4.28.2011

Going Green {UPDATED!}

UPDATE: Since posting, I did enough background research on Green Monster to believe that I have, in fact, been scammed. Within 24 hours of signing on the dotted line {which I did far too easily! Why didn't I wait? Why didn't I think about it?! I'm such an idiot!!} we had these things installed, and now I'm pretty sure that the promised rebates and incentives either will not be coming or will not be for the amounts we were promised, leaving us with 11% interest on a loan we cannot afford and should never have taken out. 


Since finding out about their revoked status from the BBB, seeing the lack of any REAL information on them from Google, and then some online cautions, I've been sick


Literally, I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't believe I did this to us. I feel like such a fool. I have never done anything so stupid in my life. I really just thought I'd be saving us money when we so desperately need to do that, and now I'm afraid I've just saddled us with an enormous debt. 


I hate myself.


Right now it's 4am, but come daylight I will be making a few calls-- to the BBB, the Attorney General's office, the National Fraud Information Center {NFIC} and our local news outlets, if I have to. And Green Monster themselves, of course. Perhaps by some miracle I'll be able to work something out with them. 


In the meantime, I have to go throw up.


Anyone know a good lawyer?




There's something exciting going on at our house! A few weeks ago, I got a call from a company called Green Monster. At first, it was mostly survey questions about how much I knew about energy efficiency and whether I was aware of government incentives towards 'going green'. They asked if I wanted to meet with an energy consultant, and though I was suspicious of some kind of marketing scam, I warily agreed. 


Several years ago, {before the recession hit} I had looked into taking advantage of government incentives and rebates in order to get solar panels installed. I was frustrated with the ineffective and wasteful design of homes in our state {including ours} which just seem to result in crazy-high air-conditioning costs. But even with incentives, going 'off grid' with solar panels was too cost prohibitive. 

But this is different. What Green Monster does is offer a package of energy-saving products: packaging means they get to offer them cheaper. Tack on the Federal Tax Incentive, the State Tax Incentive, the utility company's rebate {Yes! The utility company pays you to go green!} and suddenly, the cost of the products are less than the amount you end up saving in utilities every month. 

That is, if it works. J remains skeptical until we receive our next utility bill. In the meantime, yesterday we had panels installed for our new solar water heater!

They had to cut a few holes in the wall to thread the new pipes down from the roof to the water heater in the garage. {the drywall guys come next week to patch 'em up.}


And here's the new two-tank solar water heating system. This was moments after it was installed, and you can see the water in the tank had already been heated to 90 degrees. If you push a button on the screen, you can see how hot it is on the roof-- at 9 o'clock this morning, it was already 110 degrees.


That afternoon, they also installed the radiant barrier in our attic. It's that tin-foil-looking-tent stapled to the rafters. Apparently, it's designed by NASA and blocks heat from entering the attic. See the air duct in the right hand corner? It rests right on top of the insulation. This always frustrated me, because you're pumping uninsulated cooled air through a super-heated attic. The very picture of insanity! We'd talked about putting insulation in the rafters, but this works even better. 


Next week, they come to put uv/heat blocking film on all the windows, then they're sending an inspector to find heat spots, put in additional insulation, and seal all the windows and doors. 


Yesterday, after they'd finished their work, I kept checking  the thermostat to see if someone had lowered the temperature. I didn't mention it to J because I was sure it was just a placebo effect-- my mind playing tricks on me. But J feels it too! 


It remains to be seen whether this is the smartest move we've ever made, or if I just fell for a a virtuously-clad scam, but I have high hopes. I promised J that if we lose money over this, I'd broadcast my wrath to the entire internet. Fingers crossed that it doesn't come to that.


I'll keep you updated!


PS- Did you know April is Earth Month? How appropriate!

7 comments:

LisAway said...

Extremely awesome! Definitely keep us posted on how it's working! This is very exciting. (I recently wrote an ebook on solar electric systems so I'm sort of in this frame of mind.)

Marci said...

Do you mind sharing how much it is costing for them to put it all in? I'm very curious to see how it goes!

Jessica West Judkins said...

this is actually pretty cool, can't wait to see future updates to see if its working.

I wonder if Solar Panels would be something we can use in areas that dont get sun all the time, like we live in DC.

Kristina said...

I am utterly sick for you. I pray that you can get some kind of monetary compensation from someone out there. Hopefully that hellish company ... Make 'em pay!

MegRuth said...

I am so sorry! I hope you can get some of your money back. Prayers are with you!

Angela said...

what state do you live in? my husband is a lawyer. we're in vegas, but he has friends in AZ he went to law school with.

angela.davidson at gmail.com

Miller Family said...

I found your blog online. I too feel for it! I fought with a green monster guy on the phone for about an hour. How did it work out for you? I would love for you to share. Please! It is 2:45 am and this is NOT my first sleepless night over this!

thank you!
my email is krisndusty at gmail dot com

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