A utility company 'free solar panel' scam targets homeowners


Do you know what demands utility companies will never make?

A report of a new scam has surfaced in Louisville, Ky. – one that should make any homeowner a little nervous.

Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) emailed their customers that the utility companies have received numerous calls from concerned customers reporting door-to-door “solar installers” claiming to work for LG&E and KU. 

As part of a fevered sales pitch, these scammers promise “free solar panels” or “free energy” as part of signing up to do business with them.

“While there are many legitimate solar installers across our service area, please know that LG&E and KU do not market or sell residential rooftop solar panels and are not affiliated with any residential solar installers,” the utilities said, pointing their customers to their website where a list of reputable, renewable programs and resources were available to help consumers determine what is best for their situation.

“Just as you would do with any significant investment involving your home, we encourage you to always do your homework and secure quotes from several reputable businesses before signing any contract or agreement and making a significant financial investment,” the companies said.

Never let your guard down

In Scamland, all it takes is one new and nifty idea for every wannabe scammer out there to start doing the same thing. And, this one could spread quickly, so be vigilant.

“Never let your guard down when it comes to scammers, as they will say and try to do many things to take your money,” LG&E/KU recommended, and no matter where you live, you should do the same. 

Just remember, that utility companies will never:

  • Tell you that if you do not make an immediate payment, you will be cut off from your service

  • Request payment through a live or automated call

  • Demand payment by sending someone to your home

  • Ask you to provide your credit card number or bank account number

  • Request that you pay with a prepaid debit card or gift card

If someone claims to be from a utility company — and you have to be very careful here because scammers can trick Caller IDs – and demands immediate payment, just hang up because it’s an outright scam.

When someone shows up at your house and claims to represent a utility company, demand to see the employee or contractor identification card issued by the company. The front of an authentic identification card typically features the utility company's logo, the employee's name, and a color photograph of the employee.

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