Investigations

Perry County family claims solar panels caused roof leak

MILLERSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -- A Perry County family says it's roof is leaking and a portion has collapsed from solar panels installed by Tesla.

"The installation came in the beginning of July, they came out they installed everything," said Ashlyne Ramer. "We turned them on in September and we've used them about two months now, but the leaking started before we even turned them on."

Ramer says the solar panels have been turned off for weeks. She says she expressed doubt about whether her roof was stable enough to withhold solar panels before Tesla installed them.

"We did have concerns, the roof that they wanted to put them on is an old porch roof. No one really knew the construction of it, because when we bought the house, of course, it was already enclosed," said Ramer. She says Tesla recommended the solar panels be installed there.

Ramer complained to Tesla when the roof began leaking and again when it collapsed.

"They came out and said once again it wasn't their problem, case closed," said Ramer. She looked for another opinion, including two contractors and an engineer.

"We couldn't get any information from the installer, from Tesla, but no I would not have recommended that," said Jim Lucas, a Pennsylvania licensed engineer who inspected the Ramer property.

Ramer says she asked Tesla for the credentials of the employees who evaluated her roof and installed the solar panels, but Tesla told her that was private information. 

In Pennsylvania, you can find out if an engineer is licensed through the Department of State website and if a contractor is registered through the Office of Attorney General website.

"Don't let anybody on your property without knowing their names and definitely licenses numbers, just so you can verify that they are legitimate and that they can practice in this state and that they're covered," said Ramer.

ABC27 reached out to Tesla about the creditability of its employees. Tesla says it has several licensed electricians on staff and, when needed, it partners with contractors who also meet state and local requirements. Tesla also says it partners closely with the state and local jurisdictions to ensure it has all of the proper permits and licensed personnel.

Ramer says Telsa has agreed to remove the solar panels but says it is not responsible for the damage to the roof. Ramer has filed complains with the Office of Attorney General, Department of State and the Better Business Bureau.

According to the Better Business Bureau website, there are nearly 600 complains about Tesla Energy Operation. More than 500 of those complaints are related to product and services.

Ramer is looking into taking legal action. 

 

 


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