THURROCK Council’s trading standards are warning consumers to be on the lookout for fraudsters using the Green Deal scheme to cheat money out of them.
The Green Deal is a new way of paying for energy-saving home improvements such as loft insulation, cavity-wall insulation, double glazing, new boilers or solar panels.
It is delivered through a long-term loan people re-pay through savings on energy bills.
There are also a limited number of small grants available on a first-come-first-served basis, which can be applied for in advance at www.gov.uk/greendeal.
However, the Green Deal can only be delivered through government contracted assessors and providers and they can each provide their unique allocation number showing they meet Green Deal standards and are authorised to operate under the scheme.
Consumers wishing to take out a Green Deal loan will first need to have a special assessment where an approved assessor will visit the home, talk about the property and its energy use.
Trading standards officers are advising people to proceed with caution and carry out checks when considering whether to enter into a Green Deal agreement as they have received reports of bogus assessors taking never-to-be-seen-again fees.
If you experience any fraudulent Green Deal salespeople, contact Citizens Advice on 0845 404 0506, and they will provide the necessary advice, as well as reporting the problem to trading standards.
How to protect yourself:
Check the caller’s credentials. All authorised Green Deal companies must carry the quality mark and have a unique identification number. You can check the company is authorised and listed by visiting www.greendealorb.co.uk
Ring the Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234) if you have any doubts about whether the trader is genuine.
Do not hand over money on the doorstep and do not commit to anything until you are sure the company is reputable.