We’ve seen it again and again in New Mexico: Solar companies that came in from other states, then picked up shop and left, leaving customers high and dry. While we know that businesses shut their doors often and for many reasons, we’ve heard horror stories about homeowners who need repairs to equipment or even need to have the panels removed, but are left out in the cold by a solar company that not only closed unexpectedly, but also didn’t leave a forwarding address.
As a long-time solar expert, providing solar service to Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, and elsewhere in New Mexico, we know these issues can greatly affect how people feel about solar energy. We’ve devised a few steps to help you out if your solar installer has closed without giving you a heads up.
Determine who owns what
A lot of predatory companies have swept through New Mexico with promises of solar power for people who may not have qualified for it. One way these companies were able to offer solar panels in these instances was through leasing, which meant that the solar company owned the panels and the homeowner leased from the solar company. Unfortunately, this means that the homeowner doesn’t have much control over what happens to the panels.
While there are honest companies providing this service, there has been a fair share of dishonest companies when it comes to lease agreements. To make matters worse, many of these solar companies sell the rights to the leases to other financing agencies, including banks or even collection agencies. There may even be a clause deep down in the 26-page contract that says they’re allowed to do this without telling you. If the contractor goes out of business you are now having to deal with whoever they sold the lease too in order to accomplish something as simple as a roof repair.
Get in touch with the solar panel manufacturer
If you do own your solar panels, you are in a better position to have your troubles addressed than a person who is leasing them. Unfortunately, if your solar provider closes down unexpectedly, it may mean that they’ve voided some of the promised warranties, so you may still be out of luck if something goes wrong.
However, the warranty for the solar panels themselves should have been provided by the solar panel manufacturer. We recommend getting in touch with your solar panel producer directly if you haven’t already to ensure that they will provide repairs on the solar panels or replace malfunctioning ones as necessary.
Find a reliable solar contractor
You are definitely going to want to have a reliable local construction company on speed dial for when something does go wrong with the equipment that your solar panels are mounted on. While you may have a warranty with the solar panel manufacturer to fall back on, once your solar installer has left town, you’re going to need someone to handle issues with the mounting, electrical wiring, or even leaks in your roof. The sooner you can establish a relationship with a reliable contractor company, the sooner you can look forward to having your issues taken care of.
Many solar construction companies in New Mexico are roofing companies or electricians who decided to add solar equipment to their capabilities when the solar craze started. While they may be excellent contractors, because they don’t focus on solar, they may not have a true understanding of the finer points of installing and maintaining solar equipment and infrastructure. There are just a handful of companies in New Mexico, including SolExergy, that are actually solar-focused construction companies. These expert solar companies know how to mount solar panels in a way that won’t damage your roof or cause leaks, so it’s best to start working with them in the first place if you can. But if you didn’t, there’s no time like the present to start.
The fact is, there are many companies taking advantage of the popularity of solar energy in New Mexico to take customers for a ride and then leave town without telling anyone. At SolExergy, we are committed to providing quality solar for all of our customers, from Rio Rancho to Albuquerque, from Tijeras to Las Cruces, and won’t shy away from cleaning up someone else’s mess. If you need help with solar equipment because your installer has left you high and dry, get in touch.