Solar company settles lawsuit over false promises

A valley solar company will pay thousands of dollars in penalties after customers claim they were misled.

Those customers say they were marketed by phone, even though they were on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Chris Renfro was billed thousands of dollars for a solar water heating system, he was under the impression that it would save him money, but the benefits he feels do not outweigh the huge cost.

"Me being naive, and you can see I am in a wheelchair, I am disabled, they wouldn't take advantage of me, but I think it made me more of a mark, than less of a mark," said Chris Renfro.

The Arizona Attorney Generals Office says as many as 30 people were marketed to by the company operating under the name Discover Energy Solutions. According to a settlement the company called potential customers who were on the registry, and made potentially misleading or deceptive statements, or false promises about the benefits of their solar program.

"I am mad, I got something that is not what they said it was going to be, with an interest rate that is sky high, and it really doesn't save me money," said Chris Renfro.

Court documents also show the company called its workers "Energy Experts" but they did not undergo any outside training, or get any professional certifications.

The company will have to pay around $100,000 in penalties, and $25,000 in restitution to customers.

"Anything is better than nothing, and if it stops them from doing it to other people then it is well worth the trouble," said Renfro.

This afternoon the company responded via e-mail saying: A third party company represented to Discover Energy that the leads were opt-in. In light of the Attorney General's opinion, we have ended our relationship with the third party company that was supplying the leads. Discover Energy is committed to complying with all laws and regulations and takes communication with consumers very seriously. Discover Energy appreciates the opportunity to work with the Attorney General's Office to review the standard practices of the solar industry and develop new best practices that will become the foundation for protecting all Arizona consumers in the future.