Green Deal scammers taking over the programme?
The Government’s Green Deal programme has been fraught with problems from the start, with many people wondering what the entire point of it was. But rather than getting better, it seems things are only getting worse for the beleaguered initiative.
New research from Citizen’s Advice has found that more scammers are running Green Deal programmes than genuine providers, with seven in ten Green Deal queries to the consumer service being about scam schemes.
People are losing up to £500 after paying for an assessment that never goes ahead and after risking this might, perhaps, undermine the scheme, Citizen’s Advice is now calling on the government to ban cold calling and doorstep selling of the Green Deal to try and protect consumers from fake firms.
The research found that, unsurprisingly, most of the firms reported to the consumer service are not registered Green Deal providers. Many are, however, misusing the Green Deal trade mark, which makes it almost impossible for consumers to spot a scammer, without reverting to the published list of authorised providers.
Citizens Advice chief executive, Gillian Guy, said: “The Green Deal is at risk of being undermined by fake firms. With energy prices up by 33% since 2010, households are looking for ways to save money on their bills. Opportunistic tricksters are lining their pockets by ripping-off people who are trying to cut the cost of heating and lighting their home.”
“A more energy-efficient home can drive down the cost of bills so it is important people look out for scams and action is taken to protect consumers. A ban on cold calling and doorstep selling of Green Deal would help people distinguish between the genuine scheme and a scam. Consumers can check whether a firm is a proper Green Deal seller by looking at the authorised list of companies.”