As a central component of its consumer protection initiative, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently released a powerful, free tool aimed at helping American consumers better understand solar transactions: the SEIA Solar Purchase Disclosure. This first-of-its-kind form will help consumers across all 50 states purchasing solar for their homes, with or without loans, better understand the transaction. The purchase disclosure, similar to a HUD-1 statement for the purchase of a home, provides key terms clearly and upfront and complements standardized disclosures previously released by SEIA for power purchase agreements (PPAs) and leases. Together, these disclosures form a suite of standardized summary documents to help consumers compare and better understand offers from competing solar companies.
“Going solar is an important decision and our goal is to make it as straightforward and transparent as possible for consumers,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “Whether you’re purchasing, leasing, or using a PPA to go solar at home, a clear, upfront summary of the key terms allows you to compare apples with apples across offers and feel more confident in choosing a solar company. I strongly encourage all companies to use these disclosures with consumers.” The Solar Purchase Disclosure also includes an addendum with the estimated cost of electricity produced by a solar energy system over its lifetime, an important factor for many consumers in choosing solar over conventional electricity. These disclosures, available for free on the SEIA consumer protection portal, promote increased understanding around home solar system transactions.
“As solar becomes more affordable, many consumers are paying cash or using loans to buy a solar system,” said Nat Kreamer, chairman of the board of directors of SEIA and CEO of Spruce. “The SEIA disclosure released today helps consumers easily understand the value created by, and responsibilities associated with, owning a home solar electricity system.” With solar still a new power choice for millions of Americans, the solar industry recognizes the importance of making sure that consumers and solar companies have a shared understanding of any residential transaction before signing a contract. These streamlined statements were created by a team of senior attorneys from across the solar and housing industries and have been shared widely with consumer groups, federal and state regulators, and others with an interest in ensuring consumer satisfaction.
The disclosures are part of SEIA’s ongoing effort to ensure that the solar industry remains at the forefront of consumer protection, a top issue for SEIA. The disclosures also indicate whether the company abides by the SEIA Solar Business Code, which all SEIA member companies follow, and which allows certain redress for consumers. SEIA intends to continue to build upon its consumer protection initiative with free educational offerings and alerts on key issues throughout the year.