Homeowners are being urged to be on their guard from ‘rogue traders’ looking to cash in on the government’s Green Deal scheme.
Officials at the energy efficiency scheme Warm Up North say reports have emerged from the Citizens Advice of potential unscrupulous door knockers taking advantage of vulnerable residents.
Warn Up North enables residents to benefit from part or fully-funded energy efficiency measures, with Green Deal one of a range of funding options available.
Ian Weatherston, head of Warm Up North, said: “While there is a number of legitimate companies, like Warm Up North, offering Green Deal, unfortunately some households are being approached by rogue traders looking to prey on people concerned about heating their home.”
Coun Allan Hepple, policy board member for housing at Northumberland County Council, said: “We endorse these warnings from Warm Up North about door step traders.
“We want our residents to be safe from unscrupulous companies who use persuasive techniques and prey on those more vulnerable. Please don’t buy at the door or be rushed into a decision, and always know who you are dealing with.”
Ian added: “We are keen to raise awareness of the support available and Warm Up North representatives regularly visit communities across the north east wearing a Warm Up North uniform and carrying their official ID badges.
“Warm up North representatives do not undertake cold calling on the door step. However, residents should remain wary of cold callers who may be posing as legitimate companies. Following a few simple steps will assist residents in identifying these unscrupulous visitors.”
To help protect themselves from potential rogue traders, the Warm Up North team is advising residents to:
• Always ask to see identification of the caller;
• Never provide any personal information or bank details to a door knocker;
• If an assessment is completed and a trader offers you an estimate, always ensure you get a written quotation;
• Never hand over any money as a deposit;
• If completing any paperwork, always read the small print and the take time to read it through properly;
• If in doubt, always seek professional advice.
To find out more about how Warm Up North could help you call the team on 0800 294 8073 or visit www.warmupnorth.com