Solar Panel Renewable Energy Certificate Investigation
Migliaccio and Rathod LLP is investigating claims that involve consumers who leased solar panels through a power purchase agreement. Many consumers choose to purchase or lease solar panels with the goal of being more environmentally friendly. In many states, using rooftop solar panels will earn the user a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), which notes how much clean electricity is produced from the solar panel. But when panels are leased or installed under a power purchase agreement, a third-party owner (not the homeowner) receives the REC.
These RECs can then be sold to other companies. Often, the company that leased the solar panel trades the homeowner’s RECs to other companies, allowing them to take credit for the homeowner’s environmentally-friendly energy usage, and relabel their coal or gas-fired power usage as “renewable energy.” To be clear, it is not necessarily wrong to install solar panels in one location and let someone in another location take credit for doing so; however, when one person uses solar panels and the RECs are sold to another company, both cannot use the solar panels to characterize their energy use as “renewable.” That would be double counting, and deceptive.
Many consumers choose to purchase or lease solar panels specifically for the purposes of using renewable energy and reducing their carbon footprint. These motivating factors are of key importance when deciding whether to use solar panels. When solar leasing companies, then, omit the fact that they sell the REC obtained from the consumer so that other companies can characterize their dirty power usage as “renewable,” this omission is deceptive and unlawful.
Have you leased a solar panel through a power purchase agreement?
If you have leased solar panels through a power purchase agreement through a third-party owner (such as an independent contractor), please contact us. Complete the form on this page or give us a call at (202) 470-3520.
Attorneys Committed to Consumer Protection
The attorneys at Migliaccio & Rathod have significant experience in representing consumers in class action cases against large corporations, including cases involving unfair & deceptive trade practices. More information about our current cases and investigations is available through our blog.