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Beware of the bad apple!


Don't let your first foray into alternative energy be spoiled by the proverbial bad apple.  As we travel far and wide conducting site visits with potential customers, we are sorry to say our relatively new industry has already been infiltrated by a few bad apples. 
Let not your heart be troubled; the technology is proven, the incentives available and it doesn't have to be difficult to get a great value from a reputable installer. 
Knowledge is power so read on to gain some insight... armed with the facts below, you will spot the bad apple and be on your way to joining the ranks of individuals who are putting clean renewable energy to work for them! 

Overblown production estimates.

While alternative energy works, it isn't magic.  Unless you have a really small electric bill, beware of anyone making claims their $10,000 product offering (solar, wind, whatever) will completely eliminate your electric bill.
Like anything else in life, if it is too good to be true, it probably is!
For the ambitious, learn how to use PV Watts a free tool that you can easily plug in a few numbers and get real world production estimates for your actual location.

Expired or Overstated incentives or rebates.

Double check any claims to state or utility rebates and tax incentives. 
For example, the PA Sunshine program has tiered down to $1.25 per watt if someone is providing you an estimate and indicating $2.25 per watt you just spotted a bad apple. 
PPL has exhausted its funding for its solar rebate program, a list of other available rebates found here.  If someone is telling you that you can still obtain a PPL rebate for solar - another bad apple.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has also quietly rescinded its Alternative Energy Production Tax credit.  Someone telling you this is still an option - bad apple.

Other things you can do to protect yourself.

All Home Improvement Contractors need to be registered in the state of Pennsylvania as of July 2009.  Make sure your contractor is registered by searching here.  This will help ensure they carry proper insurance and do not have a troubled past.
Ask how many years they have been in business.
Ask how many installs they have done, ask for pictures of the installs.
Ask for references, then verify them.

If all else fails, give us a call and we will do our best to  help you.

Control Alt Energy, LLC
Phone: 484-660-1223
Fax: 484-660-4047
Toll Free: 888-527-9467



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