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CPUC Consumer Protection Packet: what you need to know

On July 16, 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released the Solar Information Packet. As of September 30, 2019, this document will be required to accompany all solar installation contracts in California. If you’re going solar in the Golden State, here’s what you need to know about the new consumer protection packet.

The Solar Information Packet

Over the last year, a number of regulatory bodies in California have begun to take additional measures on consumer protection for solar shoppers. The CPUC, along with the California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB), joined together to launch a Solar Joint Task Force in order to determine where consumer protection issues exist and provide potential solutions.

The Solar Information Packet is the outcome of those efforts. The CPUC designed the packet to help solar shoppers make informed decisions about going solar: it outlines the process of going solar, the steps you need to take versus those taken by solar companies, describes the roles of different types of organizations within the space, and provides some examples of solar best practices so you can judge whether your solar experience is atypical. The Solar Information Packet is a useful resource for assisting Californians purchasing solar to not only be educated about their options but also to feel comfortable about any solar decision they make.

What you need to know

If you are a California resident researching solar, there are a few things you need to know about this Information Packet.

First, though the Solar Information Packet has already been released by the CPUC, the requirements of the packet don’t go into effect until September 30, 2019. In the meantime, solar companies will likely begin distributing the packet to active solar shoppers to make sure you’re familiar with it beforehand. Beginning on September 30th, though, every solar contract that is signed must be accompanied by the Solar Information Packet. As a solar purchaser, your responsibility is to read and initial at least the first four pages of the packet before signing any solar contract.

Second, the primary purpose of the Solar Information Packet is to make sure that you are familiar with your rights as a solar purchaser–from a contract provided in the language you speak to a Solar Disclosure Document–and to make sure you have properly vetted the solar company you’re working with.

And, third, the Solar Information Packet provides some examples of best practices when researching and purchasing solar, from where to go for educational material (including EnergySage Solar 101 resources) to how many solar quotes you should solicit before making a decision.

How EnergySage can help

Consumer protection is a major aspect of EnergySage’s mission, and plays a large role in our founding story. It should come as no surprise that receiving quotes through the EnergySage Marketplace already fulfills the requirements and suggestions of the CPUC’s consumer protection packet.

For one, all solar companies that EnergySage partners with are pre-screened and vetted before being allowed the opportunity to provide quotes on the Marketplace. In California, this means all of the installers we work with carry the required in-state licenses to operate as solar installers, either the CSLB C-46 license for solar installers, C-10 license for electricians or General-B license for contractors. When you receive quotes from an installer on EnergySage, you can be confident that they are a legitimate company with years of experience in the industry.

Additionally, the Solar Information Packet suggests soliciting quotes from at least three solar companies to make sure you’re getting the solar system that makes sense for you. EnergySage allows you to do just that, calling upon our network of solar company partners to offer you free, custom solar quotes for your property. When you register for EnergySage, you’ll receive up to seven quotes to take solar comparison shopping to the next level.

Receive quotes from licensed solar companies

If you’re interested in receiving quotes from local, pre-screened solar companies with locally-required licenses, sign up for a free EnergySage account today. You can ask the installers or our own, unbiased Solar Advisors any questions you have about going solar. Not quite ready to receive quotes? Check out the EnergySage Solar Calculator to see if solar is right for you.


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