3 On Your Side

Update: Solar customer gets refund

Posted: Updated:
Rachel Woolley said she got a check for nearly $1,000 thanks to 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV) Rachel Woolley said she got a check for nearly $1,000 thanks to 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV)
Woolley told us how her utility bills actually increased after going solar. (Source: 3TV) Woolley told us how her utility bills actually increased after going solar. (Source: 3TV)
Woolley signed a 20-year lease for those solar panels, but instead of seeing her utility bills drop, they went up. (Source: 3TV) Woolley signed a 20-year lease for those solar panels, but instead of seeing her utility bills drop, they went up. (Source: 3TV)
As a result of 3 On Your Side's inquiry, Sunrun mailed Woolley a reimbursement check for $941.76, which equates to how much she overpaid for electricity during 2017. (Source: 3TV) As a result of 3 On Your Side's inquiry, Sunrun mailed Woolley a reimbursement check for $941.76, which equates to how much she overpaid for electricity during 2017. (Source: 3TV)
Sunrun assures 3 On Your Side and Woolley that they are working with her utility company to get her on the right plan. (Source: 3TV) Sunrun assures 3 On Your Side and Woolley that they are working with her utility company to get her on the right plan. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Phoenix homeowner is aggravated after going solar. She paid nearly $1,000 more over the course of a year than if she didn't go solar. But 3 On Your Side got her some good news.

"We're hoping Sunrun will either fulfill their guarantee to lower our bills with the solar panels or come and take them off our roof," Rachel Woolley said.

It continues to be a roller coaster ride for Woolley after her decision to go solar.

"We used 20 percent less energy last year and we managed to pay almost $1,000 more than we would have if we'd never gone solar in the first place," she said.

In a previous 3 On Your Side report, Woolley told us how her utility bills actually increased after going solar. Woolley explained how a salesman representing a company called Sunrun came to Woolley’s Phoenix home and convinced her renewable energy was the way to go.

[READ MORE: Phoenix homeowner says 'going green' makes her see 'red']

"Made it seem like we had everything to gain and nothing to lose by going solar," she said.

Woolley signed a 20-year lease for those solar panels, but instead of seeing her utility bills drop, they went up.

So, 3 On Your Side contacted Sunrun for an explanation and in a statement, the company said Woolley was simply put on the wrong solar plan.

"...Our representative should have identified this rate structure when moving Ms. Woolley to her new solar plan and we are deeply sorry that in this instance they did not," the statement said.

As a result of 3 On Your Side's inquiry, Sunrun mailed Woolley a reimbursement check for $941.76, which equates to how much she overpaid for electricity during 2017.

"I don't think I’d be holding this check in my hands, for starters, without the intervention of 3 On Your Side and I certainly don't think Sunrun would be taking me seriously. In fact, before you guys came to my aid, they weren’t taking me seriously, they dismissed all of my concerns," Woolley said.

As of now, Woolley is still on the wrong solar plan. However, Sunrun assures 3 On Your Side and Woolley that they are working with her utility company to get her on the right plan.

Woolley hopes that happens soon because going green was supposed to save her green.

"As nice as it is to have this money back, we want to know what's going to happen in the future. This is a 20-year lease that we signed and we certainly can't afford to be overpaying by this month every year or going through this process at the end of every year to get back what we're owed," Woolley said.

We appreciate Sunrun looking into the matter and issuing that refund.

You can view Sunrun's statement below that was sent to 3 On Your Side on 1/29/18 

"Our Customer Care team is working with APS to determine the optimal solution for Ms Woolley and are keeping her informed of progress. I'm told Customer Care will update Ms. Woolley on progress again tomorrow."

For further information on time-of-use rates, please visit Sunrun's website.

Do rooftop solar panels make sense for you? Click APS to find out.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Recent 3 On Your Side storiesMore>>

  • Consumer Reports' recalls for May

    Consumer Reports' recalls for May

    Friday, May 25 2018 11:56 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:56:10 GMT
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    From autos to chainsaws, recalls you should know about.

    More >

    From autos to chainsaws, recalls you should know about.

    More >
  • Mesa man discovers fake lottery

    Mesa man discovers fake lottery

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:57 PM EDT2018-05-25 18:57:19 GMT
    Marlow Krien says he got a letter in the mail saying he won a lottery and had to cash a check. (Source: 3TV)Marlow Krien says he got a letter in the mail saying he won a lottery and had to cash a check. (Source: 3TV)
    Marlow Krien says he got a letter in the mail saying he won a lottery and had to cash a check. (Source: 3TV)Marlow Krien says he got a letter in the mail saying he won a lottery and had to cash a check. (Source: 3TV)

    A Mesa man received a check in the mail saying he had won a lottery but he was suspicious about it.

    More >

    A Mesa man received a check in the mail saying he had won a lottery but he was suspicious about it.

    More >
  • Fake contractor runs from 3 On Your Side after taking $21,000 from consumer

    Fake contractor runs from 3 On Your Side after taking $21,000 from consumer

    Thursday, May 24 2018 12:22 PM EDT2018-05-24 16:22:00 GMT

    A Scottsdale woman trying to improve her home’s curb appeal doled out a lot of money for a project. But in the end, the fake contractor she hired kept the $21,000 and vanished. 

    More >

    A Scottsdale woman trying to improve her home’s curb appeal doled out a lot of money for a project. But in the end, the fake contractor she hired kept the $21,000 and vanished. 

    More >

Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Hide bio

Contact 3 On Your Side