Veteran loses 15K after Moxie Solar closes as a former executive starts new solar company

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:03 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Jeremy Zumbach, a US Veteran and dad of four kids, signed a contract with Moxie Solar worth more than $30,000 to install solar panels on his house in Marion. Records shared with our KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team show he paid the company more than $15,000 to install the panels, but months later no panels were installed and Moxie Solar closed in December.

“I lost a lot of sleep over that,” Zumbach said. “To be honest with you and it made our holiday plans a challenge and we found a way to work through it as a family now that the investment is completely gone.” Zumbach said.

Zumbach said he is one of the 109 complaints the Iowa Attorney General’s Office said it received about Moxie Solar since 2020. Documents from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, which our KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team found, show a former executive from Moxie Solar started a new solar company days after it said Moxie Solar ended its operation.

True Solar said Travis Eichelberger is the company’s CEO and owner. Eichelberger was the president and former Chief Operating Officer for Moxie Solar, according to a lawsuit in Federal Court, a press release from Moxie Solar and documents from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. The LinkedIn pages for other employees listed on the company’s website show some used to work for Moxie Solar as well.

A company spokesperson for True Solar said in an email there is no ownership commonality and Eichelberger was like other employees suddenly out of a job when Moxie Solar closed last month, It also said True Solar has been able to help some of the previous Moxie customers and provide employment to those suddenly left without it from Moxie.

“We had a lot of hard-working employees that believe in renewable energy suddenly unemployed, right before the holidays,” True Solar’s statement said. “We quickly recognized that if we could make our own decisions and do it our way, by staying small and staying local, that we could create something special! That will also allow us to avoid the challenges that Moxie faced as of late. So we decided to come together to create this with our vision.”

According to Iowa court records, Moxie Solar faced around 15 lawsuits over the last six years. Two lawsuits filed in 2023 claim Moxie Solar took payments from four customers upfront worth more than $30,000, $123,000, $27,700 and then didn’t complete the job.

Zumbach said he will likely not sue Moxie Solar to get his money back because he’s concerned he’ll spend more money and time trying to get his money back.

According to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Moxie Solar received 86 complaints over the last two years. All other solar companies, according to the Attorney General’s Office, received 55 complaints. TV9 did ask if there were any actions taken against this company starting last week and hasn’t received a response.

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