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McNamara: Solar Energy Homeowners’ Bill of Rights Would Protect Consumers

rhode-island-state-house
rhode-island-state-house
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The RI State House.

STATE HOUSE — Rep.Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation intendedto insure that solar industry professionals are governed by fair business

practices.

Theact, (2019-H 5133) would require solar energy systemretailers to provide disclosures in the retail sale or lease documents as wellas the right to cancel or rescind the agreement within 90 days prior toinstallation, and notice of any liens filed against their residential property.

“Solarelectricity is on the rise as installations go up and prices come down,” said McNamara,chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. “Thesechanges have made it imperative that we look hard at how we craft solar policy.We want to make sure that consumers fully understand all the implications sothey can make fully informed decisions before entering into contracts for solarenergy.”

Under the legislation, solarretailers would have to provide potential customers with a separate, written

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disclosure statement before entering a solar agreement. The disclosure wouldinclude language indicating that an estimate is based on previous data thatutility rates can go up or down and that past information is not necessarilyindicative of future results.

The act would also authorizethe Department of Business Regulation to investigate complaints, issue ceaseand desist orders and impose an administrative fine of no more than $2,500 persolar energy system.