ATLANTA — The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) is going after bad actors in the rooftop solar industry.

Commission Chairman Tricia Pridemore has sent a letter urging state Attorney General Chris Carr to protect Georgia homeowners from rooftop solar panel installers advertising free electricity and free solar.

“Some less-than-reputable companies are making promises they can’t deliver,” Pridemore said.

The PSC approved a pilot program two years ago allowing 5,000 homeowners to install solar panels on their rooftops and sell any excess energy produced back to Georgia Power. That 5,000 cap was reached this summer, and representatives of the solar industry have been urging the commission to raise the limit.

Georgia is ranked ninth in the nation for solar installation and is one of the fastest growing solar markets, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

But the PSC has been cautious about moving too quickly on rooftop solar because of complications including whether homeowners using solar energy, Georgia Power or the utility’s customers should be paying the cost of transferring power to and from the grid.

False ads being run by disreputable rooftop solar installers are misrepresenting the pilot program, regulators and utilities, Pridemore wrote to Carr.

“The solar developer industry is self-regulated, but there are clear and decisive laws against misleading advertisements,” Pridemore wrote. “I implore the attorney general’s office to protect hard-working Georgia homeowners from these scams and companies who seek to damage the exceptional reputation of Georgia’s utility system.”

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