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Consumer Protection

SEIA is working to ensure that consumer protection is at the forefront of the solar industry. We are developing resources designed to safeguard customer rights, providing a forum for members of the press, governments and other stakeholders to access materials relevant to consumer protection, and establishing pro-competitive guidelines for the solar industry to enhance consumer protection. As part of these ongoing efforts, we have developed a powerful suite of resources, and are delivering them to governors, attorneys general, state consumer advocates, public utility commissions, solar companies, financial institutions, lead generators, federal agencies and other organizations nationwide.

Solar Customer Resource Portal

SEIA provides consumers the tools they need to make an informed decision of whether and how to go solar. Take a look at our consumer resources to learn about your options for going solar, what to look for in an offer, questions to ask a solar company, your rights, and more.

Consumer Guide to Solar Power

In an effort to make 'going solar' as effortless and streamlined as possible, SEIA has developed a Guide to Solar Power tailored for residential consumers. This 6 page guide informs potential solar customers about the financing options available, contracting terms to be aware of, and other useful tips. This guide will be updated regularly.

The 25D Solar Tax Credit: What Homeowners Need to Know

This document outlines what homeowners need to know about the Federal Solar Tax Credit for residential solar energy systems outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This tax credit was created to incentivize home solar installations and may only be claimed by individuals who purchase a solar energy system or a standalone energy storage system for their home. SEIA put together this summary to help residential customers understand the basics of Section 25D tax credits.

California Net Billing Info: Residential and Commercial Solar Customers

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a new program for businesses and residential customers installing solar. This program, called Net Billing, replaces the existing Net Energy Metering 2.0 (“NEM 2.0”) program and only applies to new on-site solar systems (a.k.a., “behind the meter systems”) for customers of PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E.

These factsheets are designed to help commercial and residential customers understand the high-level details of the new Net Billing program. For additional information, SEIA recommends consulting the resources on the California Public Utilities Commission's website.

HOA Solar Action Guide

Everyone should have the right to go solar on their property. Some states enshrine that right with solar access laws, which prohibit local governments and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) from preventing homeowners from going solar. Unfortunately, not every state has these laws; even in some that do, HOAs may still have outdated policies that block homeowners’ solar access and propagate solar myths about aesthetics and property values. This guide can help you overcome HOA objections to your solar installation and to provide practical advice to make your HOA solar-friendly.

Residential Disclosure Forms

These streamlined statements are designed to help solar customers understand the terms and costs of a solar transaction - for a cash sale, lease or PPA. They are not intended to be a substitute for reading the contract, lease and other documents associated with a solar transaction.

Residential Consumer Guide to Community Solar

Consumers who rent their homes, live in an apartment, do not have unshaded or otherwise well-oriented roof space, or may not qualify for a lease now have the ability to choose community solar in an increasing number of states. Entering into a community solar agreement is a significant decision, similar to signing up for a cell phone, and consumers should understand the basics of solar energy, where community solar is available, key terms in agreements, and the right questions to ask solar professionals.

Guide to Land Leases for Solar

Large scale solar projects, such as community solar and investor-owned solar systems on farms, can use approximately 6 to 7 acres for every megawatt (MW) of solar installed, so a 5 MW project would require 30 to 35 acres. As a result, solar developers routinely contact farmers and other landowners to obtain sufficient land to develop a financeable project. To help land owners understand the opportunities and implications of leasing their property for solar installations, SEIA has developed this comprehensive guide.

Complaint Resolution Process

As part of SEIA's consumer protection efforts, SEIA has developed the Complaint Resolution Process for the SEIA Solar Business Code, which is designed to resolve complaints regarding violations of the SEIA Solar Business Code. SEIA is now accepting complaint submissions from the public, along with supporting documents, for review by SEIA and its Resolution Panels.

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Consumer Protection Industry Resource Portal

SEIA is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the solar industry are engaging in consumer-friendly business practices and fostering a transparent and easy-to-understand approach to going solar.

SEIA Consumer Protection Primer

Residential solar companies face a myriad of state and federal laws and regulations that govern activities from advertisements to telephone calls to contracts. As part of SEIA's consumer protection efforts and as a service to the industry, this primer introduces readers to relevant consumer protection rules and topics that companies to need to be aware to stay compliant with the law and the SEIA Solar Business Code. The primer will be updated to include new topics and state specific guidance.

SEIA Solar Business Code

Working with our member companies and other stakeholders, SEIA has developed a Solar Business Code that our members must follow.

Complaint Resolution Process

As part of SEIA's consumer protection efforts, SEIA has developed the Complaint Resolution Process for the SEIA Solar Business Code, which is designed to resolve complaints regarding violations of the SEIA Solar Business Code. SEIA is now accepting complaint submissions from the public, along with supporting documents, for review by SEIA and its Resolution Panels.

Residential Disclosures

These streamlined statements are designed to help solar customers understand the terms and costs of a solar transaction - for a cash sale, lease or PPA. They are not intended to be a substitute for reading the contract, lease and other documents associated with a solar transaction.

As the residential solar industry expands nationally, solar companies are engaging more with telemarketing and lead generation companies to connect with consumers. Solar companies need to understand all applicable laws that govern these activities, including federal law. As part of SEIA's consumer protection efforts and as a service to the industry, this industry alert provides an overview of relevant telemarketing rules that companies need to be aware of to stay compliant with the law and the SEIA Solar Business Code.

Lease and PPA Model Agreements

Initially developed under the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, these model contracts are endorsed by SEIA as a critical component of our consumer protection and cost reduction programs.

Contact Us

If you are a member of the press and would like to speak with a SEIA spokesperson about consumer protection issues, please contact SEIA at [email protected].

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