"There's so much going around that's not necessarily remotely true," said Josh Nelson, contractor for the company. "I felt I had to address it."
Nelson is responsible for the installation of solar systems for the company. He says accusations that U.S. Solar misrepresented its work to get larger energy rebate payments from KCP&L have crippled the company. One month ago U.S. Solar had 30 employees. Now it has only nine.
"It's all 'let's all become a part of the party,'" he said. "It's like the wounded duck and that's simply what it is. I don't like it and I'm tired of it."
Nelson spoke to KQ2 against the advice of U.S. Solar's attorney. Fraud accusations came to light after a St. Joseph man had U.S. Solar installed 36 solar panels on his home then noticed the rebate application submitted to KCP&L indicated 70 panels were installed. It was a more than $15,000 difference in rebates.
"If you're caught, that means you've done something wrong," Nelson said. "If a mistake is discovered, a mistake is discovered. A mistake was discovered and nobody accused anybody of any wrongdoing."
KCP&L is now looking at every job U.S. Solar has completed over the past three years looking for additional problems. Nelson pointedly denies there was a systematic scheme to defraud KCP&L and the energy rebate program.
"Many of these projects that they go back over and say there are all these problems with have been inspected multiple times by multiple people," said Nelson.
However, KCP&L is firm in saying they've detected problems with U.S. Solar. They've booted the installer out of the energy rebate program.
"There is only one vendor out of more than 50 now and we have had repeated problems with U.S. Solar," said Chuck Caisley, Vice President of Marketing & Public Affairs for KCP&L. "There are significant deficiencies in the installation from what was promised and what was paid for by rebates and by customers."
Tomorrow night we will look at the case of another U.S. Solar install that had some rebate issues.
However, in this instance, KCP&L was informed U.S. Solar was installing a smaller solar system than originally planned. KCP&L sent the larger rebate check anyway, against what U.S. Solar had suggested. The error was caught only after the customer notified U.S. Solar and KCP&L.