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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 31 October 2013 02:00 PM

A Wales-wide call for the public to be on their guard with cold callers who claim to be ‘Green Deal assessors’ is being made today.

It follows reports from across the country of being people ripped off on their doorsteps by bogus Green Deal assessors.

In some cases, homeowners have paid as much as £200 to doorstep cold callers who have taken their money and disappeared.

Age Cymru is teaming up with Wales Heads of Trading Standards and Energy Saving Trust Wales to deliver the warning.

Our Director of Influencing and Programme Development Victoria Lloyd says:

“Green Deal is a scheme run by the UK Government.

“It lets home and business owners make energy savings improvements to their properties without paying for the work upfront.

“You borrow the money you need to carry out that work from the UK Government and then pay it back in instalments through your energy bill.

“It should mean that the work you’ve had done makes your property cheaper to heat so you’ll use less energy and then you pay your loan back to Green Deal through the savings you’ve made.

“Unfortunately Age Cymru has heard reports of bogus callers posing as Green Deal assessors and stealing money from people on their doorsteps.

 “This is why we’ve teamed up with Wales Heads of Trading Standards and Energy Saving Trust to give the public advice about Green Deal as well as protecting themselves from bogus doorstep cold callers.”

Ken Yorston, who leads Wales Heads of Trading Standards says:

“Our latest Tactical Assessment document for Wales - which highlights emerging trends on complaints and enquiries made to Trading Standards in the Principality – clearly identifies the Green Deal as an area of concern for us, with reports of mis-selling of products, failure to provide cancellation rights and delays in obtaining assessments being received.

“Some companies have clearly seen the Green Deal as an opportunity to conduct their shady practices in a government approved arena and Trading Standards will be taking action against any such business found to be misleading consumers or not complying fully with their statutory obligations.”

Duncan McCombie, Director of Energy Saving Trust Wales says:

“The Green Deal is an innovative financing mechanism that lets people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills, and it is not acceptable that householders are parting with hard earned money in good faith to bogus callers.

“We hope that this doesn’t deter householders from installing green measures, as this will ultimately save you money and energy and reduce your carbon footprint.”

Advice for Green Deal and dealing with bogus callers

  • The Energy Saving Trust in Wales has produced a fact sheet on the Green Deal. To receive a free copy please email advicewales@est.org.uk.
  • For simple tips and tools to help you start saving energy and money please visit the Energy Saving Trust Wales website. 
  • For information about Green Deal and to find out how the scheme works, contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234. The Energy Saving Advice Service can provide impartial advice on, or queries about the Green Deal and energy saving home improvements.
  • If you’re thinking about having any work done on your house, plan it first and ask around for recommendations and get the names of three reputable builders.
  • Get three quotes before deciding on who you’re going to employ to do the work – never let anyone who knocks your door out of the blue do any work on your house.
  • If you contact Age Cymru’s advice line on 08000 223 444, we can send you free copies of our information guides ‘IG1 Staying safe: personal safety out and about’ and ‘IG05 Avoiding scams: smart ways to protect yourself’.
  • These guides are full of useful information about protecting yourself from scams, rogue traders and bogus callers, so that you can feel safe in your own home.
  • Never be afraid to report anyone who is suspicious to the police.
  • To report a suspected rogue trader or bogus caller, call 101.
  • If a rogue trader or bogus caller has taken money from you and is in your home or still in the local area, call 999.
  • If you think someone is a distraction burglar, call 999.    

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444