Residents looking for free or affordable ways to reduce energy usage and cut their bills are being urged to ensure they don’t fall for scams or high pressured selling techniques.
The Council – which offers a range of free and affordable energy-efficiency measures – is aware that the number of telephone calls and visits made to homes by companies trying to sell or give free measures is increasing.
At the moment, the only company that is acting on behalf of the Council is A&M Energy Solutions, which is delivering free loft and cavity wall insulation to all homes and boiler repairs and replacements for households on certain means-tested benefits.
However, there are a number of other companies that visit homes and make offers to residents. Many of the “green deal” packages offered are, in effect, loans to enable improvements to energy efficiency of a home.
In light of the increasingly-pressured doorstep selling techniques, people are being urged not to part with their money or sign contracts in the first instances, but to take away information and make a decision after further research.
They are urged to check the company they are considering getting involved with is part of the Green Deal scheme, which is an important national scheme that can be accessed by contacting an accredited seller who is acting on behalf of an energy supplier.
The Green Deal has been created by the flagship Energy Act of 2011, which aims to deliver energy efficient homes and buildings across the country. Through the deal, customers can secure loans to make improvements to their properties, with repayments linked to the energy bill at their property, rather than an individual, with loans passing on to a new occupier or bill payer. They key to successfully using the Green Deal is to ensure your repayments are not higher than the savings you will make on your energy bill, as a result of whatever eco measures you purchase or install with your loan.
The opportunities presented by the Green Deal have generated a flurry of visits and telephone calls to homes by various firms and all residents are urged to check the small prints, investigate the benefits of a deal and do their research on assessment fees, repayment charges and interest.
You don’t have to sign a deal on the doorstep, you can think about it and contact the company when you have made a decision. If you do enter an arrangement, you have seven days within which to cancel your contract. Seek further advice and support on this from your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau or Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Trading Standards experts.
For more information on consumer advice, energy saving, energy efficiency measures and more, contact Rhondda Cynon Taf via 01443 425001 or visit the Trading Standards pages
More information on the Green Deal
A list of Accredited Green Dean Assessors can be found at the Green Deal website
For more information on cancelling an arrangement you have agreed to, contact Citizens’ Advice Consumer Services on 08454 040506 or alternatively visit Consumer Advice Pages
Find out more about energy saving, deals on offer and so on from:
Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012 (for free impartial advice)
Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234
Citizens' Advice Consumer Services on 08454 040506
The ‘Green Deal’ is the Government’s “flagship piece of legislation which will deliver energy efficiency to homes and building across the land”. It was provided for by the Energy Act 2011. During July 2012 the statutory instruments were approved by both Houses. Through the Green Deal, energy customers in England, Wales and Scotland will receive loands to make energy efficiency improvements. The repayments will attach to the enery bill at a property, rather than to an individual, passing on to any new occupier or bill payer. The ‘golden rule’ is that the instalment payments should not exceed the savings on a n average bill, but because this is on an average bill, there is a chance that in some cases the household’s bill savings may not cover the cost of the Green Deal package. There is also likely to be interest rates attached to the loan repayments.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO). The Energy Act 2011 made provision for ECO to replace the previous Government’s Supplier Obligations (CESP) Community Energy Saving Programme and (CERT) Carbon Emission Reduction Target which expired 31st December 2012. ECO places obligations on certain larger domestic energy suppliers. These obligations must be achieved through the promotion of energy efficiency measures to domestic energy users in Great Britain. ECO is intended to work alongside the Green Deal to provide additional support in the domestic sector with a particular focus on vulnerable consumer groups and hard to treat homes. ECO 2012-2015 with be administered by Ofgem
Ofgem - is the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets Ofgem is governed by an Authority, consisting of non-executive and executive members and a non-executive chair. Non-executive members bring experience and expertise from a range of areas including industry, social policy, environmental work, finance and Europe. The Authority determines strategy, sets policy priorities and takes decisions on a range of matters, including price controls and enforcement. The Authority's powers are provided for under the Gas Act 1986, the Electricity Act 1989, the Utilities Act 2000, the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002. Ofgem (E-Serve) will eb the administrator for ECO for the period 2012-2015