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Report: #1478354

Complaint Review: south atlantic energy llc - hastings FLORIDA

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: bob — FL United States
  • south atlantic energy llc 4230 benedict st hastings, FLORIDA United States

south atlantic energy llc misleading sales hastings FLORIDA

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I recently attended in Florida a sales presentation by South Atlantic Energy LLC. The purported “energy savings” products this company was selling included solar attic fans, radiant aluminum attic insulation, air conditioner coolant additives and water heater blankets.  The sales pitch unfortunately lacked clarity as to the science based evidence behind most of these products (there isn’t much) and the actual overall cost savings.

For example, studies conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), both unbiased research facilities, concluded that recovering the cost (in a/c energy savings) of installing two attic solar fans totalling $850 would exceed 20 years. $425 was FSEC’s cost estimate for each fan and installation).

FSEC concluded that you can expect about 460 KWH per year savings and at $.12 per KWH in Florida, that equates to around $60 per year or $5 per month savings.  South Atlantic charges $1295 per fan (includes installation). Most homes having more than about 1500 sq ft require at least two fans.

To recover the two fan cost ($2600) in electric bill savings would far exceed 20 years based on these calculations. FSEC concluded that even at the $425 cost per fan installed, the “payback is not very favorable”. Decent conventional code required insulation, adequate soffit air flow and roof ridge vents (which most Florida homes have) should suffice and remain relatively cost effective for now compared to solar attic fans according to many sources.  

The pricey air conditioner coolant additive the company sells has little science to support its use as a cost savings product and a product that will extend the life of the air conditioner unit as was claimed. It begs the question why the product, if as good as claimed, would not be used as a sales incentive if installed and advertised by an air conditioner manufacturer or sold by local HVAC companies...unless you are so cynical to presume these companies thrive mainly on planned obsolescence.

The bulk of this company’s profit appears to come from selling their aluminum foil attic insulation. Curiously, they tout the aluminum as 99.9% pure as if that has some significance (the stuff you wrap your baked potato with is about the same). Their sales pitch also made reference to NASA using radiant heat barriers, but trying to compare the vacuum of outer space with an attic lacks credibility.. Additionally, but not mentioned, is that when an aluminum radiant heat barrier accumulates dust on its surface, it’s heat reflective ability can be significantly degraded..  

During their presentation, the classic infomercial hype... “but wait, if you act right away you get a discounted price of $3.47 per sq ft with free installation” was used to pressure a quick purchase decision. At $3.47 per sq ft, a 2000 sq ft attic would run about $7000. To recoup that size investment, you would have to see your electric bill drop at least $60 per month for 10 years or $30 per month over 20 years (assuming you own the home or live that long).

Surprisingly, several years ago, ORNL more conservatively calculated that a 2000 sq ft attic in Miami with an added radiant heat barrier would save you about $5 a month. If their calculation is correct, it would take around 100 years to recoup $7000.  Similar aluminum foil attic insulation products from big box stores appear to sell for around 25 cents a sq ft. So, buying a similar product at 25 cents a sq ft and paying an installer as much as $1000 (which was the installation value the South Atlantic Energy salesman said he was discounting), the total cost would be around $1500. Or you could do it yourself for about $500.

The company sold an expensive water heater blanket (along with $6800 of their products) to an elderly customer with a brand new good quality water heater... an unnecessary purchase especially in Florida.  Newer water heaters are well insulated and the temperature extremes in Florida are not enough to warrant a blanket.

It’s also possible that this type of alteration to a water heater could void it’s warranty. The consensus appears to be that the only time a water heater would benefit from a blanket in Florida is when it’s old and/or it’s warm or hot when you touch it. And if that’s the case you need a new water heater, not a blanket.

Solar and energy savings products are important and represent the future, but this company did not properly disclose the cost vs savings or the true science behind some seemingly overpriced products.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/07/2019 12:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/south-atlantic-energy-llc/hastings-florida-misleading-1478354. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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