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Man paid for solar panel reinstall: so where are they?

HOOPER, Utah — A perk of having solar panels is not having to pay giant power bills in the summer to run the air conditioner.

Unfortunately for Jeff Richey, the solar panels at his Hooper home weren’t working. They were on the ground, unplugged.

Richey said at first, it was part of the plan. He needed Vivint Solar, the company who installed the panels, to take them off his house so he could get a new roof.

“Part of our contract says for $499, they would take them off when needed, they would store them, then they would replace them,” Richey explained.

Richey had Vivint Solar remove the panels in June. But they hadn’t returned to complete the reinstall.

“I’ve tried so many times,” Richey lamented, explaining he had called numerous times. Richey said sometimes appointments would be made. Once, workers showed up but left quickly for another job. Other times, he’d been told there were no laborers in Utah to complete the reinstall.

“They always told us that we were high priority for them and everything,” Richey said, “that they will get it done as soon as possible.”

In the meantime, Richey had to pull power from the grid, leaving him with power bills around $250 per month during the hot and dry summer.

“Our payment during the summer is [normally] like $8.55 a month,” Richey said. “I don’t have that kind of money to just be thrown out there.”

Richey said his demands were simple: reinstall his panels, and pay him back for the power bills racked up while waiting on Vivint Solar.

We reached out to Vivint Solar on Richey’s behalf. First, they called Richey.

Within a week of our outreach, Vivint Solar crews showed up at Richey’s home and reinstalled the panels.

After this was completed, Vivint Solar completed Richey’s wish list, telling KSL-TV in an email that “our team applied a credit” to Richey’s account to “make up for the loss of production during the period of time when the system was not operational.”

Vivint Solar was acquired by Sunrun in 2020.

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

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