Rooftop Solar Power Has a Dark Side

This year, during the heat of summer, when temperatures in New York surpassed 90°F, the 22 solar panels on the roof of my house were doing absolutely nothing.

This is not something I learned until September, four months after my husband and I bought this house with a purportedly functional leased solar system in upstate New York, months after logging into a website that inaccurately told us that the panels were working, months after we forked over $6,000 to prepay the remainder of the 20-year lease to the company supposed to be maintaining the solar panels, Spruce Power, which happens to be the largest privately held owner and operator of residential solar in America.

A third-party technician dispatched to our house by Spruce in September blamed squirrels that chewed on som…