Liverpool residents are being advised on how to deal with callers offering assessments for the Green Deal scheme.
The Green Deal loan lets householders pay for improvements – such as insulation – to their property over time by paying through electricity bills.
Trading standards have had inquiries from a number of residents about their rights in dealing with callers who have been offering Green Deal assessments.
Councillor Tim Moore, cabinet member for transport and climate change, said; ” Green Deal enables people to improve their homes in an environmentally-friendly way and the government hope that many householders will see it is an affordable way of making those improvements.
“However, nobody should feel pressured into agreeing to an assessment and we want to make sure householders are aware of their rights in dealing with callers so that they can make informed decisions about their homes.
“Green deal issues may be complex and you should not rush into making any decisions.”
The following advice should be followed:
• Always ensure that you check IDs and credentials. There is an online register that can be accessed at www.greendealorb.co.uk/providers/provider-search to check that they are registered
• Only authorised Green Deal installers, assessors and providers can use the Green Deal Quality Mark – anybody making false claims or misrepresentations about Council or Government approval should be reported to Trading Standards
• You should not be cold called if you are in a no cold calling zone (there are zones in Woolton and Childwall).
• You should not be cold called if you have a notice stating that you do not wish to be cold called
• Assessments should not be carried out on the same day as the cold call visit, a further appointment should be made UNLESS specifically requested by the householder.
• Assessments can be charged for. It is expected that the cost will be around £120 but may be more. The cost must be made clear before the assessment is agreed.
• You must be given written cancellation rights
• Only certain works are eligible for Green Deal loans. You may be required to pay for extra maintenance works or repairs before the Green Deal energy works can begin. Make sure that you are clear what is eligible and what is not, and any extra work is done by a reputable trader.
• Once you have a Green Deal Advice report (consisting of an Energy Performance Certificate and Occupancy Assessment report) you can choose to take it to ANY Green Deal provider
• The Energy Savings Advice Service offers free impartial advice about Green Deal issues and complaints procedures.
• Vulnerable consumers can also get advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service or Consumer Focus.
As well as the Green Deal loan, householders may be able to get financial help for energy-saving improvements to their home if they are on certain benefits and own or privately rent their home.
They may be eligible for all or part of the cost of loft or cavity wall insulation and boiler repairs or replacements.
Consumers can contact the Energy Saving Advice Service, to find out what help they may be able to get, on 0300 123 1234 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm,Saturday, 10am to 2pm).