Skip to main content

A new lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison accuses a group of solar panel sales companies, executives and financial lenders of deploying deceptive and fraudulent practices to sell solar systems to Minnesota homeowners. 

In an announcement Tuesday, Ellison said the defendants violated Minnesota law by tricking homeowners into binding contracts, deceiving customers into believing they were partnering with utility companies and exaggerating potential cost-savings. 

The lawsuit filed in Hennepin County District Court names the following defendants: 

Four Utah-based companies: 

  • Brio Energy LLC (d/b/a Pure Solar Energy and Clean Energy Educators).
  • Bello Solar Energy (f/k/a Total Solar Solutions and Brio Solar Energy LLC).
  • Avolta Power, Inc. (Brio changed its name to Bello, then Avolta as its sales practices came under scrutiny around the country).
  • Sunny Solar Utah LLC (d/b/a Sunny Renewable Energy).

Three company executives: 

  • Jared Fager.
  • Michael Kaelin.
  • Alan Whitaker. 

Three financial lenders: 

  • Goodleap LLC (f/k/a Loanpal LLC).
  • Sunlight Financial, LLC.
  • Corning Credit Union Services Company, LLC. 

The Attorney General's Office alleges executives would train sales staff to trick customers into signing binding legal documents and threaten legal action when homeowners tried to cancel.

Solar panels sold by the companies cost anywhere from $20,000 to more than $55,000, according to the investigation. 

“This is a shameful scam that hurt both Minnesota families and legitimate companies in the solar industry," Ellison said in a statement. "The recent rapid growth of solar energy in Minnesota is good, and I encourage Minnesotans who thinks it might be right for them to do their research and ask lots of questions."

"Holding bad actors like these accountable helps every legitimate solar-panel company and every homeowner that wants to save money, improve their home, and do right by the environment,” he continued. 

Minnesota consumers are encouraged to report their concerns with the solar companies or lenders by submitted a complaint online or by calling the Attorney General’s Office at (651) 296-3353 (Metro), (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota), or (800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay). 

Next Up

flash flooding

Weekend rain totals pushed 6+ inches in Minnesota, Iowa; 10 in Illinois

Big-time rain totals across southern Minnesota, southeast South Dakota, northern Iowa and northern Illinois.

Airport traveler flying pixabay

Man who had meth, guns in checked luggage at MSP Airport gets 10 years

Kevin Alan Aguilar-Moreno, 21, attempted to board a Delta flight to Phoenix in October of last year.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.13.33 AM

Family identifies man killed by police in Otsego

The 21-year-old was reportedly experiencing 'mental health challenges' and allegedly had a knife when deputies opened fire.

88 S 11th St, Minneapolis, Minnesota - April 2022 (1)

Gun found on WCCO-TV rooftop after homicide in Minneapolis

It's the 56th death reported as a homicide in Minneapolis this year.

Screen Shot 2022-08-07 at 11.43.15 AM

Deputies fatally shoot man in Wright County

Police claim the man, who had allegedly been experiencing a mental health crisis, was armed with a knife.

Ambulance hospital emergency

17-year-old killed in northern Minnesota crash Saturday

The other drive involved in the crash, a 75-year-old man, sustained life-threatening injuries.


Alcohol a factor as driver rolls ATV into corn field, injuring 3

The crash occurred in Lake Lillian Saturday night.

Minneapolis police

Man dies after being found shot at Minneapolis' 38th and Chicago

Responders were called to the scene early Sunday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-08-07 at 6.34.12 AM

7 children arrested after 'disturbance' at Cabela's, escape in stolen vehicle

Employees called police saying the children were stealing goods from the store.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 6.16.49 PM

Fire sparks evacuation from apartment building, man arrested for arson

Police and fire crews responded to the fire just before 9 a.m. Saturday.

Flickr - utility pole power line

Morning storms cause power outages, ensuing problems in Eagan

There have been reports of disabled traffic lights and issues at local businesses.


Keith Ellison

AG Ellison sues large MN landlord over living conditions

The lawsuit said the landlord failed to make repairs, making the homes unsafe.

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison announces $81 million settlement with tobacco companies

Ellison's 2018 lawsuit alleged that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company failed to make required payments to the state.


Keith Ellison joins investigation into TikTok's effect on young people

The investigation is led by attorney generals in California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont.

Keith Ellison

Ellison won't appeal ruling tossing out abortion restrictions

The state will no longer fight the lawsuit filed in 2019.


Minnesotans will see $1.8 million in payouts from TurboTax settlement

The $141 million settlement involves all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison sues landlords for trying to evict tenant during peacetime emergency

The lawsuit is against two landlords of a Roseville property.