How I got ripped off by AcroEnergy and Sunrun......... It started after I met one of the Solar companies at WorldFest in Van Nuys on March 2010.
I was told how much money I could save with the Solar panels. So I started doing research and came up with 3 companies. Acroenergy, Solar City and Sungevity. I asked each one of them to design a system that would cover 100% of my needs and save me money at the same time. To make this paragraph very short and continue with the main story Solar City and Sungevity refused to cover 100% of my needs. Only one company AcroEnergy accepted my request and now I know why.
I GOT SCREWED!!!!!!! Because of their shear incompetence they designed and installed the system so inefficiently they had to use extra panels to cover the promissed output but because I am leasing these panels now it costs me more for electricity than without Solar panels.
What they did is install panels all over my house roofs and garage but majority of panels are either facing East or West and only 1/3rd positioned to face South.
The Main Story:
Disclaimer: I saved all of the emails for proof. I was contacted by several reps in the middle of October 2010 but the main rep who I was dealing with was Michael Pizzoli. I received c'mon emails from Acroenergy promissing $1000 as a bonus.
Direct quote from email: "I was also able to get you in a special promotion. Not only is your installation free but we will pay YOU $1000 at installation!! So not only are we saving you money but we are paying you to do it."
Hmmm, later on (not at installation but many months later sometimes after April of 2011) I was given $500 after a huge fight with them. The reason I was given only $500 because I negotiated Zero Escalator, annual increase due to some factors.
Notice the word WE. Later on in the same email I was told by Michael that he is paying it out of his pocket. Yeah, right!!!!! And in the email I got from another rep I was told that it supposed to be $175 and they needed CEO approval for $500.
I was also quoted as a c'mon that my DWP rates will go up 6.5% per year. THE BIG LIE!!!!! I pulled historical rates for the last 20 years and on average it is 2% per year. Also, I was told in the email by Michael that "Generally the Systems OVER Produce" and money goes right to you and in your pocket" Another LIE I found out later!!!! And one more "If you include the 10% City Utility tax that DWP charges we have reduced your bill by 30%!" THE BIGGEST LIE!!!!!
I was also told "If you decide to go Acro we will also pay all your electric bills until your System is installed up to $1000!" After many months of fighting with them I got $400 finally where I supposed to get close to $2000 because it took 9 months and more than one re-installation. But I will come back on that later.
I was also told in the email that it will take about a month to install and turn System ON. It took 9 months!!!!! So finally after all negotiations The System was installed on November 18th but NOT turned ON. Nightmare starts here: Numerous phone calls, emails as high as Doug Samuelson who is General Councel and Executive Vice President. I am talking about 100s of phone calls and all I got is WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!!!!!
I also got excuses that it is all fault of DWP (Department of Water and Power) which turned out to be another LIE. My neighbor after seing all that is going on decided to go with SolarCity and had his System installed and turned ON in 1 Month 2 months before my was turned ON. DWP fault? I don't think so.
They had to rewire the system after the initial installation to a larger gauge of wire, I was also told by the DWP that not all of the permits were paid so that is why where was a delay.
Few of their people came over during those 9 months of waiting to "inspect" and told few different stories why it took so long. Guy by the name Sergei told me that AcroEnegy's records were not computerized and they dropped the ball while putting all of their records in the computer.
Another guy told me that they had a merger with Sunrun but I found out later that it was a partnership. And in one of the emails I got for approval of my $500 promised rebate it was required by the new management so I deduced that they had a change of management.
In any case my wait was 9 months while even according to Michael Pizzoli it supposed to be only 1 month!!!!! Also at the end they had to rewire the installation, change circuit breakers, reinstall main switch twice, install all new gate because my original gate was in the way of the main switch.
The new gate now is in such a position that the edge of it is very close to the crawl space entrance and one of my friends actually fell inside because gate unexpectedly pushed him while he was walking by.
So why this installation is wrong? Only 12 panels positioned South!!!!!! First two pictures.
