Power mad

You were already aware that the Biden administration has been vacuuming up massive amounts of your money and doling it out to so-called “green energy” operatives so Joe can claim to be saving the planet. We only recently learned that he had grabbed hundreds of millions more under a bogus invocation of the War Powers Act. But have you looked into the specifics of precisely who is benefitting from this bonanza? Fortunately, some people have been paying attention and the recipients of all this money include some rather dubious figures. One of them is a solar energy company called Sunnova Energy. They were the recipients of a $3 billion federal contract in 2020. But an investigation has shown that they have been scamming elderly dementia patients by getting them to sign multi-decade solar panel contracts costing tens of thousands of dollars. (Free Beacon)

A solar company that was awarded a $3 billion Department of Energy loan has been accused of scamming dementia patients on their deathbeds into signing five-figure, multi-decade solar panel leases, according to interviews and state consumer complaint records obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Terry Blythe, a Texas resident, told the Washington Free Beacon that her father was 86 years old and had been diagnosed with dementia when a door-to-door Sunnova salesman persuaded him to sign a 25-year solar panel lease in 2020. When her father passed away earlier this year, Blythe said she was left to grapple with the $34,000 contract.

“It was truly ripping off old people,” she said. “It was the biggest ripoff I’ve ever seen.”

Terry Blythe was only one of more than 50 customers filing consumer complaints against Sunnova in Texas, many involving predatory sales practices. This is all happening while Congress is already investigating the award of the contract to the company because of a possible conflict of interest. In case you’re wondering if the shoddy arrangement with Blythe’s father was some sort of one-off error, it almost certainly wasn’t.

Another Texas woman said that Sunnova sold a 25-year, $86,000 solar panel contract to her mother. At the time, the woman was “blind, bed bound, partially deaf, on dialysis, with congestive heart failure.” The mother died three months later, leaving her family to deal with the bill. Another woman was forced to pay off a $40,000 lease with Sunnova before she was able to sell the home of a deceased relative.

As Terry Blythe and others are finding out, these contracts can produce devastating results for families. She needed to sell her father’s home to obtain money to care for her mother, who is also ailing. But she couldn’t find a buyer willing to take on the burden of the massive solar panel contract so she wound up selling the house for far below its market value, showing very little profit from the transaction.

Getting the state to take action against these predatory practices can be challenging. Fighting companies like Sunnova in court is no easy feat because they can often rely on a defense based on caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). In order to prove that the transaction was fraudulent you would need to be able to show that the salesperson was fully aware that the customer had diminished capacities to the point where they couldn’t legally enter into such a binding agreement. Even in the case of the elderly and infirm, Sunnova could claim they believed in good faith that the customer simply intended to pass the solar panels on to the next generation and they aren’t obligated to dig into people’s personal details.

When the Free Beacon asked a Sunnova representative about these practices, they offered a predictable defense. They said that they “cannot and do not decline to enter into an agreement based on a customer’s age.” In other words, if they didn’t go ahead and defraud these families, they would be guilty of age discrimination. (Perish the thought.) They also claimed that they “ensure that [the customers] have read and comprehended the terms of their agreements.” That’s another claim that’s almost impossible to prove one way or the other.

That’s why I called this “the green new steal.” It looks like a seriously outrageous scam targeting the elderly and those plagued with dementia. (Have their salespeople visited Joe Biden’s house yet?) And you the taxpayer are generously funding the entire thing while a handful of green energy titans in Texas profit hugely. That’s your government at work during the “climate crisis.”

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