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Woman upset after paying for solar panels she can’t use

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - In Scottsville, KY, Kathy Gramm takes pride in her 28 acres of land, her boarding business with seven horses, and the three horses she owns.

“I like the openness and the spaciousness and the economics,” Gramm said.

To cut down on expenses, she invested in solar panels.

“The 10 panels that are here are for the energy for my house, for my barn and for my trailer,” Gramm said.

But step a little closer to her house and you’ll notice a lock on her meters.

“Right here and right here. These are locked out. I cannot use them, Gramm said.

For over a year, Gramm has been going back and forth with Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation. They put a lock on her solar panels.

“They are saying that I need to have a $1 million liability policy, of which I do have on the farm, and that I also needed to have Tri-County Electric as a payee on my personal liability,” Gramm said.

Tri-County Electric denied a request from News4 for an interview.

Paul Thompson, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Tri-County, sent a statement to News 4.

“Tri-County Electric is a member-owned electric cooperative. We support our members who wish to install solar and have more than 20 members with active systems. Our Board police is structured to protect both the member installing the system and the general membership. Ms. Gramm’s solar installation has been inspected and is ready to be connected. The only issue prohibiting her utilization of the system is her insurance coverage. Our Board Policy, which she has been provided, requires the person installing a solar system to name the cooperative as an additional insured on her liability policy. This can be achieved at no additional cost to the member. Being named an additional insured protects the remaining 53,000-plus members of Tri-County Electric from liability should anything fail with Ms. Gramm’s system, resulting in injury or damage to the property of others. Ms. Gramm and all members of Tri-County Electric who wish to install solar are provided this information upon their initial conversation with us regarding the process.

“Unfortunately, many of our member-owners are being misled by untrustworthy solar sales representatives. Please see the attached information we have posted on our website and have advertised in local newspapers throughout our service territory. We will be happy to connect Ms. Gramm’s system if she will simply complete the requirements by providing us the liability insurance naming Tri-County Electric as an additional insured.”

“They don’t pay for my policy. Why should I have them on it,” Gramm said.

Gramm also said she did sign an original interconnect agreement without that requirement, but Tri-County came back with a different one several months later.

“I did everything that was on that interconnect agreement at that time. Mr. Thompson canceled it and they drew up a new one as of March,” Gramm said.

Meanwhile, the money Gramm said she paid for the solar panels is going to waste.

“$32,000 and change, and I can’t use them,” Gramm said.


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