Green Energy Salesmen ‘Misleading Consumers’
Green energy salesmen may be misleading householders about savings they could make by installing solar panels and their eligibility for grants, the Office of Fair Trading has warned.
Concerns about salesmen pressurising consumers to buy their products, giving unclear information about paperwork and cancellation rights, and providing low-grade installations were highlighted in a review by the OFT.
The consumer watchdog warned that green energy firms such as double glazing, insulation and solar panel installers could be breaking the law as it launched an investigation into standards across the sector.
Examples of poor practice identified by the review included firms giving home owners “potentially misleading or inaccurate information” about savings they could make by installing energy-saving products or their eligibility for grants or subsidies.
Doorstep salesmen were also criticised for using “high pressure sales techniques”, which in some cases involved staying in consumers’ homes for several hours or claiming that a product would only be discounted if bought immediately.
The energy efficiency sector, which was worth £18 billion in 2010-11, is expected to expand significantly in the future but the OFT warned that bad practice could undermine consumer confidence limit growth.