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Residents urged to be vigilant against insulation scam

Scam Caption

Torridge District Council is warning residents not to give their personal details over the phone as bogus callers target the area. Insulation companies have been contacting Devon residents about cavity wall insulation and are claiming to work for the Local Authority.

Local residents are being advised that the cavity wall insulation they have installed is not up to standard and they are at risk of ending up with damp problems. This is followed by a claim that they can claim compensation from the company who did the installation.

The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA), who are working with Trading Standards, have advised that it is not just one company involved and profiting from the scam. In one instance a customer was charged £800 just for a survey before they could even proceed to making a claim. Residents are being advised that if they experience a problem with their cavity wall insulation then the first point of contact should be the installer who carried out the work, and if no success they should then contact CIGA.

However, Torridge continue to work with installers to improve the energy efficiency of people's homes through the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO)  Help to Heat scheme. This scheme offers eligible tenants and homeowners grant funding for insulation measures, replacement boilers and electric storage heaters.

Torridge District Council are currently working with 2 providers in delivering the scheme across the district - all mailings from these companies will show the TDC logo.

If you think you might qualify for this funding, contact either of the companies below for more information and a free consultation:

C6 Funding https://www.c6funding.co.uk/optin16616475

Happy Energy (Heat Devon) http://happyenergy.co.uk/heatdevon/

Councillor Cathrine Simmons, Leader Member for Housing said: "Torridge District Council are working with a number of companies so that eligible tenants and homeowners can access funding for energy efficiency measures. We have heard reports from other districts that unscrupulous companies are also targeting vulnerable residents claiming to work for the Local Authority. The advice we give is to not give out personal details over the phone until you have checked with the Local Authority that the company is legitimate. The details of the companies we are working with are published on our website or you can phone us to check. While residents have to be aware of scams, we also need to promote that legitimate support is out there for our residents who are struggling in cold homes, or to pay their heating bills."

Nigel Donohue, Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency's CEO, is reported to have said: "CIGA has recently spoken to several people concerned about callers claiming to be able to assist with claims associated with incorrectly installed cavity wall insulation.

"Householders are often being encouraged to sign up with a claims company, and provide personal details. In some cases, householders have been charged for 'inspections' on their property and had work carried out that could potentially compromise the insulation and result in their CIGA guarantee being void.

"Although the promise of compensation may sound enticing CIGA would urge consumers to consider this route very carefully. If residents have a concern relating to cavity wall insulation they can contact CIGA on 01525 853300 or email concerns@ciga.co.uk. There is absolutely no requirement to pay for an inspection or hand over personal details or money to a claims company."

Further information about cold callers and claims companies can be found at https://ciga.co.uk/cold-callers-and-claims-companies/

02 January 2018