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Watch out for “Solar Panel Scammers”

Atty Gen. Aaron Ford

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford warns Nevadans of government imposter scams occurring in the solar industry. The Office of the Nevada Attorney General has received information that a solar company, calling itself the Nevada Department of Clean Energy, is falsely holding themselves out to be a government-affiliated entity. They are using this name to falsely convince consumers that their business and services are being performed on behalf of the state, county or city. Nevadans should be assured that the State of Nevada does not have an agency named the Nevada Department of Clean Energy.

In a recently reported scam, solar sales representatives may provide a company name that appears to be connected with the state government to gain access to a resident’s home. Once inside, the scammers take pictures of the residents’ appliances and energy meters, and aggressively market vague solar products to them. In addition, these scammers disparage other legitimate solar companies in an attempt to persuade the residents to purchase solar from them. Consumers may be more likely to believe these sales representatives because they hold themselves out as employees of official government offices. However, these scammers are simply using the goodwill of the government to mislead the public and gain entry to people’s home and sell them solar.   

“Government imposter scams are prevalent, even in the solar industry,” said AG Ford. “Nevadans, I’m encouraging all of you to be cautious before inviting someone into your home or purchasing any services. If a company or service sounds suspicious, it probably is. Check out some helpful tips from my office to protect yourself from these scams especially as temperature and solar sales increase in the upcoming summer months.” 

In 2020, the Office of the Nevada Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with a solar company that had marketed itself as being connected with Clark County. This company not only used “Clary County” in its name but distributed approximately 10,000 flyers that contained Clark County’s official seal in attempt to sell solar.  

Do not fall victim to this or other similar scams. Instead, our Bureau of Consumer Protection suggests that you consider the following tips:  

A government entity will not go door to door to sell you solar. If a solar sales representative says they are with the government, consider it a red flag;

Always verify the legitimacy of the company that the solar sales representative says he or she is affiliated with. Doing your own research is so important; 

  • Ask for proper verification before letting any sales representative into your home. If you are suspicious of their identity or the sales representative refuses to provide it to you, do not hesitate to ask them to leave;  
  • Contact the Nevada State Contractors Board to confirm you are hiring a solar contractor that is properly licensed in the state of Nevada;  
  • You may record the conversation you have with any solar sales representative or ask them to put their representations in writing for you; and  
  • Remember, you can always consult with an attorney before signing a contract. 

The Office of the Nevada Attorney General welcomes information on scams affecting Nevada citizens. If you have been impacted by a solar scam, including this one, please consider filing a complaint with our office here. 

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