New law aims to crack down on RI’s solar industry

New law aims to crack down on RI’s solar industry


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee signed legislation into law last week designed to regulate solar companies and protect consumers from deceptive sales practices.


The Residential Solar Energy Disclosure and Homeowners Bill of Rights Act requires solar retailers to register both their business and a roster of their representatives soliciting sales in the Ocean State. Solar retailers must also conduct criminal background checks on principal officers and sales representatives, as well as follow municipal restrictions on door-to-door sales and federal telemarketing rules.

The R.I. Department of Business Regulation has been given the authority to investigate complaints and to impose administrative penalties.

“Residential solar panels are an opportunity for Rhode Islanders to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their electricity bill,” said Rep. Mia Ackerman, who sponsored the legislation. “However, the recent explosion of door-to-door solar panel sales have created a customer protection issue that the legislature must address.”

“This bill will implement common-sense safeguards for consumers and enable a trustworthy solar industry to flourish in our state,” she continued.

R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha said applauded the legislation, highlighting the urgent need for consumer protection in the solar industry.

“My office has seen a disturbing increase in deceptive solar sales practices,” Neronha said. “Through numerous pending civil actions, my consumer protection team has led the charge in protecting Rhode Islanders from this conduct – ensuring that when Rhode Islanders invest in solar panels, their money goes to green energy rather than lining the pockets of unscrupulous brokers.”

“This legislation will allow Rhode Islanders to confidently purchase solar equipment while supporting our state’s climate goals,” he added.

The law is will officially take effect on March 1, 2025.

Sarah Guernelli ( is the consumer investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.