Redmond couple say door-to-door solar panel co. scammed them; company responds, BBB has advice to avoid issues
(Update: New information)
Editor's note: NewsChannel 21 has reviewed additional information in regards to the claims made in the original article, including the documents provided to the Loopers, and have revised it to reflect that information.
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- NewsChannel 21 looked into complaints from a Redmond couple about solar panels installed by Horizon PWR.
Penny and Duane Looper say they are stuck with a $322 monthly bill for solar panels which have yet to be turned on. The couple believes it's not safe for them to be activated.
The Loopers claim they were not told their roof needed to be replaced prior to the installation of the panels in November of 2022. They also claim they were told the panels would qualify them for a rebate of thousands of dollars.
The Loopers say a Horizon PWR salesperson knocked on their door several times. "They came here and told us all the stuff, and we believed what they said," Penny Looper said. "They said they do a roof inspection, and then told us there's a $23,000 rebate to spend how we wanted to. But there is no rebate."
The contract signed by Penny Looper last Nov. 14 states, "The developer and representatives can not be held liable for decisions made by the owner in regards to a tax credit." It also advises homeowners to seek professional tax advice.
NewsChannel 21 talked with two representatives from Horizon PWR, Revenue Manager Brianna Hendricks and Director of Field Operations Preston Burt. As a follow-up, they sent a phone voice recording, saying it shows they adequately explained a possible tax credit to the Loopers.
"As far as the tax credit goes, we can't guarantee the tax credit, because everyone has a different tax situation," Hendricks said they told the couple. "We're not tax professionals at the office so we do recommend you speak with a CPA."
The Loopers became concerned about the roof after the panels were installed and independently contacted two different roofing companies.
NewsChannel 21 reviewed paperwork from the companies, which both conclude the roof should have been replaced before the panels were installed by Horizon PWR.
One company noted the roof had been leaking and there were signs of extensive water damage.
"We found out a few days later that they didn't do a very good roof inspection, and we have leaking in two bedrooms, and we need a new roof," Penny Looper said. "They said we don't have any more life left on our roof."
Horizon PWR's Brianna Hendricks responded to the concerns, saying, "We perform site audits that are conducted to make sure there was no damage done to the roof, so that we know of any damage that was done to the roof, so it's not pinned on us and we're aware of the roof status. Our crew says the roof was definitely okay for solar."
The contract from Horizon PWR signed by Penny Looper notes "the developer shall take great care to ensure the owners' roof is left in a leak free condition and will warranty the condition for 20 years."
NewsChannel 21 took the Loopers' concerns to the Better Business Bureau, which lists Horizon PWR with an F rating.
"The F rating is due specifically to the fact that this business did not address the disputes forwarded by the BBB quickly and in good faith," said Dale Dixon, BBB's chief innovation officer. "We also noted that there was a total of 42 complaints filed against this business.”
The BBB offers this advice for door-to-door sales.
"Be sure the person is properly licensed to be selling door to door, Dixon said. "We always recommend you start with BBB.org and look at the business profile."
Dixon said if you're still having trouble, you can reach out to a state regulator to step in and file a complaint. The Oregon Department of Justice which works to help consumers with complaints and prevent fraud, has an online form and a phone hotline for the public to report issues.