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Help available for Sullivan Solar Power customers left in the dark

Solar equipment is usually covered by warranties and state funds are available to cover losses.

SAN DIEGO — Sullivan Solar Power closed earlier this year, leaving many customers in the dark. There is good news and bad news for customers still upset over the solar company’s shut down.

The Miramar office of Sullivan Solar ceased operations in October.

The good news is, if your system is already installed, chances are your equipment is covered by the factory warranty, in some cases for up to 25 years, according to Michael Powers, the founder of Stellar Solar in Oceanside.

“It’s very similar to [buying] a car from the dealership and then the dealership closes. You can still take the Ford or Chevy to a different dealership, and they'll take care of it for you, not a problem,” said Powers.

If your system is not working or if the batteries are recalled, for example, you call any contractor that is certified to work on your type of equipment.

“If people have original paperwork, that's certainly helpful to see what models and brand names of equipment has been installed. A lot of times a simple snapshot that people can take with their phone, we can recognize what kind of equipment from that. It makes it pretty simple, pretty quick,” said Powers.

The bad news: if your solar company abandoned your installation project before it was finished, you will probably have to pay a different company to finish the job.

“A dealership like ours, or some others, can usually come in and figure out where things were in the process and continue it,” Powers said.

If you suffer financial loss because of fraud or your solar company shuts down, file a claim with the Contractors State License Board to be eligible for state money that will reimburse up to $40,000 in solar system losses (restrictions apply).

“We will look into whether the system is functional, or what it needs to be made functional, what that would cost, whether it's defective installation or the installation is complete. Then, if someone was lied to, or entered a contract under misrepresentation, or promises that were not fulfilled, we'll look at that,” said Michael Jamnetski, CSLB chief of Legislation. “If there's a mechanics lien from an unpaid supplier, that would probably fall under the definition of financial injury.”

To be eligible for CSLB reimbursement money, your solar system had to be installed after January 1, 2016.

The CEO of Sullivan Solar Power, Daniel Sullivan, currently is in jail facing domestic violence and stalking charges. He's set to appear in Vista court on January 6, 2022.

WATCH RELATED: CEO of shuttered Sullivan Solar Power arrested on felony stalking charges

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