MA Attorney General investigating Solar Wolf Energy
YARMOUTH — Frustrated. That’s how residents who deposited money with Solar Wolf Energy Inc. feel about a state-approved contractor absconding with their money after signing contracts for the Solarize Yarmouth program.
Town officials are frustrated too.
About 50 residents deposited money for services and supplies that Solar Wolf was supposed to provide. Some received service and supplies. Many did not, according to town officials.
Last month the town was alerted that Solar Wolf had ceased operations. The company’s owner, Ted Strzelecki has not answered telephone calls from Yarmouth residents or town officials. He and his company have taken thousands of dollars for the services he is supposed to provide, according to Yarmouth Town Administrator Robert Whritenour Jr.
Solarize Mass is a community-based education, outreach and group buying program that allows residents to band together to save money on solar electric systems and other clean energy technologies, according to Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s website. The Center oversees the program.
Getting restitution for customers, and figuring out where things went wrong will take time, Whritenour Jr. said this week.
“We had a lot of questions and we’re trying to identify potential resources we can bring to bear to make these local residents whole,” Whritenour said about a meeting held with the Attorney General’s office and members of the Cape’s legislative delegation.
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Attorneys told Whritenour the local government can’t take direct action because the town is not a party to any contracts, and didn’t release the Request for Proposals to select Solar Wolf Energy for the program. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center issued the Request for Proposals.
The Attorney General’s Office has agreed to spearhead efforts to help residents. The first order of business is doing an audit of the Yarmouth program, creating a list of Yarmouth customers, the exact dollar amounts they have deposited, and the extent of services and supplies they have received.
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Whritenour is urging all Yarmouth residents who have been affected to file reports with the Yarmouth Police Department. The department will forward that information to the Attorney General’s Office.
The Attorney General’s Office said of 50 customers who signed up with Solar Wolf Energy, only 35 have filed reports with Yarmouth Police Department. Whritenour said the town is trying to round up the remaining customers.
He said other state agencies will be looking at the complete audit to develop potential solutions, such as getting residents’ money returned.
“They warned us it’s going to take time to wrap up,” Whritenour said. “There are a lot of issues involved, including bankruptcy and deceptive practices. Additional state resources could be forthcoming.”
“It’s a developing story,” Thomas Dalton, press secretary with the Attorney General’s office said on Tuesday. “We urge people to file consumer complaints with the AG’s office as soon as possible so we can get details fast.
MCEC Communications Director Kathryn Niforos said her office was working on a public record request submitted by the Times on Monday. The agency has 10 business days to fulfill that request.
Solarize Yarmouth customers should contact the Yarmouth Police Department at 508-775-0445 if they have not already filed complaints against Solar Wolf Energy, Inc.
The Times was unable to contact Strzeleki for comment. His voice mailbox was full.
Contact Denise Coffey at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @DeniseCoffeyCCT.