OLYMPIA – People planning on installing solar panels at their homes or businesses would receive added consumer protections under legislation passed unanimously yesterday by the Senate.

SB 6256 would prevent deceptive sales tactics, ensure that contracts are clear and contain all necessary provisions, require work be done by licensed electricians, and provide for enforcement under the state Consumer Protection Act.

“The solar industry is one of the cornerstones of a greener future in Washington state,” said Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), the bill’s prime sponsor. “As solar installations continue to grow, we need to ensure that consumers can be confident that the information they’re receiving is accurate and that the work they’re paying for is high quality.”

The Department of Commerce has heard complaints from customers who were promised unrealistic savings, said Stanford, and there is little that the department can do under current law. SB 6256 would give consumers protections against deceptive practices and ensure dependable installation.

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.