WATCH: Kyle, Buda homeowners question door-to-door salesman’s connection with PEC

Hays

Editor’s Note: One day after KXAN’s original report, the owner of Speir Innovations LLC contacted KXAN, identifying the man in the Kyle homeowner’s Ring doorbell video as a Speir employee. The company later sent KXAN a statement, which is included in full below.

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — A door-to-door salesman has been concerning homeowners in Kyle and Buda. They told KXAN they believed the salesman was representing himself as part of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative.

The utility warns the public that its employees do not make sales calls door-to-door or over the phone.

The owner of Speir Innovations LLC contacted KXAN Tuesday identifying the salesman seen in one homeowner’s doorbell video as a Speir employee.

The owner told KXAN his salesmen do not represent themselves as working for PEC, and that their shirts and hats have the Speir Innovations logo on them.

“Unfortunately, scammers in the area have people on high alert and are making it difficult for legitimate solar companies like ours to carry out our regular daily tasks,” Speirs Innovations wrote in a statement to KXAN Tuesday afternoon. “These are the problems that local solar companies are facing as scammers enter the area. People are on high alert and understandably so.”

Kyle homeowner Ora Barrientos said when her daughter answered the door to a salesman, she heard him mention Pedernales Electric Cooperative and its net metering program.

ring camera spier
A ring camera captured a salesman in Kyle (Courtesy Ora Barrientos)

In their Ring doorbell video, the salesman can be heard saying, “I’m coming around informing homeowners of PEC’s Net Metering Program.”

“Our script was repeated verbatim, as can be heard in the video, the same script that has been performed on roughly 350,000 doorsteps every year for the past 2 years,” Speirs’ statement said.

When Barrientos’ daughter told the man that two people in the home actually work at PEC, she said the man left.

Barrientos, a PEC employee, said she reported the incident to management.

Down the street, Linda Moore said she was also approached by a salesman who mentioned Pedernales.

“He was talking to people about solar energy,” she recalled.

A spokesperson for PEC, Mike Viesca, told KXAN it has received multiple reports of “individuals impersonating PEC employees and/or claiming they have partnered with PEC” in Kyle and Buda for more than a week.

The PEC spokesperson said it recently added a banner alert on its website homepage telling customers to contact the utility “if you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from PEC…”

PEC’s website includes a page titled, “Scam Protection.”  It states PEC never tries to “sell you products or services by phone or door-to-door, including solar panels, energy audits, ‘important energy-saving initiatives’ or more.”

PEC also posted a message and video on its Facebook page this week saying “Members have reported individuals impersonating PEC employees and/or claiming they have partnered with PEC.”

“People from PEC have never come to my door,” Moore said, adding that she’s lived there for 11 years.

KXAN News spoke with another neighbor more than a mile away in the Post Oak neighborhood, who had a similar encounter with a salesman.

The PEC spokesman told KXAN it got reports of a similar string of incidents in Cedar Park and Leander two to three months ago.

PEC said all its employees carry IDs. If you are in doubt, you can call 1-888-554-4732 to verify a PEC employee.

According to its statement, Speirs Innovations has installed more than 1,000 residential solar systems and commercial systems.

“Keep an eye out for us,” Speir’s statement continued, “we will be wearing blue Speir shirts with blue Speir hats and coming around to inform you about the options that your utility company has available for you.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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