Approached by a Sunwave Inc. door-to-door salesperson and hoping to capitalize on federal grant and loan programs, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) homeowners like Sreedevi Dasari paid their deposits and anxiously waited for their solar panel installation.
According to Dasari, she paid a $3,500 deposit to Sunwave Inc. in April for the company to install rooftop solar on her Milton, Ontario residence.
She was eager to reduce her hydro bill and help the environment. She waited months to receive plans for her project and began to worry when her calls and emails to the company went unanswered.
Dasari was not alone.
A half dozen homeowners in Ontario and Alberta told CBC Toronto they were collectively owed $65,000 they paid a deposits for solar panel installation contracts with Sunwave Inc., a Toronto company soliciting new business primarily through door-to-door sales.
Cold-calling and door-to-door solar sales are becoming more common across Canada.
Some companies are taking advantage of the current grants to sell homeowners on projects using misleading pitches and promises they cannot keep.
Like Dasari, the other homeowners claimed the sales representatives they spoke to had left the company, and their calls and emails remained unanswered.
Dasari said her deposit was finally refunded after she shared her story with the media.
A lawyer for Sunwave Inc. told CBC Toronto that it is aware of the allegations from its customers and is taking their concerns seriously.
Natural Resources Canada says they’ve also received numerous complaints about Sunwave Inc. and will follow up with the allegations.
However, since no regulatory body exists to police solar installers in Canada, it seems like it will take more stories like this to make enough noise to elicit change at the Provincial and Federal levels.
Hopefully, this story will serve as a caution to homeowners so they do their due diligence.
There’s no need to sign a solar contract right away. Take your time, research, read reviews, and get a second and third quote from solar companies that have served your community in the past.