Our Contacts

2909 E Arkansas Ln Suite C,

Arlington, TX 76010

817-841-9632

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Solar Industry Insights –The Ugly: Solar Scammers

It’s never fun to feel like you got the bad end of a deal. Solar, when done correctly, is cost-efficient and saves you money. The install process should take roughly two (for experienced installers with no delays or odd tile configurations) to four (for newer companies, or complicated project layouts) months to complete – from signing the contract, to installation and interconnection (exception: see Houston city limits which has a longer PTO time-frame than other Texas cities). Anything outside of this, is either an exception or a scam. Unfortunately, scammers don’t always tell you when they’re planning to scam you, and mistakes do happen, but here are a few things to look out for: 1) how does the salesperson act during your consultation? What can they tell you about other solar companies in the area – and how do they compare? Are they making promises you know they can’t keep (example: some utilities have a monthly interconnection fee for connecting to the grid, so if you’re promised a 100% bill offset, you should consider how your utility company operates to see whether this is feasible – even though solar absolutely can and will save customers money – in most cases, a 100% bill swap is not a reasonable expectation). What do they know about the installation process? Perhaps they’re new and still learning the operations side of the business, but a good solar company will ensure that their staff is willing and able to answer questions about a solar install, because it will take time and will require your signature along the way (see HOA approvals, as one example). If you’re left feeling confident that they’re able to answer your questions, have good examples of their companies’ market differentiation, and can answer some basic questions about the installation process (or at least are willing/able to look into it and get you a quick answer back), then chances are – you’re in good hands!  

What do you do however when you’ve met with the recommended minimum of three companies, all of which had similar pricing and panel efficiency, and you’re still not sure who to choose? Of course you should check out their online reviews, their website, BBB profile, etcetera – but you can also just try calling their main line. Who answers? How long does it take to get a call back if no one is available? These are fantastic indicators of a good company because it will give you insight into being their customer – if they don’t get back to you now, chances are they’re going to take their time answering your questions even after you sign on the dotted line, which could have implications about how they operate behind the scenes.

Beware of copy cats! Recently we had an issue with a customer, who said they had hired SUNTEX to install their project however it wasn’t us! Unfortunately given the nature of this industry, this happens more often than you’d think – and I’ve already experienced it at at least two solar companies I’ve worked with in the past two years. Copy cats hurt our business, hurt our industry, and most importantly, hurt our customers, so it’s absolutely something we try to avoid whenever possible. The best way to mitigate this, is to simply explain the differences in our two companies and continue to provide excellent customer service to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace for our customers. If you come across one of these companies, please do your due diligence before purchasing a system! Solar companies that are worth their salt will be communicative – and it’s no lie to admit they will compete for your business – but they will also understand that you need to explore all of your options before signing up, and be willing to answer your questions before you do! Have questions for us, give us a call today and test it out for yourself!

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Texas Legislative Session

I was really hoping to not have to go here, but it seems our fair state is dead set on halting progress when it comes to energy security. Before we dive into the bills at hand, let’s explore quickly how bills become laws in Texas.

First, while many of the forty-nine other United States have legislative sessions year-round, the Texas legislative session only lasts roughly six months every other year (See ‘How often does the legislature meet?’ here: https://house.texas.gov/resources/frequently-asked-questions/#:~:text=The%20Legislature%20of%20the%20State,regular%20session%20is%20140%20days.). So, if you have the desire to research suggested bills and make public comments, the good news is you only really have to pay attention for a short period of time, the downside of course is that you will have a lot of work to do and little time to do it in if you want to prepare your statements and submit them in time to be considered by your representatives and the legislative body.

Now, as for how a bill becomes law in Texas, see here: https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/. Basically, bills are put forth by either the Texas Senate and will be preceded with an ‘SB’ for Senate Bill XX, or a member of the Texas House of Representatives and will be preceded with an ‘HB’ for House Bill XX (XX correlates to the numbers designated to the bill). Once a bill is introduced, it is put before the respective chamber during the “first 60 calendar days of a regular session” (https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/), where it is then assigned to a committee. During the committee process, bills may be either formally or informally heard, and may allow for public testimony, or may not – thus it’s important to keep track of when they will be added to the committee calendars for discussion, and be sure to contact your representative prior to that discussion if you wish to provide an opinion, outside of providing public testimony of course which must be done on the exact day the bill is presented in the chamber and public comments are admissible. If passed in either chamber, the bill goes to the subsequent chamber to be read and amended (if applicable), and finally passes to the Governor’s desk. This part is crucial since it’s the last step our local government takes before a bill becomes law, so please check out the following paragraph from the same link:

“Upon receiving a bill, the governor has 10 days in which to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. If the governor vetoes the bill and the legislature is still in session, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated with an explanation of the governor’s objections. A two-thirds majority in each house is required to override the veto. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs the bill within 10 days, the bill becomes a law. If a bill is sent to the governor within 10 days of final adjournment, the governor has until 20 days after final adjournment to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature.” (https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/).

Awesome! Now that you understand exactly how bills become laws in Texas, it’s time to read up on a few bills that could increase the cost of solar and wind in Texas:

Check them out within the links provided, and add your thoughts within the comment section below; or, call your representatives today to voice your opinion!

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