HUTTO, Texas – Rabiat Ngbwa of Hutto has been in the solar panel market since the winter storm in February.
What you need to know
- Hutto's Rabiat Ngbwa claims that TriSmart Solar replaced the modules it paid for.
- During a follow-up visit to her sales representative, Ngbwa was made aware that the panels installed on her roof were not the panels she had agreed to buy.
- Jinko 380W panels were installed in place of the REC-360, which she paid $ 40,000 for.
After extensive research, Ngbwa was finally able to find the right type of solar panels for their home.
“We wanted something that was reliable. Not something that would work fine for two or three years and then run out. We want something that will last, ”recalls Ngbwa.
The solar panels installed on Ngbwa's house. (Spectrum News 1)
In July, Ngbwa decided on the REC-360 module of solar panels from a company called Tri-Smart Solar. Ngbwa says she signed a contract with the company and paid over $ 40,000 for a certain type of panel.
“Our contract said REC-360. The evite they sent us to plan the installation said REC-360, ”said Ngbwa.
During a follow-up visit to her sales representative, Ngbwa was made aware that the panels installed on her roof were not the panels she had agreed to buy. Later that day, Ngbwa said her sales representative had informed her that Tri-Smart Solar had sent the agency a new contract listing “Jinko” as new modules for Ngbwa's house.
“She then called me and said, ‘If they send you something, don't sign it. They didn't put the correct plates on the house,'” Ngbwa said.
Calling the ordeal questionable, Ngbwa said she was confused by the information as none of Tri-Smart Solar had contacted her about such a change.
“If everything is as it should be, why don't you discuss this with me? I want to be an informed consumer. I wasn't happy. I was more than a little upset, ”said Ngbwa.
She started looking at the Jinko model of the panels currently installed on her roof. According to Ngbwa, the panels installed are cheaper and worth less than what she originally ordered.
“What I have to do is remove the Jinko panels and install the panels we bought.”
Spectrum News reached out to Tri-Smart Solar to learn why Ngbwa was not notified of the changes to the solar modules listed in their contract. Tri-Smart Solar President Mark Bench has sent a statement regarding Ngbwa's claims listed below.
“Our agreement does not require us to ‘notify' customers of these types of changes unless there is less power being generated than originally agreed. However, a best practice that we have asked our crew leaders to do is to contact customers on the day of the install, that is when we decided not to wait for REC modules anymore. I did not confirm whether the crew leader informed her husband or not, but we did introduced an additional practice that each customer must sign a confirmation form stating that they have been notified of changes to avoid these types of conversations in the future. Although device replacement is the exception rather than the norm, it will happen and will not affect the overall performance and the power produced by the system, we make sure it. “
The statement goes on to say that the Jinko 380W panel installed is a larger wattage panel that produces more power than the REC-360. One answer Ngbwa says does not coincide with her research.
Rabiat Ngbwa. (Spectrum News 1 / Lakisha Lemons)
In the meantime, she only wants the solar panels she agreed to use.
“This [REC-360] is what we signed up to. We want that, no more and no less. I think that's fair. We are not trying to get over anyone and we are not trying to get anyone over us, ”she said.