Tag: "ethics"

11/22/09

  05:28:41 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 364 words  
Categories: SEIA, Solar News

Solar Bill of Rights - # 8 - The Most Important Right of All

Keeping the best and most important Right for last, SEIA’s Solar Bill of Rights concludes with Right # 8:

8.      Americans have the right, and should expect, the highest ethical treatment from the solar industry.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is the most important Solar Right of all if we are to build an industry that is respected and trusted by consumers throughout this country.  This should almost go without saying - and yet, saying it, and living it, is extremely important.

As we have seen time and again, there are many solar installers out there who care way more about making a sale than they do about building a reliable system that will meet the customer’s needs for the next 25 years.  (As you can see here.)

But what does ethical treatment really mean?  We think there are some very important elements that together constitute this Right, including:

  • Systems should be sold to meet the consumer’s needs - not the installer’s revenue requirements.
  • Not all sites are appropriate for solar and installers must tell consumers when their site is just not right.
    • Sometimes that means turning down an available job because the installer knows it will never perform properly.
  • Solar power systems, while technical, are not rocket science and consumers are entitled to have all of their questions answered.
  • Solar power systems should be installed by qualified electricians - not plumbers, roofers or the handyman down-the- block.
    • Installations should make the site look better; solar should not be an eyesore.
    • Installations should work better than advertised.
    • Installations should be safe and reliable for their entire projected lifetime - none of what you see here.
  • Rebate processing is complicated and confusing; installers should bear that burden, not consumers.
  • In all of our dealings with consumers, utilities and inspectors, installers must be scrupulously honest.

These are reasonable requests for consumers (and America in general) to make of the solar industry.  As professionals in a rapidly expanding field, we need to hold ourselves to the highest standards, and hold others in our field accountable when they do not measure up.  Otherwise, all of us will be diminished by the acts of the fly-by-night artists and scammers – and the entire nation will suffer.

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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