The concept was simple. A homeowner living in a place with a couple hundred sunny days per year would install solar panels, and life would be a breeze.
That was months ago, and the solar panels remain little more than a roof ornament that cost Arizona homeowner Tim Carson $71,000 to install, according to KNXV-TV.
Carson said he was positive the idea made sense.
“I just wanted to be able to use electricity without paying APS costs,” Carson said, referring to Arizona Public Service, a utility company.
The project would tap into government rebates for solar energy installation, and might even result in a bit of a windfall, he said.
“We’d be selling electricity back to APS,” he said.
But then theory met reality.
A company called Jet Solar adorned Carson’s roof with solar panels in May. But that was only part of what needed to happen. The electric panel at Carson’s house needed to be replaced, and after that an inspection would be needed to ensure it was done right.
Carson said he began asking the company in May when the new panel would be installed. At first, he said, he did not get an answer. When promises began to flow, they were not followed up with action.
“They don’t return messages, they don’t return telephone calls,” he said.
KNXV reporter Joe Ducey went to Jet Solar’s Tempe offices, but the owner refused to talk to him.
As a result of the inaction, Carson is paying about $200 a month in loan payments for a system he cannot use and spent the summer paying high electric bills.
“We’re paying $500, thereabouts, and not getting any benefit from the solar,” he said.
Jet Solar has sent Carson $1,156 to cover loan payments and has said it will make his system operational in October.
“All I want is the job finished and the solar turned on,” Carson said. “I’m not looking for any money back from them.”
The apparent simplicity of solar power has turned into a nightmare for others as well.
Ben Kulia of Hawaii installed solar panels on his roof back in 2018. Since then, he has spent over $50,000 to actually be able to use the panels, without success.
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