OCALA, Fla. – Homeowners across Central Florida and across the state are having their solar panel systems checked after the solar panel company that installed them went out of business.
Some of those customers were left with unfinished installs and were stuck paying for equipment that didn't even work.
Cyndie Chase, of Apopka, was one of those customers.
Chase said she put Solar panels on her home to increase the value of her home and to save money on her bill. She said she shopped around and picked a company called Sundurance Solar LLC to install the panels and get her switched over.
"I felt that they were reputable," Chase said. "They offered good payment options, better than the other plan I was looking at."
Chase said she signed the contract for the solar panels and was approved for the financing last summer. Since then, she has been making her monthly payments, but the solar system is still not connected.
She said she kept calling the company to come out and finish the job, and kept getting put off and then she learned Sundurance Solar LLC went out of business.
A quick internet search shows Sundurance has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau and a list of complaints and reviews before they closed up shop.
But Chase said she had no idea how bad things really were until the company stopped returning her calls.
Chase said she then called the finance company named on her contract to try to get results. She said they told her they would get another solar panel company to check on the status of the install and see what else needed to be done, but weeks went by with no action.
That's when she called News 6.
Within a week of us calling, the finance company put Chase in touch with All American Solar LLC, of Orange City, to finish the job.
But what they discovered shocked Chase and them even more. Not only was it the wrong equipment, but it was poorly installed and if someone powered up the system, it could have caused a major fire hazard.
"The inverter wasn't the right inverter that the homeowner purchased based of the agreement," said Brandon Bing with All American Solar. "There's been over 14 customers as of late that we are aware of as of right now. And if the list continues to compile, we are just trying to work diligently with the homeowners and come up with an amicable solution."
Bing said they have been all over Florida fixing the mess Sundurance Solar LLC left behind. They warn all homeowners to do their homework before signing on the dotted line and said Sundurance definitely preyed on these customers.
All American Solar is working with Chase to get the correct equipment installed within the next 30 days.
"You know you have a lot of fly-by-night companies," Bing said. "You have these outfits that are coming from different states -- and then you have a lot of individuals that are just doing sleazy unethical sales tactics.
News 6 is continuing their investigation into the principals involved in Sundurance Solar LLC.