SOUTH YARMOUTH — Fifty-five residents in Yarmouth signed contracts with Solar Wolf Energy Inc. for the installation of solar panels as part of a Solarize Yarmouth campaign. The contracts included the purchase and installation of Sun Power solar panels. Connections to the grid were supposed to be completed by Sun Wolf Solar. The Auburn-based company has left the residents in the lurch after taking money and not completing their contracts. This is what we know so far:
The two cheapest Solarize orders were for $8,677. The costliest orders were for $40,606 and $46,376. Some residents had their installations completed. Some have partial installations. Solar Wolf Energy took down payments on installations that were never begun, according to one resident.
Solar Wolf Energy
The Auburn-based Solar Wolf Energy Inc. was established in 2015 by Ted Strzelecki. The company was named one of the world's fastest growing companies in 2020 by Inc Magazine. The solar installer was ranked No. 427 because of its 1,070% growth.
But Solar Wolf has left other unsatisfied customers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and other cities in Massachusetts.
Strzelecki submitted a proposal to the Mass Clean Energy Center for the Solarize Yarmouth program. His proposal was forwarded by the center to the volunteer Solarize Yarmouth Committee for their review.
Launched in 2011, the program has resulted in almost 20,000 individuals expressing interest in pursuing solar electricity and other clean energy technology systems. To date, more than 3,700 residents and business owners in 85 communities have signed contracts.
Two solar coaches and six volunteers make up the committee. They worked with Cadmus, a technical consultant, when reviewing the RFPs for the Solarize Yarmouth campaign.
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
MCEC is a state economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector, spur job creation, deliver statewide environmental benefits and secure long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts, according to its website.
Yarmouth is selected to participate in the Solarize Mass Plus program in Dec., 2019. The state center sent out a request for proposals on Jan. 4. 2021 for the Solarize Yarmouth program. Solar Wolf Energy Inc. and two other vendors responded by Feb. 3, 2021. The state center's third party consultant Cadmus worked with Yarmouth Solarize committee to select a vendor. Solar Wolf was selected on March 30, 2021. On May 11, 2022 Solar Wolf goes silent.
Mass Clean Energy Center request for proposals threshold
Contractors had to complete a proposal and submit all attachments. A solar PV installer had to have at least 10 solar PV projects installed in Massachusetts.
Attorney General's office investigating Solar Wolf for scamming Yarmouth solar customers
Ted Strzelecki’s legal challenges
The Worcester Business Journal reported on July 8, 2021 that Solar Wolf Energy was hit with three lawsuits seeking a total of $863,605 in damages and restitution. Lawsuits were filed in Worcester Superior Court and the U.S. District Court of Worcester alleging a failure to pay marketing services, and breach of lease and damages.
Solar Wolf Energy faces multiple lawsuits, as Yarmouth homeowners wait
Strzelecki and his wife, Julie, filed for bankruptcy in July 2008. Andrew and Sara Delisio filed a complaint against the Strzelecki couple and TCS Homes and Construction, asking the judge not to discharge the more than $169,000 they paid for home improvements. Strzelecki completed a personal financial management certificate and his debt was discharged in March 2010.
Ted Strzelecki’s businesses
There are nine LLCs listed on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Corporation Division website under Ted Strzelecki’s name. They include real estate investing, real estate holding, furniture manufacturing, roof construction and solar energy companies. A cigar lounge and bar, and a charitable organization is also listed.
Explanations from Solar Wolf
Ted Strzelecki offered Yarmouth residents a number of reasons why work was stalled on solar installations from April 2021 to May 2022. There were supply chain issues, difficulty finding qualified electricians, and trouble finding fasteners and hardware for solar panels, among other reasons. But he was taking down payments for installations into May, 2022.
The AG's office is spearheading efforts to help Solarize Yarmouth customers get redress. Press Secretary Chloe Gotsis had little information to share on Sept. 20 about any actions planned. Committee and town officials hope residents can access the Home Improvement Contractor Arbitration and Guaranty Fund.
Contact Denise Coffey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Solarize Yarmouth: What we know about efforts to help clients