Green home scams

A warning has been issued over green homes grant scammers.

The government’s Green Homes Grant offers eligible homeowners in Bucks up to £10,000 of energy saving improvements, but doorstep fraudsters are already trying to cash in, according to trading standards officers.

The chancellor’s scheme helps homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their property while also giving the economy a much needed boost.

However, only approved and checked traders who officially register with the government can carry out the work.

Trading Standards Officers from the county are concerned the door may be left open for unscrupulous traders to exploit the trust of consumers who may be unaware and just want to access a voucher to get home improvements made cost-effectively.

Fred Wilson, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, advises people to be extra vigilant.

He said: ‘To get the grant you need to apply through the government’s website. You may get people knocking on your door or offers through the post that they can get the deal on your behalf, but they can’t.

‘I am urging everyone, not just to be aware and ask questions, but to report it to our team so we can rid our county of these fraudsters.’

People can apply for the scheme and see if they are eligible on the GOV.UK: Green homes grant guidance webpage. Also, all tradespersons who deliver the work must be registered on the TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

Trading Standards advises residents against engaging with cold callers, either on the doorstep or on the phone.

Their advice is:

  • Never engage with someone or allow them access to your home unless you are able to verify their authenticity and who they are.
  • As with all scams: Be sceptical, stay calm, and do not be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.

To deter visits from cold callers, residents can display a ‘no cold calling’ sticker by their front doors. To obtain a sticker pack or to report an incident, contact Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Keep informed on latest scams affecting your area by following Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading standards via social media.