LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevadans are being warned about a solar company that is calling itself the Nevada Department of Clean Energy to falsely convince consumers they are a government-affiliated entity.
According to Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford, the company has no connection to the state and does no work on behalf of any government entity in Nevada.
Ford says “government imposter scams” are prevalent in the solar industry and can involve the use of a company name appearing to be connected with the state government to gain consumer trust. According to the AG’s press release, in a recently reported scam, sales reps from an unnamed company used such a name to gain access to a resident’s home, then aggressively pushed residents to purchase solar items from them.
The solar power services company “Nevada Department of Clean Energy”- denies that it holds itself out as a state agency or government entity, stating that its business name is a “valid DBA name and is a proper trademark,” and that the company “endeavors to make sure that its clients understand that it is a private company.”
AG Ford urges consumers to exercise caution: “Nevadan’s I’m encouraging all of you to be cautious before inviting someone into your home or purchasing any services. If a company or service sounds suspicious, it probably is. Check out some helpful tips from my office to protect yourself from these scams especially as temperature and solar sales increase in the upcoming summer months.”
In 2020, Ford’s office entered into an “Assurance of Discontinuance” with a solar company that used Clark County’s official seal on flyers in an attempt to sell solar.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection suggests that you consider the following tips:
A government entity will not go door to door to sell you solar. If a solar sales representative says they are with the government, consider it a red flag;
- Always verify the legitimacy of the company that the solar sales representative says he or she is affiliated with. Doing your own research is so important;
- Ask for proper verification before letting any sales representative into your home. If you are suspicious of their identity or the sales representative refuses to provide it to you, do not hesitate to ask them to leave;
- Contact the Nevada State Contractors Board to confirm you are hiring a solar contractor that is properly licensed in the state of Nevada;
- You may record the conversation you have with any solar sales representative or ask them to put their representations in writing for you; and
- Remember, you can always consult with an attorney before signing a contract.
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General welcomes information on scams affecting Nevada citizens and encourages consumers impacted by a solar scam to consider filing a complaint here.