Get Gephardt: Provo woman’s solar panels are not generating energy

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PROVO — Changes in federal funding are fueling a boom in home solar systems, but the KSL Investigators routinely get tips from Utahns worried their panel projects are getting left behind.

When a Provo woman’s wait for the finish of her panel install dragged on for months, she decided it was time to Get Gephardt.

Long before winter hit Utah, Deserie Jensen had solar panels installed.

“Those are the panels they installed back in September,” she said as she pointed up at her garage roof.

Jensen said the solar company, Renewable Resources, keeps pushing the final inspection date back — from October to November to December to now January. Until that inspection happens, those $44,000 panels will just sit there, not generating electricity.

“I don’t like them just looking pretty on my roof, I want to get benefits from them,” she said.

Making matters worse, a battery Jensen ordered with the system still hasn’t been delivered, and she already is making payments on a solar system that doesn’t work. Plus, she said her calls and messages for help to the company usually go unanswered.

She compared the experience to buying a new car, but not getting the keys.

“I feel like once they got the solar panels and got their money from the bank that they don’t have no incentive of finishing this,” she said.

We contacted Renewable Resources and while the owner wouldn’t go on camera, he told us on the phone that the sales force he is contracted with occasionally portrays quicker times than he can handle. He explained changes in the federal solar credit have really pumped demand across the state. Renewable Resources did three times the number of home solar installs in 2022 than the company did in 2021. The owner also promised to do what he could to make any mistake right.

And just like that, Jensen was reimbursed for two payments. She said the missing battery was finally installed, along with underground wiring to the meter. As for that final inspection, Renewable Resources said it will happen very soon.

Jensen sure hopes so.

“I’m paying the city for electric still,” she said. “It’s very frustrating.”

The KSL Investigators will keep watching for that inspection.

This past August, Congress boosted the federal solar credit on new home solar systems from 26% to 30%. Plus, it now can be used on energy storage devices such as batteries. You’re eligible if you get your system installed by the end of 2034.

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Matt Gephardt

Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at [email protected].

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