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Bogus 'green' salesman warnings in Brighton and Hove
Salesman are targeting homes in Brighton with false claims about how eco-improvements can lead to council tax savings.
Hundreds of properties have been visited by doorstep representatives from firms looking to sell cavity wall and loft insulation to residents.
Trading standards officials have rubbished the claim, with some critics blasting the companies as “liars” and “conmen”.
Brian Fitch, who represents Hangleton and Knoll on Brighton and Hove City Council, came across a group in his ward last week.
He said he believed the city was being targeted because of its green credentials.
Councillor Fitch said: “I think people should only buy from reputable firms that advertise locally, perhaps in local newspapers, and ignore those going door to door as they are likely to be exploited.
“They can be intimidating and some are nothing but liars and conmen.”
Coun Fitch said he felt the firms were trying to get as much business as possible to take advantage of Government subsidies for the work.
He said: “I think it’s partly the green city credentials but I’m also conscious that national grants are running out.
“What they are saying about council tax is simply not true and I urge people to be aware.”
Cold caller advice
A council spokeswoman said: “Although there is no indication of any offence having been committed, people have been concerned about traders calling unannounced in the evening and without any identification.
“The advice from trading standards is to always avoid using a business that has cold called on the doorstep and instead use a trader who has been vetted and is a member of an approved trader scheme such as Buy With Confidence.”
She added those interested in insulating their homes could sign up to its Warm Homes Schemes.
Working with Climate Energy and EDF Energy, all improvements are carried out by approved installers.
Figures from the national Energy Saving Trust show installing loft and cavity wall insulation can save almost £250 on heating bills a year.
For more detail about the Warmer Homes Scheme call 0800 048 0727.
Those with concerns about cold callers can call the Consumer Advice Line on 08454 04 05 06.
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