/ Home & Energy

Have you been cold called by a ‘Green Deal’ scam?

Green Deal

It’s no wonder a scheme that helps you buy a new boiler or insulation for your home should be popular. But some of you have suffered Green Deal scammers and cold callers, and we’d like to hear your stories.

More than half a million homes have been assessed on whether they’re suitable or the Government-backed Green Deal, new figures show.

And more than 13,000 have the Green Deal finance to pay for what they want to do.

Green Deal scams to watch out for

But sadly, it’s not been good news for everyone. Some people of you have paid out to get your home assessed then never heard from the company again – losing hundreds of pounds. Others of you lost cash when genuine Green Deal firms collapsed.

And like in other areas, you’ve been getting nuisance calls from cold callers. One fed-up member said he’d been ‘inundated with telephone calls from recorded messages insisting that I’m entitled to a ‘Government-funded new boiler’.

‘On several occasions I have spoken to an ‘adviser’ who insists that the deal costs nothing but agrees it’s not a grant. The adviser also insists that it is not a loan even though the cost is repaid from savings made on future energy bills.

What is the Green Deal?

You can take out Green Deal finance if you want to get wall or loft insulation, double glazing, a new boiler or solar panels for your home. But it’s a loan and you have to pay it back through savings made on your electricity bills. And this isn’t guaranteed.

All Green Deal assessors should be authorised with the Green Deal Quality Mark and follow a code of practice.

Have you taken out a Green Deal? How pleased with the result were you? Have you been cold called about it?

Comments
Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Why bother with Green Deal, its fees, loan charges and contractor restrictions? Why not just arrange your own finance, find your own most competitive installer, avoid fees and you’ll still make savings on your gas and electricity bills to help pay for it if you do your basic research properly.

Advice normally is loft installation is very worthwhile, cavity wall insulation will save but a danger of damp walls, double glazing is not cost effective (but you may want it for other reasons, including noise reduction and comfort) and a condensing boiler is likely to cost you more in repairs than you’ll save, so some advise hanging on to your old fashioned boiler until you have to replace it. And lights – I’d say go for CFLs where you can or you may end up spending a fortune on LEDs that fail early and kill your radio signal.

Just my thoughts – I’m sure some will think otherwise!

Profile photo of ChrisGloucester
Member

malcolm r, What you’ve said is basically good common sense. Ellie Simmonds says “It’s no wonder a scheme that helps you buy a new boiler or insulation for your home should be popular” well Ellie it’s actually not very popular. Green Deal take up has been a fraction of that envisaged by those who thought up the scheme, basically because it’s not a good scheme at all.

As a domestic energy assessor who has been looking closely at this scheme since it started I’ve concluded it’s a terrible scheme. I decided not to qualify as a Green deal assessor. I decided not to have anything to do with it.

An upfront Green Deal assessment costing about £100 often to tell you something you clearly already know, you’re supplier options are restricted to those who are Green Deal approved and who will charge much higher prices. A loan attached to the property paid back with a levy on your electricity bill and which will include something like 7% interest. Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me. Would you be keen on buying a property where you have to carry on paying for a boiler someone else had installed?

It can get even worse, if you are a tenant you’ll be paying to upgrade your Landlords property and you’ll save nothing or very little on your energy bills, but the landlord gets a free boiler installed in his property.

If you are on low income there is ECO “Energy Company Obligation” where upgrades can be installed free, nothing wrong with that, although I still think in the case of a rented property the landlord should be also obliged to contribute rather than everyone paying an energy bill.

For most of us though my advice is have nothing to do with the Green Deal, arrange your own finance, use a much cheaper local gas safe plumber for that new boiler and save yourself a small fortune.

Ellie talks about the danger of “Green Deal scammers”.???
I’m sure there are some but It’s the Green Deal that is the biggest scam Ellie.
Do a bit more research and consider alternative ways to get yourself upgraded and come back to us.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

I must admit that when I read in the Intro that half a million homes had been assessed but that only 13,000 had entered into a Green Deal finance scheme I thought it showed the deal was not all it’s cracked up to be. Even allowing for the fact that many of the homes assessed might have been judged ineligible, and that many householders might have had the assessment but made their own financial arrangements as Malcolm recommends, that’s a pretty poor testimony for a potentially valuable way of improving energy efficiency and conservation in this country. Chris mentions the implications of selling a house which has outstanding financial commitments under the Green Deal and I think that is a worrying factor for many people that puts them off.

Profile photo of Ellie Simmonds
Member

Hi Chris

Thanks for your comments. Perhaps it would have been better to say the Green Deal is “becoming more popular”. The concept of the Green Deal certainly seems to have broader appeal than the details of the scheme – we have heard from many people who like the idea in principle but are put off in practice.

You make a really interesting point about the housing market, I would be interested to hear from anyone who has bought a home with a Green Deal plan attached – or indeed, anyone who has been put off a sale or struggled to sell due to a Green Deal.

Ellie

Profile photo of william
Member

@malcolm r, Excellent post. Well said.

