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Ask Anthony: Solar panel problems continue, owner facing legal troubles in North Florida

After our first story aired, First Coast News received several emails from people who say they're having issues with R Solar Group.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — We have an update on a solar panel company that's accused of bad business practices. 

In November, we told you about Monique Bates, a disabled Jacksonville veteran who purchased solar panels from a local company called R Solar Group.  She contacted First Coast News because she found out her warranty was invalid. That's on top of other issues she was having with the business. 

"Those panels were $50,000. That's a huge investment and I need to have a valid warranty for them. I need to have what the company promised me. That's all I want," Monique Bates said. 

After her story aired, we received several emails from people who say they're having the same issues. 

First Coast News Anchor Anthony Austin went to Clay County and spoke with a couple who purchased solar panels from the company, and they're not happy. 

"I feel like we were completely scammed. I feel so dumb for trying to do the right thing," Regina LeValley said. 

Joshua and Regina LeValley bought solar panels from R Solar Group in May 2021. At the time, the company was known as USA Energy Savers. The owner, Chris Redman, filed paperwork in August 2021 to change the name to R Solar Group with addresses in Jacksonville and South Carolina.  

We discovered USA Energy Savers had an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Related Story: Solar panel problem stressing out disabled veteran in Jacksonville

"We checked Google reviews. We checked the BBB.  We looked online for any types of complaints and there were none at the time," Regina added. 

The LeValleys thought they made a good investment. Like many others, they just wanted to save money on their electric bill. But, they say, the panels are currently malfunctioning. 

"On the monitoring equipment, I have yet to see the production of power per panel that they promised," Joshua LeValley explained. 

The Clay County couple tried to contact R Solar Group about the issue.

"They kept dodging our calls," Regina responded. 

Anthony Austin has been trying to contact R Solar Group since Oct. 7. In December, he returned to the company office on Florida Mining Boulevard and found all the business signs removed.

There was a note on the door from a process server who was trying to serve the owner, Christopher Redman, legal documents.  

We went through Duval County Court records and discovered Redman and USA Energy Savers are being evicted from a property on Baymeadows on Jacksonville's Southside.  

That's not the same office listed for R Solar Group.  

According to the court documents, Redman has not paid rent at that office since June 1 and that equals to more than $32,000. 

The LeValleys are now considering their options. They just want the solar panel company and the owner to provide them with a reliable product. 

"I would like for him to make good on his claims. Either come and take his equipment and dissolve my loans for this equipment...or fix it," Regina said.

The Florida Attorney General's office says at least two complaints have been filed against R Solar Group. 

A representative said they forwarded the complaints to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the state agency that licenses solar contractors.  

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