The solar industry is not immune to its fair share of scams. The financial crash of 2007-2008 changed the shape of the global economy and one of the most unwelcome features of the new economy was the spike in the number of internet and telemarketing related scams.
Scammers Exploiting Solar Technology
Well-crafted scams take advantage of trends and other prominent cultural phenomena to catch the attention of their victims and leverage their naivety.
In recent years, solar technology has become less expensive to produce and easier to use.
Those who are aware of this fact may drop their defenses when they are being offered an “incredible deal”. People who are unaware of recent developments in green energy tech may be delighted to learn that solar devices are improving so rapidly, and when they do a quick Google search they will find, to their delight, that the claims of the party making the “amazing offer” are actually true.
Is It The Right Solution For You?
It is a fact that solar power systems can lower your electricity bills, but as with any worthwhile investment, it may not be a great solution for everyone. What’s more, there are a number of factors that can complicate the installation, use, and function of solar power systems. Con artists and scammers will promise that these factors are non-issues. Legitimate vendors, on the other hand, should let the customer know upfront what problems may exist and endeavor to proactively address them before going ahead with any sale or installation.
Are You Waiting For The Right Deal?
People looking to scale back on their energy usage and reduce their utility bills by installing rooftop solar panels and windmills are going to be especially vulnerable to solar scams. With the upfront investment to be made in the necessary solar equipment, it is likely the main reason why many haven’t yet signed up with a solar energy provider or purchased their own panels. They have been waiting for the right solar deal- so when the scammers come along – they are simply too eager to bite.
With real solar power systems, the initial investment is projected to be made up within 30 to 40 years. This is improving, but as it stands, solar energy for home use is a long-term investment. What it is not, is a way to make fast cash, and fast cash is exactly what the scammers are claiming to offer.
Best Case Scenarios?
Potential buyers who are not familiar with the ups and down of solar technology are, unfortunately, more likely to fall for the tricks that double dealers offer. The best scam artists will offer the best case scenarios as reliable or baseline scenarios. Ideal conditions in which solar systems can achieve optimal functionality may be well within the limits of possibility, but they cannot be reasonably expected to hold up on a continual basis.
The most common scenarios that a con artist will paint for their potential victims include:
- Low-ball price schemes
- Exaggerated savings
- Unrealistic energy production
- Denial of conditions not helpful to the technology
Scammers may also invent peculiar economic factors or speak of unusual ordinances and laws that will lead to significant kickbacks for persons who invest in their systems.
All of these promises will be made in the hopes of convincing the scammer’s intended victims to make a large initial investment while, as they say, the offer remains valid.
Be Familiar With High-Pressure Sales
Even in sales situations where the merchant is offering a truly valuable product, the ethics of high-pressure sales techniques are questionable. The virtues of a good product will be self-evident. Anything worth buying should sell itself.
If you find yourself confronted by a sales person using high-pressure sales techniques, be wary. Here is a simplified list of high-pressure sales tricks to help you spot them:
- Word storm: endless jargon-filled chatter
- Emotive language: appeals to pity, ego, or popularity
- Limited-time offers: fools rush in
- Reciprocation: free gifts given up front or ingratiating language
- False familiarity: attempts to gain trust based on interpersonal chemistry
Solar Power’s Benefits Are No Secret
There’s nothing mysterious about the value that a solar power system can bring to those who invest in them. There simply is no good reason to exaggerate the virtues of solar power technology. There are many scams out there, so before you jump right in and make the purchase, speak to local professionals and compare their estimates.
Comparing quotes and discussing your options is a surefire way to pick up on scams and whether you’re being ripped off. Remember, anyone making unbelievable claims is most likely trying to stick you with a bill for a load of solar snake oil.