Navigating the Solar Industry: Overcoming Sketchy Sales Tactics and Empowering Consumers


The solar industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, with an increasing number of homeowners and businesses choosing clean, renewable energy. However, this growth has also led to a rise in sketchy sales tactics and disreputable sales reps. In order to really understand how this can occur to a consumer one must first understand how many different players are usually involved in a solar deal.

The Players: Reps, Managers, Installers & Lenders

If you’ve ever had an encounter with a solar company, chances are you were greeted at the door by a sales rep or you spoke with an appointment-setting representative on the phone (i.e. you followed some online lead-capture ad). Regardless, the goal of these two individuals is the same… schedule an RFP! (request for proposal). Sometimes the person who sets your appointment isn’t the same person who will run your appointment. In this scenario, one person is the “setter” and the other is the “closer”. The goal of each job is all in the name. Above them you have managers and trainers. Managers and trainers are always more knowledgeable and more experienced within the solar industry whereas setters and closers may or may not be. If a manager or trainer is only concerned with getting as many sales as possible without consideration of whether it is even the best fit or a consumer then they will most likely not train their reps to help the customer navigate all the potential cons or pitfalls of going solar. Above them you usually have corporate and they may have their own issues or motives. Perhaps their company is in debt or maybe they have an overly ambitious sales quota they’re trying to hit. Whatever they are prioritizing at the top in terms of company culture and ethic will certainly trickle down to the way solar is presented to you in your home. The last two players are the installers and the lending company. The installers most often are a separate company than the company who sales you the deal. Think of it as three different branches: the sales branch, the installation branch, and the financial branch. Each one passes the baton to the next. Sometimes communication between these branches isn’t so smooth which can also cause some problems for consumers. Some of these issues can be; and installation that takes very long, an installation that doesn’t look as good as it may have on your pretty brochure, an installation that is simply not as good as you may have expected. The last player, the finance company, can also be the cause of some issues with consumers. They are the ones who warranty the solar deal. These warranties are many times referred to as “power production guarantee” or “25 year manufacturer warranty” which basically secures the integrity and production of your solar panels. These guys are also the ones you will have to negotiate and communicate with when selling your home, transferring the loan to another home owner, or trying to remove or transfer your system for whatever reason. Luckily, most companies and salesman are ethical with their customers but it doesn’t hurt to be cognitive of the fact that a potential pitfall can happen at any one of these stages of a solar deal. Fortunately, seasoned solar professionals, like our team, can help you navigate the complexities of solar deals and determine if solar is right for you. If you aren’t quite ready to speak with someone just yet then take advantage of our FREE Solar Calculator to give you a ballpark estimate of just how much you can potentially save and how big of a system you will potentially need for your home.

What to watch for:

Some unscrupulous sales reps and installers in the solar industry resort to high-pressure sales tactics, misrepresent the true costs and benefits of solar installations, and even sign customers up for long-term contracts without their knowledge. These issues can be compounded by inadequate training from managers who prioritize sales figures over consumer education. As a result, customers may be unaware of important aspects of solar deals, such as the need to add the system to their home insurance to protect it from lightning or other “acts of God,” or the potential challenges of selling a home with a solar loan or transferring the loan to a new owner. In order to help you gauge who may or may not be acting in an ethical manner, be weary for salesman who make solar sound like God’s gift from heaven and give short and bold responses to serious questions. For example, if you ask, “What will happen if a severe hurricane damages some or all of my solar panel system?”…be weary of a response like, “Oh that is covered by the company warranties on the panels.” However, if your salesman responds with something like, “Acts of GOD aren’t covered in any of the company warranties. However, we always encourage our customers to talk with their home insurance companies about policies concerning solar panels and whether they can add them to their policy in the event that their roof or system would get damaged. We’ve found that there are some good home insurance companies who wouldn’t mind adding a solar system to their policy for a nominal increase in the monthly premium.”…then you know you’re dealing with the right kind of company. In short, watch for all the normal red flags and try to do as much research of your company ahead of time as possible. Just know that there are companies coming and going all the time so information may be hard to find. But again, if you’d like some guidance in this are feel free to reach out to one of our local consultants. We make sure they aren’t associated with any particular company and test all our consultants rigorously to ensure they know exactly what they’re talking about. Ok, I’d like to talk to someone.


Maintaining trust and transparency is essential for the continued growth and success of the solar industry. We believe that by offering a free solar calculator and promoting ethical practices, we can help ensure that solar energy remains accessible, affordable, and reliable for all. We invite you to explore our resources and let our experienced team guide you through the solar decision-making process.

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