Middle Tennesseans paying for solar panels that don’t work

A Tennessee based solar energy company is getting the attention of several state attorneys general after many customers complain about defective panels.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 5:01 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - WSMV 4 has uncovered hundreds more Tennesseans are left paying hefty bills for expensive solar panel systems that are not working. Last year, we highlighted issues with the now-closed solar company Pink Energy. We have learned another Tennessee-based solar energy company is getting the attention of multiple state attorneys general.

Solar Titan has an F-rating on the Better Business Bureau. Customers are complaining about defective panels and not being able to get ahold of anyone to fix them.

Matt Webb of Lebanon is always looking for ways to save money.

“I am 68-years-old, if you don’t mind me saying,” Webb said. “I am not trying to gain additional bills.”

Webb thought installing a $30,000 solar panel system would mean one less bill to worry about, his electric bill. That’s what he said the Knoxville-based company Solar Titan promised him.

“It looked like it was a pretty good idea except for they just lied to us,” Webb said.

Webb claimed the solar panels on his home don’t work. Now, he is paying $255 a month on financing for them. That is on top of the $150 he is still paying for his electric bill. “Very, very angry,” Webb said. “I am trying to pay things off and get out of debt. This really blindsided us.”

WSMV 4 contacted Solar Titan and had our sister station, WVLT, go to their Knoxville headquarters to get answers. The building was empty with a “for lease” sign. Neighboring businesses said it shut down in sometime in January. Customers can’t get ahold of them. “I am just kind of left out here in a lurch,” Webb said.

Attorneys general offices in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia are all now investigating Solar Titan. There are more than 260 complaints and counting in just Kentucky and Tennessee alone. “It has just been a mess from day one,” Webb said.

It is a mess that customers with Pink Energy know all too well. WSMV 4 Investigates uncovered similar issues with that solar energy company last year. In November, nine state attorneys general, including Tennessee, asked lenders to halt bills for Pink Energy customers while they investigated.

“We are optimistic that there may be some opportunity there to get money back to consumers that could be used to offset some of these loans,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said at the time.

When asked if a similar request was going to be made involving Solar Titan, we were told “we will not offer hypotheticals about what action could be taken.” It leaves customers like Webb hanging. “It appears the solar thing is not all that it is cracked up to be,” Webb said.

WSMV 4 asked the AG’s Office what people stuck paying for these bad solar systems can do. A spokesperson told us “Rest assured, our Consumer Protection team reviews each complaint that comes into our office. They are tracking any patterns of behavior that may arise.” The spokesperson also said they would not “deter customers from seeking their own counsel if they believe they are a victim.”

A federal judge granted Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Solar Titan USA on Wednesday. You can file complaints here.