A New Tool for Consumers to Understand Solar Investments

A New Tool for Consumers to Understand Solar Investments

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is attempting to simplify residential solar investments for homebuyers.

It said in a press release that it’s introducing standardized disclosure statements that cover the most common residential transactions. The SEIA Solar Power Purchase Agreement Disclosure statement and the revised SEIA Solar Lease Disclosure are meant to be simple summary documents that make it easier for consumers to compare solar offers from competitors and understand the terms of a proposal before entering an agreement.

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“These disclosure forms are a big step forward toward creating a marketplace of consumers who are fully informed and educated in choosing solar,” says Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president.

The disclosure forms are short documents that residential solar companies can provide (through builders) to consumers that summarize the key terms of any proposed solar installation. The goal is to allow consumers to better compare offers from competing solar companies and to ask the right questions. The forms are designed to summarize the transaction in short form similar to how a HUD-1 form reflects key terms of a home sale in a few pages.

SEIA has released the disclosure forms as the Federal Trade Commission prepares to hold a workshop to discuss consumer protection in the solar industry. During the FTC Workshop, SEIA will highlight these efforts and will explain how these tools work with existing state and federal consumer protection laws.

In February, SEIA released its first version of the SEIA Residential Lease Disclosure form. Today’s full release incorporates feedback from across the industry to make sure consumers are informed on costs, performance, warranty, policy implications and other significant components of the transaction.

Both forms require solar companies to disclose to consumers whether they agree to abide by the SEIA Solar Business Code and Complaint Resolution process.

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About The Author

Andrea Medeiros is editor-in-chief, multimedia director and content developer at TecHome Builder. She is a former TV news reporter turned home technology guru and is using her broadcast journalism skills to help our team deliver complicated, tech-focused content in a conversational way. She has a decade of experience in the editorial realm—interviewing, writing and editing stories as well as shooting, editing and producing video content. She is most interested in covering interoperability among smart devices.

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