The Bulletin

Miyares asks for freeze on loan payments for Pink Energy projects

By: - November 29, 2022 12:01 am

Attorney General Jason Miyares is introduced in the Senate gallery. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares joined a coalition of states in asking five solar lending companies to freeze loan payments and interest accruals for customers who had solar installed by Pink Energy but haven’t received a working system. 

Pink Energy, which also does business as Power Home Solar, filed for bankruptcy this October in North Carolina.

“Many Virginians were caught off-guard by Pink Energy’s sudden bankruptcy,” Miyares said in a statement. “By joining this coalition, we’re trying to ease the strain on Virginians’ wallets while actively investigating the situation.”

Miyares said his office launched an investigation into the company after receiving complaints from Virginia residents about alleged deceptive business practices. Victoria LaCivita, a spokeswoman for Miyares, said the attorney general’s office received over 100 complaints. Before the investigation was complete, the business filed for bankruptcy. 

In a Nov. 22 letter, the attorneys general — a bipartisan group from Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee — say many of the complaints they received alleged that Pink Energy made “false representations regarding the systems’ capabilities and anticipated electric bill reduction.” 

Consumers were led to believe they were making “environmentally friendly and financially prudent decisions by purchasing a solar power system from Pink” and are now footing loan payments for an underperforming or non-functioning solar power system on top of their monthly electric bills, the attorneys general wrote. 

Predatory residential solar installers could sow mistrust, advocates fear

Additionally, they said the company allegedly misrepresented customers’ eligibility to use state or federal tax credits.

In an interview with WAVY, one customer said he was told his electric bill would decrease around $14 a month. Pink Energy told the station complaints were driven by faulty equipment from Generac, which said issues can arise from not following product guidelines.

The Nov. 22 letter asks the lending companies, which include Dividend Solar Finance, GoodLeap, Cross Riverbank, Sunlight Financial, and Solar Mosaic, to suspend consumers’ payment obligations “until an investigation into the individual consumers’ complaints can be completed” among other assistance. 

Some solar advocates have voiced concern about a rise in predatory solar installers in Virginia following the loosening of residential solar laws in 2020. Other states have implemented consumer protections targeted at solar customers, including a Renewable Energy Bill of Rights that requires purchase agreement disclosures.

GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX

SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Charlie Paullin
Charlie Paullin

Charles Paullin covers energy and environment for the Mercury. He previously worked for Northern Virginia Daily in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and for the New Britain Herald in central Connecticut. An Alexandria native, Charles graduated from the University of Hartford initially wanting to cover sports. He's received several Virginia Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, local government and state politics. Catch him in nature experiencing all the outdoors has to offer, and contact him at [email protected]

MORE FROM AUTHOR