FTC Workshop Will Examine Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in the Rooftop Solar Business #00007

Submission Number:
00007
Commenter:
Debbie Lesko
Organization:
Arizona Senate
State:
Arizona
Initiative Name:
FTC Workshop Will Examine Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in the Rooftop Solar Business
I sponsored AZ Senate Bill 1465 in 2015 and AZ Senate Bill 1417 in 2016 in response to constituent complaints about roof-top solar leases. Both pieces of legislation had bipartisan support and were signed into law. I represent 220,000 people in Arizona including the senior citizen retirement community of Sun City. My constituents have been the target of aggressive advertising by roof-top solar leasing companies. I received a phone call from a couple in their mid-80's that had signed a 20 year solar lease, had to move into assisted living, needed the money from the sale of their home, but couldn't sell their home for over 1 year because of the solar panel lease liability. The marketer had told them the value of their home would increase by $25,000, but the opposite was true...they had to sell their home at a discount. They weren't even allowed to pay off the lease. You can see their video story at: https://www.youtube.com /watch?v=Laxhw37RP_k I helped another senior citizen who was not getting the savings she was promised and when the lease payments, that escalated every year, were combined with the electric bill, she was paying more than she was paying prior to the solar panels being installed. I found that some solar lease companies are basing their estimated savings on high, unrealistic utility rate increase assumptions that have no historic justification. My fellow legislators and I have received numerous complaints. I will mail you copies of the constituent complaints I have received in a separate mailing to help you understand what is happening in Arizona. Roof-top solar can be used as a good option for consumers, but there is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed. I am afraid that overly aggressive, deceptive advertising, especially to senior citizens, will not only hurt consumers, but the industry. Thank you for pursuing a discussion on consumer protection. Sincerely, Arizona Senator Debbie Lesko 602-926-5413 DLesko@azleg.gov