Beware of Energy Scams
Volunteer Energy Cooperative’s free In-Home Energy Evaluation (IHEE) program is a great deal for VEC customers. Through the program more than 1,500 VEC customers have taken advantage of free in-home energy evaluations and received professional advice on how to save money on their energy bills.
But it seems like every time something good like this comes along there are a few who want to look for a way to take advantage of it for a dishonest purpose. VEC was recently notified by a neighboring utility that they have been receiving complaints from customers who have been visited by scam artists posing as energy evaluators.
The victims have reported that two men have been going door-to-door asking to conduct energy audits and promising to save the residents money on their utility bills. Victims report the scammers are very persuasive and ask to measure rooms and check doors and windows. Apparently one of the men engages the resident while the other either takes cash and valuables from other rooms or looks for unsecured valuables and possible entry points to take advantage of later.
Victims also report the thieves offer no business cards or printed materials and they say they will contact the resident later with follow-up information.
VEC officials have also received reports from customers that people posing as VEC employees have contacted customers claiming they need to install new meters and claim there is a fee for this.
VEC does not charge customers for installing new meters.
During these tough economic times folks are understandably looking for ways to save on utility bills and these thieves are taking advantage of that desire to victimize people.
VEC’s energy evaluators will never call on a home unless an appointment has been already been scheduled and confirmed with the resident.
VEC energy evaluators don’t approach customers who have not contacted VEC first requesting an evaluation. VEC energy evaluators carry photo identification and will also provide customers with plenty of marketing materials, program paperwork, and contact information.
VEC meter installers NEVER collect a fee for installing new meters. VEC meter installers also carry photo identification.
VEC asks customers who are approached by people posing as VEC energy evaluators or VEC employees who cannot produce this identification or program materials, to contact VEC and local law enforcement.