LETTER: Resident Disappointed by Solar Company’s Suit to Allow Door-to-Door Sales During COVID

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To the Editor:

Watertown has been lucky to have a relatively low rate of COVID-19 infection and death. Our elected officials and administrators have worked diligently on our behalf. Among the safety measures instituted is a ban on door-to-door solicitation during the crisis.

Trinity Solar, a for-profit New Jersey solar installation company, has threatened legal action against Watertown for its ban on door-to-door solicitation during the pandemic. Even if solar installation is deemed an essential service, there is nothing “essential” about selling solar door-to-door during a pandemic. Watertown had no choice but to permit Trinity Solar’s request to engage in door-to-door solicitation, thereby increasing the risk of COVID infection for the residents of Watertown.

There is no doubt that we are in a climate crisis, and the transition to renewable energy is essential. I am a solar advocate. I have spent untold hours walking streets, holding information programs, and meeting with groups to explain and advocate for solar power. I have never taken a dime
for my advocacy and promotion of solar. My small solar programs have between one and two megawatts of solar installed around the Commonwealth. Watertown has over five megawatts of installed solar comprised of over three hundred installed solar systems, and the city is in the process of building two new zero-net energy elementary schools, which will be powered by solar. Clearly, the residents, elected officials, and administration of this town believe renewable energy, including solar
power, is essential.

Solar continues to be installed in Watertown all during this pandemic without door-to- door solicitation. This makes clear that Trinity Solar’s legal action, which is solely for its own profit, is completely unnecessary and would disserve by putting residents of Watertown at risk.

It is important for all residents of Watertown to know that most reputable and local solar companies are not behaving this way. None of them have threatened towns with legal action. None are sending a solar salesforce into any neighborhood. None are risking residents’ or their employees’ health.
It hurts all of us who are dedicated to the transition to renewable energy to have this difficult and time-consuming effort marred by a company willing to put others at lethal risk for its financial gain.

For anyone interested in installing solar during these times, there are many ways to seek information or install, including calling Ed Lewis, Watertown’s Energy Manager, contacting me through the website for Neighborhood Solar, or contacting any of our local solar companies.

Thank you,
Jocelyn Tager

5 thoughts on “LETTER: Resident Disappointed by Solar Company’s Suit to Allow Door-to-Door Sales During COVID

  1. The solar companies were not deemed essential and only recently have started to install panels in the last month or so. There are many good installers without anyone going door to door. The Federal Tax Credit percentage drops again at the end of the year. I am not sure Neighborhood Solar will provide you the best price, but do start with them at least for a comparison.

  2. Completely agree with this letter. I don’t want people knocking at my door trying to sell me solar panels. If I was interested in them I certainly would not buy them from someone going door to door. I would research them on my own, ask around, and find a company on my own. I would hope anyone considering a large investment like solar panels would do the same. The other issue with allowing door to door sales is the potential for fraud and people getting ripped off.

    Maybe we all need to put up a notice at our doors saying NO SOLICITING.

  3. I totally agree with this letter. Any company with concern for the health of residents would not go door to door during a pandemic to promote their product. Fellow residents, please put your own priorities first and keep your door and your pocket book closed to this vendor.

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