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Avoiding energy scams

Lady on doorstep with phone and business card and man in luminous jacket

Raising awareness of energy scams and misleading marketing tactics with Trading Standards Scotland

Energy has been making the news. Whether it’s through COP26, the rising energy prices or reducing energy use, more people are talking about energy. Along with this rising interest there has also been an increase in misleading marketing from dishonest organisations attempting to capitalise on it.

Common scam tactics include on-line ads, cold calling, or leaflets through doors often with time limited special offers or grants. The availability of grants and loans is a method often used to mislead people to get their data or money. Offers from these sources often sound too good to be true and they often are, which is why we advise that you do your own research before you commit.

We understand it can be difficult to know which offers for energy efficiency products and incentives are real, and which are scams. And navigating the volume of information and offers can be overwhelming, especially when you are feeling pressured to make a quick decision – that’s where we can help. We’re the Scottish Government’s expert advice service, and are trusted to deliver tailored advice, that’s specific to your own situation. From determining which technology is best for your home to finding funding and choosing an installer, there are many choices to be made. We will not cold call you and we will not sell you anything, but, if you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, we offer free and impartial advice to help you make the right choice.

Getting started

A great first step in understanding how to reduce your energy consumption is to take a Home Energy Check to see how efficient your home is now, how you can improve it, and how much money you’ll save by making improvements. You’ll get a free, personalised report with tailored recommendations.

Find funding

Whether it’s a new boiler, insulation or solar panels, you might be looking for funding to help cover the cost of your energy efficiency improvements. Try our funding finder to see what’s available, including grants and interest-free loans from the Scottish Government. We can chat through what funding option is right for your situation and guide you through the application process.

We can also determine your eligibility for Warmer Homes Scotland, the Scottish Government’s programme that funds home energy improvements for households that struggle to stay warm and keep on top of energy bills.

Talking to the trades

Getting the right person to install your energy efficiency improvements is as important as deciding what improvements you should make. We recommend getting three quotes and checking if the installer is a member of any accreditation schemes or trade associations. Be sure to ask what guarantees they provide for the quality of their work and what warranties they supply with the products. You can use Energy Saving Trust’s Renewables Installer Finder to find MCS certified installers to install renewable technology, like a heat pump or solar panels. You can also find local traders who have been approved by Trading Standards Scotland at trustedtrader.scot.

What to look out for

Trading Standards Scotland has produced videos about common energy scams and misleading advertising. Watch the full energy scams playlist here and check out Trading Standards Scotland’s website to find out more about what you can do to reduce the risk of being a victim of energy scams.

Contact us first

Before you start any improvements, give us a call free on 0808 808 2282 or leave your details here and we’ll be in touch.

Check out this video from Energy Advisor, Garth, on why you should contact Home Energy Scotland for advice.