Everyone who knows about solar also knows that the ultimate positioning is Sun being perpendicular to the panels. I know it is not always possible but in the first picture panels are installed on the North side of the house and tilted South.
Proof that this is WRONG:
The AcroEnergy rep Michael Pizzoli emailed this:
"Your AC rating is 11.2KW. So.. 11.2 x 5 hours in a day x 365 = 20,440 KWH (This is the calculation for Kilo Watt Hours) AC size x 5 Hours in a Day x 365 = KWH"So let's focus on this figure of 11.2KW. It supposed to be for 5 hours per day right? Wrong!!!!!! On Aug 23rd of 2011 (that is the middle of the summer here Sunny, 105 degrees) the day after System was turned on (even before I started all of the complaints about System inefficiency) I emailed Michael Pizzoli that maximum I was getting at the peak hour 9KW (the numbers were like 5.4KW and 3.6KW from the garage) from the house and garage combined. He replied that he will investigate production and get back to me.That was the last email I ever got from him!!!!!!!! So on Feb 25th (very Sunny day) I finally figure it out how to take pictures and proof at the same time that the System is installed Wrong!!!!
The figures I got and I have pictures to prove it were:
My cell phone has the time and date on it.
10am-House 4.6KW Forgot to take a picture of the Garage.
11am- House 5KW Garage 1.7KW Total 6.7KW
12am- House 5.4KW Garage 3KW Total 8.4KW
12:30-House 5.3KW Garage 3KW Total 8.3KW
1pm- House 5.2KW Garage 3KW Total 8.2KW
2pm House 4.5KW Garage 2.6KW Total 7.1KW
3pm House 3.5KW Garage 2.1KW Total 5.6KW
4pm House 1kw Garage 1KW Total 2KW
So as you can see it has never reached calculated 11.2 KW. One might say "Wait a minute, this is in February" But take a look at the house peak numbers in February!!!! 5.4KW just exactly the same as on August 23rd. So time of the year does not make much of the difference really. So my conclusion that 12 South directed panels doing most of the production!!!!!!!!
They could have installed 30 or less panels tilted them ALL to the South and that would be the same as 58 panels installed inefficiently. I am leasing this installation but my lease could have been much, much lower and installation would have been a lot less intense and my house would not look like crap with all of the panels on it.
Basically, they oversold twice as many panels to me to cover promised production with inefficient installation. If they first installed the panels and said here is out production sign a contract I would have never signed it. But it is not how it works!!!!! First you sign the contract and then THEY GOT YOU!!!!! Sunrun says that they have Performance Guaranty!!!! If production is less they will pay the difference.
This Performance Guaranty is nothing more as useless because I am paying for it by not utilizing the full potential of the Solar panels. They could have installed 1000 panels facing North and still give the same Guaranty!!!!
The same neighbor of my got only 12 panels all facing South and paying much less lease per panel. In fact, he told me he pays 1/2 per panel of what I am paying. So I got screwed TWICE. As of right now I am barely breaking even with my energy cost paying to DWP and Sunrun.
But since the installation I cut my energy consumption myself through reducing my computer usage and actually replacing one of them with more efficient one and shutting down at night while before it was on 24 hours. Plus my other computers are going to sleep if not in use after 15 minutes.
I also have fish tanks and I lowered temperature by 2 degrees so heaters don't have to work as hard. I also replaced most lightbulbs with CFLs. I also installed motion sensor on one of my TV so if no one watches it, it turns itself off.
And some other energy facing measures but I be damned if I let Sunrun take credit for it. Yet I am still paying to DWP instead of OVERPRODUCTION I was promised by AcroEnergy rep. Nowhere in my negotiations I ever mentioned that I want to go GREEN without saving money!!!
I am preparing lawsuit against everyone involved and I will update this blog as soon as I find out more. I was told to sue them every year in a small claims court until they get my attention. STAY AWAY FROM THESE TWO COMPANIES IF YOU DON"T WANT TO GET SCREWED!!!!!
The Full Report with pictures is here: