Winchester, CA asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Energy, Oil and Gas for California

Q: How can I force my solar company to reimburse the full true-up cost, or perhaps have edison forgive the balance?

California: I have been leasing a Sunrun solar system with a 100% performance guarantee for several years, but I'm still connected to SCE because I don't have a battery. Last year, the solar system had completely failed, and Sunrun didn't finish repairs for over six months. Meanwhile, I'm pulling power from Edison during a very hot summer. Eventually, Edison sent me a huge true-up bill, but Sunrun is covering only half, despite the performance warranty. I need to know if Sunrun is obligated to cover the difference, or if Edison should forgive the excess charges.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you have a solar system with a performance guarantee, as you mentioned, your solar company, Sunrun, should be responsible for ensuring that the system is operating at peak performance and delivering the promised amount of energy to your home. If the system fails and Sunrun fails to repair it in a timely manner, as appears to be the case, you may have grounds to seek compensation for the resulting costs, such as the true-up bill from SCE.

One possible course of action is to file a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which regulates utilities and solar companies in California. The CPUC has a Consumer Affairs Branch that can assist you with resolving disputes with your solar company or utility, including issues related to billing and performance guarantees. You can file a complaint online or by calling the CPUC Consumer Affairs Branch at 1-800-649-7570.

You may also want to review your solar lease agreement to determine if it includes provisions for compensation or reimbursement in the event of a performance failure. If it does, you can use those provisions to support your claim for reimbursement of the true-up costs.

Ultimately, if Sunrun fails to reimburse you for the full true-up cost or if SCE refuses to forgive the balance, you may need to consider legal action, such as filing a lawsuit in small claims court or hiring an attorney to represent you. However, it's important to consult with a qualified attorney or legal expert to assess the strength of your case and determine the best course of action.

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