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Protecting Your Money: Deciding whether to go solar

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Posted at 12:37 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 18:11:02-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Going solar is an investment ultimately designed to lower your energy costs.

In November 2020, not long after relocating to the Coastal Bend from the Midwest, Kory and Amy Brown did what Kory says he always wanted to do, go solar. In December of the same year, Zenith Solar installed 51 solar panels on the roof of the Brown's home.

Well, guess what happened?

The Brown's say the panels were installed incorrectly, adding, the way they were installed wouldn't generate enough energy for their home.

Brown says Zenith, which in April changed its name to Deca, told him rather than remove the existing panels and installing new ones, a propane gas-powered generator would be installed to offset any deficiency with the solar panels.

But, as Kory Brown pointed out, while the generator sits in their yard, it hasn't been hooked up, and because of that, they're not seeing the anticipated energy savings. Instead, he's paying for the panels plus an energy bill.

"Well right now I have two electric bills because we don't have enough power," Brown told Action 10 News.

He says solar is $289 a month, while his regular utilities are about $150.

After hearing the Brown's story, we began contacting representatives for Deca Solar. They have an office on Ayers St. in Corpus Christi. The folks there recommended we speak with company president Oscar Luna about the Brown's situation.

We spoke with Luna by phone.

He says the panels were installed at the Brown's home according to the contract, and that the Brown's were made aware that even though more panels were needed, there wasn't enough room on their roof for them, and the Brown's signed off on that.

Furthermore, Luna insisted Zenith/Deca's contract with the Brown's does not include installation of a generator because Deca doesn't install generators.

Luna added that they did contract with a third party to install the generator, yet it sits in the Brown's backyard unattached.

So, what do you need to know when deciding whether solar is right for you?

Get answers to these questions:

1. Do you own your home?

2. How much is your monthly electric bill?

3. Is your roof suitable for solar panels?

4. Can you take full advantage of the tax benefits?

By the way, as mentioned earlier, the Brown's signed a contract with Zenith Solar. So when and why did Zenith change it's name to Deca? Luna says it happened in April when the company began offering different products.