Warning over ‘green’ cold calls

BUTE residents have been warned to watch out for door-to-door cold callers giving the impression that they are from a government-sponsored energy efficiency scheme – which in fact has yet to be launched.

The Green Deal is a new financing mechanism which aims to allow people to pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills – but it is not due to be launched until this autumn.

Several island residents have received visits from salespeople stating that they represented Green Deal Direct – which is not part of the government scheme, and in fact is the trading name of a Glasgow company, Viable Energy Ltd.

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, project manager of Towards Zero Carbon Bute (TZCB), contacted us to say her own mother-in-law had received a visit from a salesperson who had given the impression that Green Deal Direct was a government-sponsored agency offering no obligation free loft insulation.

Reeni then contacted Viable Energy Ltd director Tony Deans to point out the potential for people to be misled into thinking the company’s representatives were independent Green Deal advisers.

On the Green Deal, Reeni told The Buteman: “No such scheme exists at the moment.  It is important that people seek free independent advice from Energy Saving Trust, who can be contacted free on 0800 512 012, Bute Advice Centre or TZCB before signing up to any home insulation or renewable energy scheme.”

Tony Deans told The Buteman the door-to-door sales team which had visited Bute in fact worked for a separate marketing company with whom Viable Energy Ltd is currently in dispute.

“They’re a door-to-door canvassing organisation through whom we got all our business,” he said, “but we were getting a lot of complaints, and so we parted ways and are now in litigation.

“The people on Bute were not our guys. They are no longer part of our organisation.”

Towards Zero Carbon Bute is part of Fyne Futures, the environmental subsidiary of local housing association Fyne Homes.