By Attorney General Dana Nessel
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of eight other attorneys general, led by Kentucky Attorney General Cameron, in sending a letter to Dividend Solar Finance, GoodLeap, Cross River Bank, Sunlight Financial, and Solar Mosaic urging these solar lending companies to suspend loan payments and the accrual of interest for customers who financed the purchase of a solar power system from Pink Energy, and have not received a working solar power system. The attorneys general also ask the lenders to assist Pink Energy customers who are experiencing other functionality and installation issues. “Consumers who financed solar power systems from Pink energy did so with the desire to move away from a dependence on fossil fuels and make a financially prudent decision at the same time,” Nessel said. “But these consumers, many of whom reside in Michigan, received substandard systems and have not realized the energy cost savings that were promised.
Now that the company is under investigation and has declared bankruptcy, many customers are left with little or no recourse. I stand firmly with my colleagues in asking the solar lending companies that provided the financing through Pink Energy to suspend loan payment obligations and interest for affected customers until the investigations are complete.” On October 7, Pink Energy filed for bankruptcy. The solar company, also known as Power Home Solar, is currently being investigated by the same coalition of attorneys general for suspected violations of the respective states’ consumer protection laws. In their letter, the attorneys general explain that many of the complaints received by their offices allege that Pink Energy made “false representations regarding the systems’ capabilities and anticipated electric bill reduction.” As a result, consumers “who were led to believe they were making an environmentally friendly and financially prudent decision by purchasing a solar power system from Pink, are now stuck making loan payments for an underperforming or non-functioning solar power system on top of their monthly electric bill.”
The coalition also notes that consumers have alleged that Pink Energy misrepresented eligibility for state or federal tax credits that could be used to satisfy the loan agreements with these solar lenders, leaving many consumers in a precarious financial position. The attorneys general write, “For many consumers, not receiving the promised tax credits has left them unable to make the necessary lump sum payment required to keep your company, or an affiliated lender, from substantially increasing their monthly loan payment. These consumers relied on Pink’s representations regarding the tax credits in deciding that they could afford the terms of their loan, and the increased monthly payments are beyond what their budgets could handle – especially when the solar power system is not functioning properly (or at all).” AG Nessel joined the letter led by Kentucky Attorney General Cameron along with attorneys general from Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The letter can be viewed here.