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#206790 08/12/12 11:54 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 36
In the modern world, its my opinion everything is a scam, until proven otherwise.

Further, marketing literature never provides a standard of proof, so consumers must suffer the research investigation effort.

When I'm in the market for a product, here's what I do:

1) Individual background checks:
Many scam artists are exposed after criminal background checks on persons associated with the questionable product. Product names change frequently, but many civil suits and public policy issues are archived in local news sources, using the name of the prosecuted individual(s).

2) Legal database searches:
Many scam artists are exposed in litigation cases:
Unlike consumer forums like, court cases reliably identify verdicts and penalties decided by public policy and a jury of our peers.

The wiki on Ripoffreport shows the website operator embroiled in litigation for allowing competitors to slander legitimate businesses with impunity, and we don't know if its 41 complaints against John Russel's Power4Home system are inspired by a similar competitor.

Private Databases:
Available to most university students, the Lexis/Nexis private legal database has existing law and cases. A search for "John Russel" and Power4Home may be found in that database.

Public Databases:
Cornell's public database only searches existing law:

Consumers suffer these decisions largely because Case Law databases were traditionally unavailable in the public domain.

Since my college professor dad was laid off, we lost our access to his university resources. And, I haven't looked for a public case-law database recently. It would help us all if someone knew of one, and could advise us where its located.

In the mean time, ask your local library if they have a case-law database, to perform a search for references to "John Russel" or Power4Home

Roger Ramjet
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
twh Offline
That's a long video. How does it end?

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 36
It ends by offering a package of books & CD's for DIY's to get started.

Roger Ramjet
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
I did some research on it. The basic read is the info is legit however it involves a bit a time and are mechanically inclined. The savings comes in you labor and doing your homework like used equipment like batteries. Be a good hobby I guess in your spare time. The panels in the books put out about 75 watts. Not sure on the panel dims. The panels I use are about twice the output and about twice the cost of the panels without giving up a weekend for them. I'm not too keen in using used parts in a "new" system. It will be constantly nickel and diming you along the way

Just my humble opinion from experience

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,696
Likes: 11
That is 2 minutes out of my life that I am not getting back. I am glad I heard how it ended.

Yes I bet it is a scam or at least a raw deal on some overpriced DVDs that don't tell you anything you can't find on the Mother Earth News web site.

I know these Glen Beck people don't like it but in a lot of places these solar arrays need to be installed by a pro and they all do if you want the evil government rebate.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 36
If anyone finds any reference to "John Russel" or Power4Home in case-law databases please let us know.

Roger Ramjet
sparkyinak #206799 08/14/12 07:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Here's a few for starters; [ note this latter is a UK victim, so this is not just an American operation.]

You don't need to be Albert H. Einstien III to realise there is something not quite right with an advertisement that claims any unskilled bozo with just a screwdriver can break into a poco supply, rig up a 200-buck home-made pv/windmill/capacitor bank array, make enough juice to run a family home off-grid in a Plains winter and get checks in the post! Trouble is, for every one of us technically trained people who can see the thing as improbable poppycock, there are dozens who can't. It only takes that tiny gullible minority to post off their checks for the operators to recoup their costs and make a killing, sad, but that's human nature. By the time the Feds turn up, they will be long gone.

Last edited by Alan Belson; 08/14/12 07:30 PM.

Wood work but can't!
Alan Belson #206800 08/14/12 07:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 13
In addition to all of the above, there are requirements in the new code that need to be met that will drive the cost waaaaay high. To feed the grid (or even parallel it) at any time requires expensive equipment, skills and knowledge far beyond the average HO. Besides, unless this is a charging battery style kind of system, it is impracticable to think that you can set up any sort of an array that is capable of supplying the average household without spending a lot of money on the arrays and there interconnection etc.

sparkyinak #206802 08/14/12 09:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,299
Likes: 6
FWIW, I'm really going to dread the day that I get the first resi solar permit application "By Homeowner".

I have to be thankful that the big orange and blue don't have PV panels on the shelf. (yet)

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