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Warning is issued over ‘green scams’
Bradford residents are being warned to be on their guard against scammers pretending to offer the Government’s new Green Deal after a dozen complaints about rogue traders in West Yorkshire.
In one case, a 76-year-old woman was offered an “old age pensioner discount” for double glazing. The trader offered a 20 per cent saving, but it was only available if she ordered that day.
In February the Green Deal scheme was introduced where people can pay for improvements to make homes more energy efficient, such as new central heating, loft insulation and double glazing, with no upfront costs.
Repayments are made through energy bills, providing the expected savings are equal to or greater than the bill.
But West Yorkshire Trading Standards has dealt with 12 complaints about traders allegedly offering the Green Deal or claiming other Government grants are available.
Bradford Councillor Val Slater said people should not feel bullied to buy.
She said: “You have a seven day cooling off period for contracts made in your home. However, do not feel pressured into signing anything in your own home, based on special one day offers.”
Someone who had recently had new double-glazed windows fitted was contacted by another trader who told her that they needed condemning. A quote was given which included a discount for a supposed Government grant.
Another person was cold-called by a trader claiming to be from the Energy Saving Trust, offering solar panels, claiming the scheme was Government backed. When the consumer checked, they found the Energy Saving Trust does not make cold calls.
West Yorkshire’s Chief Trading Standards Officer Graham Hebblethwaite said “We are encouraging residents to thoroughly check the legitimacy of such service providers – always do an independent check with the Green Deal and the Energy Saving Trust, and to never pay any money up front before having an opportunity to check out the business.”
The Green Deal is only delivered through Government contracted assessors and providers who have unique numbers which have been allocated to them - details of these can be found at gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures or by calling 0300 123 1234.