3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - 3 On Your Side has aired several news reports regarding homeowners who were dissatisfied by going solar.

And now, it's even happened to an employee here at the station.

[RELATED: Another Phoenix area homeowner regrets 'going solar']

She and her husband say they were excited to start experiencing solar, but they say the system isn't working and say no one is helping.

"They were here when we got the house," said Jeff Heimburger.

Heimburger is talking about the solar panels on his house. They were already on the home when he bought it back in the fall of 2017.

"I'm all for the idea of solar. I mean, it's a great benefit," said Heimburger.

[RELATED: Anthem couple has problems selling home with solar]

When Heimburger and his wife bought the Goodyear house, they took over the seller's lease payments for the solar panels, something they had to do if they wanted to buy the home.

And those monthly lease payments were around $160.

"We had to assume the lease as part of the agreement to buy the house, to finance the house," he said.

[RELATED: Going solar? Questions you should ask first]

According to Heimburger, a company called Solar City was the original business that had installed the solar system. However, Solar City was later bought out by Tesla. Yes, the very same company best known for producing electric cars.

But not long after moving in, Heimburger says Tesla called him out of the clear blue and told him they wanted to install new solar panels.

"They called, and they said you're not producing any energy, so we need to replace the panels on your roof and I said, 'OK, let me know when you're going to send a guy out to take a look at my roof to figure out the new plan,'" said Heimburger.

[RELATED: Wittmann homeowner stuck with high solar bills]

Heimburger says Tesla believed the 45 solar panels on his roof had not been functioning properly.

According to Heimburger, Tesla was on to something because the panels seemed to stop working whenever it rained.

Although Tesla promised to install new solar panels, Heimburger says they never did, and it's been several months.


Heimburger says he stopped making those $160 lease payments.

As a result, Heimburger says he stopped making those $160 lease payments.

"Yeah, I don't like paying for things that I don't have a benefit from," he said.

Heimburger says he's waited long enough and he just wants new solar panels installed, but every time he inquires he can't seem to get past customer service and instead refers to them as "customer disservice."

[RELATED: Update: 3 On Your Side gets solar panels removed for Avondale family]

"They'd just read a script to me about how great their stuff was, never got anywhere," he said.

3 On Your Side got involved and after we spoke to Tesla about Heimburger's problem, the company sent out a representative to inspect the panels.


Heimburger says the Tesla representative confirmed the panels need to be replaced and discovered they most likely short-out when it rains.

Heimburger says the Tesla representative confirmed the panels need to be replaced and discovered they most likely short out when it rains.

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

Tesla didn't want to send to send 3 On Your Side a statement, but Heimburger says the company told him new panels will be installed by the end of the month.


Heimburger says the company told him new panels will be installed by the end of the month.

Heimburger says it's about time because there's no sense in leasing solar panels that don't work properly.

[RELATED: Update: Valley homeowner released from 20-year solar contract]

“I want to have panels that work. I want to have value for money that I’m putting out,” he said.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

3 On Your Side Investigative Producer

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