Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Suburban Chicago man says he acquired scammed by photo voltaic panel contractor — how is Illinois stopping this?


ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (CBS) — As extra individuals discover various, clear vitality and value financial savings in Illinois, extra corporations are additionally trying to take benefit.

An Elk Grove village man says he signed a contract with an organization to put in photo voltaic panels on his houses—however the furthest he is gone to date is having bars connected to his roof to carry the photo voltaic panels. panel that by no means went up. He was out of 1000’s of {dollars}.

It additionally occurs that the corporate is on an inventory particularly supplied by the state.

Ray Covarrubias cringes each time he pulls into his driveway and appears at his roof, with these bars that serve no objective now.

“They screwed by the roof — you recognize, by the shingles and every little thing,” Covarrubias mentioned. “We have these rails in our homes which are damaging our roofs.”

Covarrubias has greater than $40,000 in what he calls the photo voltaic rip-off, in addition to members of his household. In complete, the household has greater than $100,000.

It all began with a knock on the door in October and a pitch—get monetary savings, save vitality, go photo voltaic.

“It simply made sense at that time for me to go forward and, you recognize, think about going photo voltaic,” Covarrubias mentioned.

Covarrubias mentioned that when he was offered on the thought, issues appeared to maneuver rapidly. That was till he minimize the checks after having the rails put in on his roof final December.

“At that time, you recognize, our contract says the remaining stability of the mission price is due — and we find yourself paying money for all the mission,” Covarrubias mentioned.

The cash was despatched to PSG Energy.

“We gave them checks for all three properties for over $100,000, they usually by no means got here again,” Covarrubias mentioned.

CBS 2 discovered that PSG Energy is just not a registered firm in Illinois, and hasn’t been since 2022. The Illinois Secretary of State’s workplace confirmed this.

But PSG Energy is listed by the State of Illinois as a delegated photo voltaic vendor by the Illinois Shines Program. CBS 2 reached out to the state about that, and Covarrubias mentioned he did the identical when it turned clear he did not get what he paid for.

At that point, he filed a police report and a criticism with the Illinois Attorney General’s workplace.

“After many, many hours of speaking to all of the businesses and departments, we by no means acquired wherever,” Covarrubias mentioned.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Power Agency confirmed that they’ve acquired complaints about PSG, and have issued them notices of potential violations:

“The Illinois Power Agency takes shopper safety significantly and is working diligently to make sure constructive experiences for Illinois residents and companies trying to go photo voltaic. Based on 3 complaints acquired, the Administrator of Program issued two Notices of Potential Violation (NOPV) to PSG LMTD, a registered Designee of the Illinois Shines Program, and included 02 Boo Inc., an unregistered entity, within the second NOPV, and didn’t responded to the Notice The first NOPV was issued on February 26, 2024, to PSG LMTD, and the second NOPV was issued to PSG LMTD (and 02 Boo Inc.) on March 21, 2024. These NOPVs issued by the Program Administrator for failing to adjust to state legislation, misrepresenting its affiliations and/or id, failing to register as Designees with the Program underneath its d/b/a, and performing the required -distributed technology installations that aren’t correctly licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission As outlined within the Program’s Consumer Protection Handbook, we take swift motion in opposition to corporations that don’t adjust to our shopper safety. necessities. On Friday, May 10, 2024, the Program Administrator issued a Warning Letter to PSG LMTD (and 02 Boo Inc.) for violating the Program necessities relating to the Program Administrator’s response, Approved Vendor registration/ Designee, necessities surrounding required certification for distributed technology system installations, Illinois enterprise registration, and misrepresentation of affiliation. If the entities don’t reply, the subsequent step is to droop each entities from the Program.

“We are upset on this state of affairs and really feel good for the shoppers who have been negatively affected by PSG LTMD’s fraudulent enterprise practices. We are working diligently to research and take the mandatory actions in opposition to PSG LMTD. of the criticism charges noticed by this system and buyer suggestions, Illinois residents must be conscious that PSG LTMD’s conduct is just not indicative of the everyday buyer expertise when buying and putting in a brand new photo voltaic mission The program has efficiently processed 45,000 new mission purposes since 2022, and photo voltaic vitality has saved hundreds of thousands of {dollars} for the reason that launch of Illinois Shining in 2019.”

The energy company launched this redacted warning letter issued in opposition to PSG final Friday as a result of violations.

The Illinois Power Agency additionally defined that it has separate lists for authorised distributors – who submit mission purposes to the Illinois Shines photo voltaic vitality incentive program and instantly obtain program incentives – and chosen, who play different roles comparable to gross sales, advertising and marketing and set up, and efficiency. is not going to obtain incentive funds from this system. PSG simply got here off the listing of designees.

As proven within the state assertion, PSG Energy is now 02 Energy.

“The proprietor of PSG vitality is the one registered proprietor of 02 vitality,” mentioned Covarrubias.

Covarrubias acquired a letter after he was knowledgeable that PSG was gone. The letter terminated his contract with the corporate.

But what concerning the cash he took out?

“I haven’t got it,” Covarrubias mentioned.

CBS 2 confirmed that O2 Energy can also be not registered to do enterprise in Illinois. While the corporate claims to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau, a spokesperson says it isn’t.

Covarrubias and his household filed a civil case in opposition to all concerned. They’re hoping to get a few of their a reimbursement—however Covarrubias mentioned that is not why he sat down with CBS 2 to debate the difficulty.

“I talked to somebody from the Illinois Shines program,” he mentioned.

He hopes to not solely save another person’s pockets – and roof for that matter – however to name for extra on the state stage to forestall eventualities like what occurred to him.

“The state simply must have a solution to monitor all the brand new photo voltaic corporations which are, you recognize, popping up,” Covarrubias mentioned.

CBS 2 first reached out to PSG Energy and 02 Energy on Thursday. On Monday afternoon, the corporate’s chief government officer, Michael Borelli, mentioned partly that PSG was shut down a couple of months in the past — and plans to cease operations within the Midwest completely whereas it repairs shoppers.

The full assertion is as follows:

PSG Energy closed its doorways in December of 2023 as a result of enterprise failures and financial difficulties. My management, authorized workforce, and I intend to rebrand the corporate whereas working by a chapter 11 chapter to repay tradeline and different money owed. Our proposed motion plan in January is that the acquisition of a brand new entity (rebranding) and potential exterior investments will assist navigate some difficulties. This path failed for a lot of causes and led to deeper financial difficulties.

“Our purpose at this level is to make our shoppers entire and stop operations within the Midwest markets completely. Neither PSG Energy nor 02 Energy actively sells or operates within the state of IL besides to serve of excellent consumer obligations by subcontractors.In addition, we work with municipalities and state governments to satisfy regulatory necessities and adjust to enterprise licensing phrases, amongst others.

“Neither PSG Energy, nor the rebranded 02 Energy has any intention of avoiding duty for excellent obligations to prospects. We have labored (and proceed to work) with our lending associate Solar Mosaic who -issuance of loans for these tasks, they usually agreed to cancel a lot of the loans to prospects who haven’t accomplished the installations.

“PSG Energy acknowledges and acknowledges the inconvenience these previous couple of shoppers have confronted and apologizes for the delay in assembly these excellent obligations.

Meanwhile, beneath is a full breakdown of the questions CBS 2 had for the Illinois Power Agency that launched this doc with full solutions to CBS 2’s questions:

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