Council warns of ‘cold callers’

Consumers are being warned to be cautious if they receive phone calls from companies offering assistance in applying for the Government’s Green Deal Scheme.

The aim of the scheme is to help people to make their homes more energy efficient. The advice from Trading Standards at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to remember that no grants are provided through the Green Deal Scheme.

Instead, consumers who take up the scheme pay back the cost of the energy efficiency improvements over time through their electricity bills.

The first step in the process is a home assessment - and this is the service the companies are offering when they call.

A spokesperson said: “Some consumers have reported that callers have misled them into believing that they would be entitled to a grant under the Green Deal Scheme.

“They’ve also been told that unless they agree to an up-front fee of £149.99, they could miss out on the opportunity to apply for the ‘grant’. The callers typically ask for the consumers’ bank details for immediate payment.”

Trading Standards’ general advice is that consumers should not give their bank details to cold callers, and not to agree to any contract until they have had time to shop around and consider their options.

A number of companies offer to carry out Green Deal assessments, but not all are approved by the scheme.

Further information on the Green Deal scheme – including a list of approved businesses - is available via Home Energy Scotland’s website or by phoning 0808 808 2282.

To contact Trading Standards at CNES, call 01851 822694.