Local

Lawsuits, state investigations and bankruptcy: what this all means for Pink Energy customers

CHARLOTTE — After a North Carolina-based solar company shut down unexpectedly, Channel 9 is asking what this means for its customers.

Joe Baluha keeps all his solar records in a binder. He bought panels from a company called PowerHome Solar, which changed its name to Pink Energy. He said the system cost $37,000.

“The sales pitch was everything you want to hear, but at the end of the day, it’s not what it was,” he said. “I would have never done this if I knew the full scope of it.”

Baluha said he didn’t save as much on power bills as he expected, the panels don’t work anymore, and his roof is leaking from them.

Now he’s back to paying full price for electricity, he may need a new roof and he still has to pay back the loan for the solar panels.

He told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke he hired lawyers and he’s not going to give up.

“(I’m) not giving up, but it’s getting very costly between Duke bills, attorney bills, and solar bills (for panels) that aren’t working,” he said.

Action 9 started investigating the company in 2018 and has received complaints from more than a dozen people over the years.

Pink Energy closed its doors last month and filed for bankruptcy last week.

Attorneys General in multiple states are investigating the business, including North Carolina’s Josh Stein.

He told Stoogenke he received at least 145 complaints about the company, but since it is now out of business, it’s not clear what recourse customers have.

“If the company has somehow sold their assets and liabilities, you can potentially get help from the successor company. If the owner has individual wealth they derive from the company, sometimes you can get that money from the owner, but a lot of times, customers are left holding the bag,” Stein said.

Stoogenke emailed Pink Energy and two lawyers who recently represented the business. One responded, but none provided a statement in time for this report.

The company’s CEO did post a statement on his LinkedIn page. In the post, he blames one of the company’s part suppliers, Generac. He said some of its products were defective and that caused problems which brought down Pink Energy.

“Over the past few weeks, we have already contracted with high-quality third-party providers to perform warranty services on Generac’s products, now that Pink Energy will no longer be providing this service to its customers,” Generac emailed Stoogenke. “We understand that consumers are frustrated with Pink Energy. However, Generac remains committed to our customers.”

Generac said customers who have trouble with its components can reach out to the business directly by emailing solarsupport@generac.com or calling 800-396-1281.

(VIDEO: Action 9 investigates solar panel company again)