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Question DetailsAsked on 1/19/2016

Solar Contract - Purchase - Cancel before install.

I'm in NV and had a contract to purchased a solar system. The system has not been install yet and been about 120 days. With all the new ruling by the NV PUC. The net meter rate are now different since I signed up. I contacted the company to cancelled the install. They told me that it 40% of the contact to cancel. About 12k. Have anyone else cancelled a solar purchase? I know they done some work. Like apply for the net metering and design project. But 40% sound crazy.

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1 Answer


What does the contract say about a cencellation fee - plus regardless of the contract, if it got into court the judge would look at what was reasonable, which if they only processed the utility paperwork would certainly not be 40%.

You may also have an out based on the regulatory chages - you may be able to claim "force majeure" meaning matters beyond your control prevent you from or make continuing the contract financially unacceptable. Force Majeure is more commonly used by vendors/ contractors to say they cannot complete the job (or at least on time, say due to severe weather) but does apply to clients too in some cases.

Regulatory/law changes after the signing of a contract can also sometimes be successfully claimed as the basis for terminating or repricing a contract.

If they screwed up (from their viewpoint) and guaranteed you certain reimbursement rates or promised in writing that you would "make money" on the deal or would sell more $A in power to the utility than you paid for or such, if the price changes invalidate that situation that also would be cause to terminate the contract on the grounds that they cannot deliver on their promises - in which case you might get out with zero cost to you (other than any legal and attorney fees you incur). Course, if the had the attorneys put in long hours it might be fairly air-tight in that aspect.

Depending on what company you are dealing with, many residential solar companies are going out of business - if that is the case, especially if warranty or service agreement is part of the contract, you may be able to cancel on the grounds you can reasonably expect that they will not be able to fulfill that part of the deal.

Depending on your contract, if they are pasxt the promised installation or completion date, and it is not "your fault", you may be able to cancel the order and get a full refund because they failed to perform under the contract - this might be an easy way out, if applicable. Again, especially if this is a nationwide company you are dealing with, may need an attorney to bail you out of the contract.

For that $ amount, sounds like you definitely need an attorney - no Angies List category for that, though. There may also be a class action lawsuti going for people like you caught on the short end by the regulatory ruling (though personally I agree with it, the previous "market consumer rate" sellback rate totally ignored the realities of the costs of running a utility.)

BTW - you are not alone - one survey I saw indicated that over 50% of residential solar power were seriously disappointed with the end result, and over 25% felt they had been cheated or scammed or bought a pig in a poke.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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