NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —The Tennessee Attorney General has joined seven other state attorneys general in asking five solar lending companies to suspend payments and interest accrual for customers who have yet to receive what they were promised. 

Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined the coalition of eight attorneys general, led by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, in sending a letter to Dividend Solar Finance, GoodLeap, Riverbank, Sunlight Financial and Solar Mosaic. The letter asked these companies to suspend loan payments and the accrual of interest for customers who financed the purchase of a solar power system from Pink Energy and have not yet received a working solar power system.  

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The AGs are also asking the lenders to assist Pink Energy customers who are experiencing other functionality and installation issues. 

“This office is committed to protecting Tennessee consumers from unlawful and illegitimate business practices,” Skrmetti said. “Companies that cheat customers through false representations should and will be held accountable. I’m proud of our Consumer Protection team’s diligence in investigating this matter.” 

The attorneys general signed onto the letter after what the office called an “onslaught of complaints” from Pink Energy consumers before the company “abruptly closed operations and filed for bankruptcy” on Oct. 7, 2022. According to the attorney general’s office, several consumer complaints have also been submitted since the bankruptcy filing, mainly by consumers who are worried about having to continue paying for a solar system that does not operate as promised. 

In their letter, the attorneys general explain that many of the complaints received by their offices allege that Pink Energy made “false representations regarding the systems’ capabilities and anticipated electric bill reduction.” 

They say consumers who were led to believe they were making an environmentally friendly and financially beneficial decision to purchase a solar power system from Pink Energy would be stuck making loan payments for an “underperforming or non-functioning solar power system on top of their monthly electric bill.” 

The coalition noted consumers have also alleged Pink Energy misrepresented their potential eligibility for tax credits, as many of the lenders’ financing arrangements presumed ineligible customers could use their 26% credit towards a lump sum payment. 

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“For many consumers, not receiving the promised tax credits has left them unable to make the necessary lump sum payment required to keep your company, or an affiliated lender, from substantially increasing their monthly loan payment,” the attorneys general said in the letter. “These consumers relied on Pink Energy’s representations regarding the tax credits in deciding that they could afford the terms of their loan, and the increased monthly payments are beyond what their budgets could handle—especially when the solar power system is not functioning properly (or at all).” 

Skrmetti and Cameron joined attorneys general from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia in sending the letter.