Lawsuit Filed Against U.S. Solar, KCP&L

Lawsuit Filed Against U.S. Solar, KCP&L

Unhappy customer says fraud and mismanagement of rebate system led to filing.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Problems one St. Joseph man has had with a local solar company and its owner have now led to a class action lawsuit.

Richard Sharp feels the solar panels he installed on his home last year have cost him more money and energy than he's saved. Now he's turned up the heat on the company taking them to court.

After not having much luck with getting a good response from installer U.S. Solar after complaining about his panels, Sharp felt he had no alternative.

"My lawyers have filed a lawsuit against KCP&L and Trevor.

The 'Trevor' Sharp is referring to is Trevor Dryden, owner of U.S. Solar. U.S. Solar is named in Sharp's lawsuit along with KCP&L. Sharp says his panels were installed poorly, were not serviced and his rebate he was entitled to was mishandled.

"The main reason is because of the fraud that was committed by U.S. Solar and KCP&L never inspected my property," Sharp said.

Sharp also has said U.S. Solar misled KCP&L the job they completed at Sharp's home. He says the plans submitted to KCP&L said U.S. Solar had installed 70 panels instead of just 36. Sharp alleges this was done so U.S. Solar could pocket a bigger rebate check. Sharp also says the work done on installing his panels last summer was done poorly.

"They've installed the panels without any flashing under it and I'm going to have them all removed," Sharp said.

KCP&L officials are surprised they're named in the lawsuit.

"KCP&L did not choose U.S. Solar as his vendor," said Chuck Caisley, Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs for KCP&L. "KCP&L did not supervise the construction of the solar insulation. We do not believe KCP&L should be party to this lawsuit and we deny all of the plaintiff's allegations."

Other solar companies had been suspicious of U.S. Solar for a while.

"I think there's two things," said Susan Brown of Brightergy in an interview with KQTV in July. "I think you have someone that has taken advantage of the system and I think you have some issues with poor administration."

For Sharp, he's working with two other solar companies to have his panels taken off his house.

"It's just one of those things," he said. "You have to wait for the wheels of justice."

We were not able to reach out to U.S. Solar for this story. Sharp's attorneys are looking for other U.S. Solar customers who may want to be a part of the class action lawsuit.
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