Industry to Clamp Down on Fraudulent Green Deal Traders

30 April 2013

Householders are being warned to remain vigilant after reports of fraudulent Green Deal traders emerged.

Trading Standards watchdogs have been notified of a number of instances in which bogus doorstep traders have informed householders they are entitled to free home improvement under the Green Deal.

The Green Deal is a Government initiated scheme that allows householders to receive a loan for the upfront payment of retrofitting their property with energy efficient home improvements, including measures such as Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation.

The scheme is unique in that it allows the recipient to repay the loan through their energy bill, with repayments not exceeding the sum saved by installation. With repayment and savings offsetting each other, householders will not be out of pocket.

Bogus Assessments

Caerphilly Trading Standards announced that 17 cases had been reported in which a doorstep seller advised the home owner that they were entitled to £10,000 to cover home improvements under the Green Deal, which would be made free of charge.

The seller went on to inform the householder than an administration charge was required. It is thought that some householders who signed up to the scheme were charged £299.

After paying out for the administration charge, no work was completed and enquires were not returned.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards has also experienced “dozens” of complaints of a similar nature.

No Cowboys

On learning of the fraudulent activity, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “I want to be completely clear, cowboys will not be tolerated in any part of the Green Deal. 

“We are taking these accusations very seriously,” he continued. “The relevant authorities are seeking urgent explanations from the company for the customer complaints that have been made.

“There are a number of steps that we can take if a satisfactory response is not received.  This includes legal action by Trading Standards or revoking their authorisation to act as a Green Deal installer.”

Authentic Assessors

In lieu of the reports, householders are being reminded to check the authenticity of any person or company offering home improvements under the scheme.

Only certified Green Deal Assessors can carry out the evaluation that will determine if Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation, or any other improvement is suitable for a property.

At the end of March, 1,003 certified assessors were registered with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Each of these assessors has been through specialised training. 108 organisations were also recorded as being Green Deal certified at the end of March.

Only certified Green Deal assessors are permitted to use identification with the scheme’s accreditation logo.

If in doubt about the authenticity of an assessor, householders are advised to check with DECC.

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