RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Carolina solar power company now bankrupt following several complaints to the ABC11 Troubleshooter had a Chapter 7 hearing Wednesday.
ABC11 first told you in September about Pink Energy also known as Power Home Solar and how it left thousands of customers without working solar panels not only here in the Triangle but across the country. During our investigation the company closed up shop and filed for bankruptcy, leaving customers out thousands of dollars.
In court today, the judge told customers the court can't help get their systems installed or get them out of their financing obligations. However, Pink Energy CEO Jayson Waller said, depending on the results of other court cases the company is involved in, customers might have a chance to get some money back.
"We have a lawsuit against Generac that we value north of a billion dollars that's really the asset in the company. If we're able to ride this lawsuit out and not settle too early and be able to bring some money back into the company then these customers can be made whole."
Waller said during the hearing that leaders of the company have not had a paycheck since April in efforts to keep the company afloat, but they had to eventually close up shop in September.
"Everybody's upset and I understand that and I'm sorry for that. But we fought the fight we could; we gave our personal resources, our personal money to continue to fight this fight," Waller said.
In the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, it's estimated 25,000-50,000 customers are owed millions of dollars. Several of the creditors listed are people in the Triangle who hired the solar panel company to install panels on their homes.
A Harnett County customer, Michael Houle has a system from Pink Energy and he told Troubleshooter Diane Wilson it has been nothing but problems since it was installed.
"They say it works but I have not seen anything off my electric at all to this day. They tell me they're going to have someone out here to fix it and they send people out here and then it still has not worked."
During our investigation, Pink Energy blamed its issues on one of its providers, Generac, alleging defective products which impacted Pink Energy's business and reputation. Generac denied those claims, and Pink Energy filed the aforementioned lawsuit against Generac.
Besides the bankruptcy hearing, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is investigating as his office has received more than 500 complaints.
"Either they felt like they were misrepresentations made at the sale, or it's taken them too long, or they've done an improper job of installing it. So we're trying to do everything we can to work through these complaints with the company." Stein said he's hoping the bankruptcy proceedings are favorable to customers. "It will be up to the court to establish how much resources do they have? What are their assets? And then, depending on what those assets are, they will be used to pay the money they owe, and our hope is that there is enough money to at least make substantial payments to the claimants."
Several other Attorney Generals in other states are also investigating. We will keep you updated on what happens next when it comes to bankruptcy proceedings. If you're a customer of Pink Energy/Power Home Solar, you can still file a claim with the bankruptcy court.
To protect your money if you want to go solar, do your research on a company, look at the complaints and what others are saying. You can't go with what a salesperson says, you need to read all of that fine print before signing anything, especially if you're signing electronically.