How to avoid ‘bad actors’ in booming solar industry
Frank and Angela Haynes had several reasons for installing a solar system on their Albany, Minn. property one of which was to encourage a conversation with their neighbors about renewable energy.

Frank and Angela Haynes wanted to put solar panels on their century-old home in Albany, about 20 miles west of St. Cloud.

Frank Haynes worked for an electric utility years ago, when most electricity was produced by burning coal. He knew that solar is becoming an affordable energy alternative to reduce fossil fuel use, which produces greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change.

"There really aren't many ways that individuals can do that, so we felt that it was something that we could do,” he said. “Everybody's got to do a little something."

In hindsight, Haynes said he probably should have been a little more cautious when choosing a solar company. 

Haynes said he clicked on an online advertisement about solar energy and contacted Brio, a Utah-based solar sales company. A few months later, he signed a contract for a rooftop solar energy system.

It was a frustrating experience, he said, marked by numerous delays and frequent staff turnover that made it difficult to get answers.

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