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North householders warned about traders offering home energy products

By Gordon Calder

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A WARNING has been issued to householders in the north to be on their guard if they are approached by traders wishing to install home energy products.

It was made by Highland Council and Energy Efficiency Scotland after reports about traders offering to do work under government-funded schemes without the the formal approval to do so.

Mark McGinty, trading standards team leader at Highland Council, said: "This is a difficult situation for householders as there has been a long line of home energy schemes available to householders to have products such as roof or wall insulation, boilers or solar systems installed for free, some even offering future payments to the recipient.

"Unfortunately, having numerous schemes has also led to numerous complaints regarding rogue traders who have appeared on the doorstep willing to take advantage of the complex marketplace. This in turn leads to complaints from those feeling misled on their doorstep when they realise what they have got is not necessarily what they thought they were getting."

The warning was issued by Highland Council and Energy Efficiency Scotland
The warning was issued by Highland Council and Energy Efficiency Scotland

Stuart Miller of Energy Efficiency Scotland, said: "The council currently has only one energy provider. It is working with E.ON, to provide first time central heating, external wall insulation, cavity and wall insulation and solar PV and battery measures to eligible households.

"Any installer operating within this scheme will be readily identifiable. If you are approached by an installer who claims to be working with Highland Council, please confirm the validity of their offering by contacting Home Energy Scotland. The Council scheme operators adopt the no cold calling policy and initial communication will be by letter not a knock on the door."

Mr McGinty added: "It is an offence for any trader to claim to operate under the approval of a scheme without the appropriate approval or authority.

"Highland Council Trading Standards will investigate complaints received and will take appropriate action should any offences be detected. I’d urge any householder to check first the validity of any scheme, product, installer and payment before entering into a contract, whether it is free or not.

"The practices of misleading the householder into agreeing for works and the poor workmanship that follows is well known, and the latter can leave the householder having to foot the bill to repair any damage caused."

Further information on schemes to provide free home energy improvements can be found by contacting Home Energy Scotland for free on 0808 808 2282 callers will be given free and impartial advice.

If you wish to make a complaint because you feel you have been misled by a trader offering such works you should contact Trading Standards partner agency Advice Direct Scotland on telephone 0808 164 6000 or atwww.consumeradvice.scot

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