Action 9

Solar company with troubling complaint history leaves consumers in the dark

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando man is feeling burned by a solar energy company. He claims Suntuity Renewables promised to reimburse him thousands of dollars, but it’s no longer responding to his phone calls or emails.

The panels on Calixto Anaya’s Lake Nona home are soaking up the Florida sunshine and producing electricity.

Anaya said, “My goal is to reduce my electric bill significantly.”  He said his bill was getting up to nearly $400 a month.

He initially signed a deal with Suntuity for a 12- kilowatt system that called for 30 panels.  But that system would have put him just over a threshold that would require him to have an extra, costly insurance policy.

“The insurance costs would have been very high for me,” he said.

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So, he renegotiated and signed another deal with Suntuity for a slightly smaller system, but his financial institution paid the solar company the larger amount from the original contract.  That left Calixto on the hook for more than $2,000 worth of panels he never received. He claims Suntuity is no longer responding to calls or emails after initially promising him a refund.

Anaya said, “The phone is in New Jersey and no one answers or responds to calls. So, I really don’t know what is going on.”

Suntuity has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau with complaints from consumers about not receiving promised rebate or incentive checks. One consumer sued Suntuity in federal court, claiming her signature was forged for a loan with an interest rate more than three times higher than she agreed.

When the Action 9 team stopped at Suntuity’s Orlando office for answers they found it empty with a fleet of trucks sitting outside.  The company has not responded to Action 9′s calls, emails or web messages either.

Attorney Berneta Haynes with the National Consumer Law Center refers to that as “shady behavior.”

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“This consumer suddenly not hearing from his own installers, nothing,  just complete silence is not uncommon,” Haynes said.

She believes consumers are owed some kind of response especially if they are still paying for the panels.

And said, “Our state and federal governments needs to jump into this and figure out how to how to protect consumers.”

While Calixto Anaya is glad he has the panels, he feels the company should’ve been clearer about their systems and their true cost.  He also worries if the company ghosted him now what could happen if the his solar system has issues later.

Anaya said, “I don’t know whether or not I’m going to get the refund. But I’ll just have to continue trying.”

If you believe a solar company is engaging in shady practices, you should file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General’s Office.  That office filed lawsuits against three solar companies last year.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.