Protecting residents from unlicensed contractors and solar scams

As our mission at Nevada State Contractors Board is to protect the public against unlicensed contractors, residents need to be warned about a recent surge in complaints related to solar installation scams. These complaints range from subpar workmanship to installations featuring faulty inverters and companies operating beyond the bounds of their licenses. Reports also indicate misleading sales tactics, especially targeting seniors and vulnerable community members, promising extravagant benefits such as rebates, government incentives and the complete eradication of power bills.

The victims of these deceptive practices often find themselves trapped in long-term loans, with promises of reduced energy costs that lead to the reality of expensive solar systems and monthly bills. Seniors, residents in low-income neighborhoods, and those facing language barriers are particularly vulnerable because they are manipulated to believe they can have their costly power bills significantly reduced or completely eliminated.

As NSCB continually focuses on consumer awareness about scams and sales tactics from unscrupulous contractors, we often relay important information on our website, through workshops or by individuals calling our offices directly. Here are some extra steps that Nevadans can take to protect themselves from solar scams or unlicensed contractors:


Before getting into a contract, especially for solar installations, consumers should ensure that the contractor’s license is in an “active status.” Thoroughly researching the contractor’s background is crucial in avoiding potential pitfalls.


Consumers are strongly advised not to sign any finance contracts or financial agreements related to solar without a comprehensive review. Understanding the terms and conditions is essential to prevent unexpected financial burdens.


Homeowners are encouraged to seek at least three bids before committing to an expensive solar system. This not only helps in assessing the market value but also provides a basis for informed decision-making.


As of January, Senate Bill 293 took effect, supported by the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. This legislation aims to crack down on solar companies and their manipulative business practices. Consumers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the bill and its implications, with further details available on the Attorney General’s Office website,


Consumers should never feel rushed into making decisions or signing contracts that sound too good to be true. Promises that are only available for a limited time often conceal hidden agendas. Trusting one’s instincts and taking the time to thoroughly vet a solar contractor is crucial.

For those unfortunate homeowners who have fallen prey to unscrupulous contractors, the board does offer some financial assistance. The Nevada Legislature created the Residential Recovery Fund in 1999, which has awarded approximately $15 million to harmed homeowners since its inception. Homeowners are eligible to submit a claim to the fund if they own and occupy the single-family residence where work is performed and suffered a financial loss by the contractor within four years of the date of the contract or have obtained a judgement in civil court, which has not been paid by the contractor within two years of issuance.

The NSCB provides information through its website, workshops and direct contact. By staying vigilant, verifying credentials and being informed about legislative changes, residents can safeguard themselves from falling victim to unlicensed contractors. The NSCB remains committed to its mission of protecting Nevada’s consumers and ensuring fair and ethical practices within the solar industry.

Margi A. Grein is the executive officer for the Nevada State Contractors Board, which is committed to protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare through licensing and regulation of the construction industry. Under Nevada Revised Statutes, a licensee is subject to disciplinary action by the board for failure to comply with the requirements of the laws or regulations governing contractors. Violations may result in board action against the contractor’s license. The State Contractors Board has the power to regulate contractors and discipline licensees who violate NRS 624. Disciplinary action may consist of a fine, order corrective action, suspension, revocation or other action. For more information about the Nevada State Contractors Board, visit

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