Ellison announces action against solar panel companies accused of scamming homeowners

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Tuesday announced enforcement actions his office is taking against solar panel companies who he claims scammed and deceived Minnesotans.

Ellison’s office alleges four Utah-based solar panel companies — Brio Energy LLC, Bello Solar Energy, Avolta Power, Inc., and Sunny Solar Utah LLC — engaged in deceptive and fraudulent practices, costing Minnesota homeowners between $20,000 to over $55,000.

The attorney general also says his office is suing several lenders that partnered with the companies to finance Minnesotans’ purchases.

“I’m suing these companies because they’ve taken advantage of Minnesotans’ good intentions to save some money for their families and create a cleaner environment for everyone. They deceived consumers into believing that they were partnering with utility companies when they weren’t,” Ellison said in a statement. “They tricked homeowners who thought they were signing up for more information into signing binding contracts. They exaggerated how much money consumers would save on their utility bills than was likely or possible. They told consumers they were automatically eligible for tax credits when they weren’t. When consumers tried to get out of these contracts, the companies threatened them with lawsuits and exorbitant termination fees. And when consumers went through with installation, these companies often did a poor job and didn’t deliver on their promises.”

Minnesotans can submit complaints online or by calling the Attorney General’s Office at (651) 296-3353 (Metro), (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota), or (800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay).