy sales reps they can cancel and also that people didn’t realise that they were entering into an agreement in the first place.
The above issues have been present in both businesses, and it is rumoured that the figures have been quite alarming, with an insider revealing that almost half of customers who signed up had cancelled before the panels had been installed. Specifically, Sunrun had high cancellation rates of around 40% earlier this year when it was checked. It has been stated that this is due to the sales tactics and purchases that are made at a big-box store or on a customer’s doorstep where pressure selling can take place, and people are made to feel like they have to say yes.
Although on the one hand, it is good to see that the SEC are taking the appropriate measures to ensure our Industry remains regulated and fair to both the businesses who operate within it and also the Customers who are looking to buy solar power in the Bay Area. How far it can go to knowing exactly what sales people do on a daily basis VS what customers are saying they do is unknown for now.