At the solar system provider Enpal, complaints from customers and municipal utilities and former employees about harsh methods are increasing as a result of the company’s aggressive growth course. This is shown by extensive research by the business magazine Capital, which, like stern, is part of RTL Deutschland.

Accordingly, customers of the rapidly growing start-up complain about unreliable fitters, botched construction or weeks of radio silence in customer service, as documents show. According to information from Capital, the problem cases now number in the hundreds.

There are also problems with the network operators. Capital was able to view letters from almost 20 energy companies from all parts of the republic whose networks have Enpal customers – including many municipal utilities. In it, the network operators complain that Enpal does not provide them with the correct meter readings from customers – and so there is a lack of reliable information for calculating the electricity bill. In doing so, the start-up is violating its legal obligation as a so-called measuring point operator.

The municipal utilities often follow up for weeks – without any reaction, so that the tone sometimes becomes harsh. “We haven’t heard back from you for months,” it says in an email. Another points to several failed “clearing attempts”. There are warnings, “final” requests, threats to terminate the contract.

Several network operators also informed the responsible Federal Network Agency about the problems with Enpal. When asked, the supervisory authority did not want to comment on individual companies, but assured that all complaints would be investigated.

Enpal is one of the fastest growing startups in the country. The Berlin company has set itself ambitious goals for 2023: According to the latest annual report available to Capital, the company wants to install more than 34,000 new PV systems by the end of the year. Sales are expected to almost triple, from around 415 million to up to 1.2 billion euros. But the pressure seems to be increasing: marketing costs per customer are increasing, as confidential documents show.

Enpal did not wish to comment on business figures upon request. Specific questions about the network operators’ complaints also remained unanswered. Regarding the problems faced by customers, the start-up stated in general terms: “As a green tech pioneer, Enpal is committed to the highest quality standards, which are regularly certified and confirmed by external experts.” In its statement, the start-up does not deny that customers experienced problems in some cases – but attributes this to the complexity of installing PV systems on countless different roofs. We continually invest in quality management and improving customer and assembly services. According to our own surveys, customer satisfaction even increased last year.