Profile photo of Jonah
Member

I have been a victim of the “Green deal” scam, by the name of TIVIUM. I am one of hundreds of people to have been bamboozled into paying £299 for a “survey” following a visit from an assessor never to have received either a survey nor a refund, despite various letters, telephone calls, false promises etc. They have moved their offices and changed their name several times, they never answer their phone and their letters are simply a standard one regretting that I could not have a refund, after promising that I could. Several people have taken the company to court and they have several CCJs as a result. None of the charges have been repaid. I, like many others, have lost their money and there would seem to be nowhere else to go. Even the Fraud Office seem to be unable to enforce repayment. I would be interested to hear of other readers’ experience.

Profile photo of JohnDennis
Member

Hi Jonah,
Did you ever get any success with to attemp to get the £299 back from Tivium?
Regards,
John

Member
Mr mirren says:
28 July 2015

I have had my house done by greendeal,new boiler,lift insulation,cavity wall insulation and still get bombarded with calls.surely their database must know who has had all supplied.

Profile photo of Glengirlie
Member

I’m a bit late to this convo – but twice I have taken a call that has been a recorded message – which says that they have checked the national database and my home has not had a green deal assessment (it has!). It then says that all homes have to have a GDA by the end of 2017. (which is garbage). When I pressed 2 and spoke to a real person – when I asked the name of the company the girl hung up. The 1471 gave the following number 0039 141 9870123 which I have failed to trace other than wonder if it came from italy (unlikely). I worry for unsuspecting people who might be conned. Glad I am totally au fait with the whole renewables and green deal issue!

Profile photo of peterbrowne
Member

not “green deal” but this week we’ve had 2 calls from gents pushing energy saving measures. both put my wife on guard when they called by greeting her with her name and me with mine when she handed the phone over. both callers also knew we’d taken energy saving measures before – which made me wonder where they’d got the info’ – contractors ? government ? first saying he was “your local energy consultant” told me our glass fibre loft insulation was no longer recommended and should be replaced under a government scheme whereupon I hung up.
second caller, later same day, tried to persuade me I should get one of these “earth pump” devices which “work like a fridge”. I told him to send me the details by post and hung up.

Member
George says:
21 July 2016

I’ve started to receive the ‘your fibre glass insulation is no longer compliant’ calls as well. Company called itself EverGreen but hid its phone number. I’m sure it’s a scam.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

George-Evergreenfoam.com/ is a US insulation company in North Carolina –evergreenyour home.com Maine US is another . Its a supplier that wholesales to private businesses I would touch it with a bargepole , your legal options if anything goes wrong is zero.

Member
George - pensioner says:
7 November 2016

“The Government Awareness Centre”(G A C)
I received an unsolicited telephone call today from Chris at the Government Awareness Centre who knew my name , address, and PV Feed in Tariff ( FIT) details . He offered a free check on the FIT installation to see if there were any”loose wires” etc. He wanted to visit at 6.00 pm today .
When we pointed out that it would be dark at 6.00pm so the PV installation on the roof would not be visible, this did not seem to worry him and he said ” Monica” would call back later to arrange the visit .
Sure enough Monica called and referred to the Green deal , government funding and reeled off a host acronyms but she hung up abruptly when I tried to establish who they were , where she had obtained my details, what number she was calling from and upon what authority they were acting.
Monica seemed to have forgotten my previous conversation an hour earlier as a second call from Monica followed a similar vein and again ended in her again hanging up .
This was probably the most pressurised and aggressive sales call and the most worrying I have received this year as they have my address.

The G A C do not respect the Telephone preference service,
I have informed the FIT meter service provider, the Telephone Preference Service and the local police .

If someone does visit us at home this evening , the police have kindly offered to come round and introduce themselves!.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

George-Sorry to say many UK government / BB websites were hacked over the past years -two thirds of UK BB were attacked according to the Hacked website . Most of our information is in third party hands , so much for our “cyber security ” service supposedly operating in the background to protect us. Yours sounds like a well informed scammer.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

George – There is no Government Awareness Centre. It is a con. Unfortunately the scammers have now got confirmation that you live where they thought you did and answer the phone where you live. I expect they are hoping to divert your feed-in credits in some way – best check with your energy company a.s.a.p. that your account has not been accessed.

Alternatively it could be an attempt at distraction burglary – someone goes up in the loft and keeps you talking while you watch, meanwhile someone else goes round your house looking for things to steal. Good job you told the police. Don’t let anyone in your house.

Member
Phil Rowe says:
27 March 2017

They’re still cold calling. I had a telephone call at 20 .31 on Friday 24th March ’17, stating that £200M of grants were available for “A” Rated double glazing….blah blah, press 5 for more information. Pressed 5 and I was contacted at 10.15 on Monday 27th March. The female caller had a Scottish accent and asked if I was Mr C. (the name of the previous landline holder 9 years ago). I asked her for the name of the company she stated “The Green Deal”. I then asked where the company was based and she hung up. Both calls were from a withheld number.