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Consumer Protection

SEIA and the solar industry are committed to increased consumer protection for Americans who invest in solar and storage. For solar and storage to realize its full potential as an American economic engine, and provide Americans with competitive power choices, customers must fully understand solar transactions and companies must hold themselves to the highest ethical standards and business practices. Since 2015, SEIA has continued to facilitate the work of its Consumer Protection Committee made up of leading legal experts in solar and consumer law. Through this work, we are educating consumers, industry and government; promoting best practices with model contracts and disclosure forms; and upholding a national solar business code to ensure a positive experience for consumers.

SEIA's Commitment to Education

SEIA and the solar industry are committed to educating all stakeholders about solar consumer protection issues. SEIA has published industry alerts and compliance materials to help industry better understand consumer protection rules and regulations. SEIA published its Consumer Protection Primer to catalogue key federal and state consumer protection laws and marketing topics that residential solar companies need to know. The primer is currently being updated to reflect changes in state law. SEIA has also released an installation best practices guide to promote quality system design and installations.

SEIA continues to host webinars and conference panels to provide consumers, government, media and the industry itself a greater understanding about the solar transaction and regulations.

In 2023, SEIA took several important steps to enhance its educational resources. SEIA launched its free Consumer Protection 101 video series, which traces key consumer protection laws and topics for the solar and storage industry. SEIA also released an updated version of The Consumer Guide to Solar Power and two new factsheets: The Solar Investment Tax Credit: What Homeowners Need to Know; and California Net Billing Info: Residential and Commercial Solar Customers. SEIA has also translated its consumer facing resources into Spanish and other foreign languages.

SEIA Solar Business Code

The heart of SEIA’s consumer protection work is the voluntary SEIA Solar Business Code. The Code was formally adopted by SEIA in 2015 and all SEIA member companies must abide by the Code. Many other non-members are choosing to follow its rules as well. The Code presents rules on advertising, marketing and consumer interactions and contracts, and reminds companies about state and federal laws and regulations.

ANSI Standards Accreditation

SEIA is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an Accredited Standards Development Organization. SEIA can convene industry stakeholders to develop national standards for the U.S. solar and storage industry and received the greenlight to develop consumer protection standards. The first set of consumer protection standards focuses on salesperson training, contract disclosures, and marketing claims. SEIA has also begun developing residential installation standards. All standards will be released for public review and comment. SEIA expects to release the installation standard for public review in Q1 2024 and the consumer protection standards for public review in Q3 2024. 

Solar 101: Consumer Protection

Residential solar companies face a myriad of state and federal laws and regulations that govern activities from advertisements to telephone calls to contracts. This education program introduces viewers to relevant consumer protection rules and topics that companies to need to be aware to stay compliant with the law.

Related Consumer Protection News

Tuesday, Jan 08, 2019

Solar Industry Urges S.C. Legislature to Pass New Clean Energy Bill to Streamline Utility-Scale Deals, Make it Easier for Businesses and Households to Access Solar

COLUMBIA, S.C. and WASHINGTON, D.C. – The solar industry is urging South Carolina’s Legislature to pass a broad new bill that would reform the state’s energy market, creating jobs, expanding solar deployment and lowering some of the highest home energy bills in the U.S.

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Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018

SEIA Releases New Go-To Guide for Residential Installations

SEIA has released an updated Installation Best Practices Guide for Residential Portfolios, a vital document for all parties involved in a solar transaction.

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Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017

SEIA: How Going Solar Impacts Your Home’s Value

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Roughly every 90 seconds, somewhere in the United States, a new customer is going solar. As the solar market rapidly expands, one of the top questions among both homeowners and homebuyers centers around how to best determine the value of a solar system on a residential property.

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Monday, Jul 15, 2024

SEIA Launches Industry Standards to Enhance Consumer Protection and Improve the Way Americans Experience Solar

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is releasing two new industry standards for public comment to promote the U.S. solar and storage industry’s ongoing efforts to promote consumer protection. The new standards are designed to ensure transparent, ethical solar sales practices and to raise the bar for safety and durability of rooftop solar and storage installations.

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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

Recheck Partners with SEIA and Residential Solar Industry Leaders to Strengthen Customer Experiences

Hanover, N.H. — Recheck, the verification platform for the residential solar industry, announced today the launch of its industry registry in partnership with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and leading solar finance, contractor, and technology partners.

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Thursday, Jan 11, 2024

Protecting and Empowering American Solar Customers

Every solar installation should be safe, reliable, and every customer should have a clear understanding of what to expect when purchasing and maintaining a new solar system. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is empowering customers by not only providing them with informational resources but also working to develop national standards that promote fair sales practices to ensure the safe and uniform installation of solar and storage systems.

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