Be aware of home energy audit scams

<p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – If someone offers to show you how to cut down on heating costs this winter, chances are you would at least listen.</p> <p>But beware.</p> <p>What we’ve learned may have you thinking twice about letting an energy auditor access to your home.</p> <p>The scammer appears at your front door, offering a free home energy audit.</p> <p>“He presented himself as if he were an official of some sort.  He was with the state, he was with the city, he was with the local energy company,” said homeowner Debbie Katt.</p> <p>After a quick check of the attic, windows and doors, the so-called auditor turned on the hard sell and told the Katts they needed to buy a $4,000 solar blanket for the attic.</p> <p>That’s when they realized the auditor was really a salesperson.</p> <p>“I was mad he misguided us and I was made he took all out time like that.”</p> <p>Debbie was just one victim of what the Consumer Federation of America calls an emergency energy audit scam.</p> <p>“The scammers send consumers post cards or make phone calls offering them free energy audits that will save them hundreds of dollars a month on their utility bills,” said Susan Grant of the Consumer Federation of America.</p> <p>Grant says the auditors often imply they’re with a government agency or utility company.</p> <p>“Their real intent is to get into the consumers’ homes and sell them things that actually don’t save them any money at all.”</p> <p>Many utility companies do offer legitimate free energy audits, but they most likely won’t cold call or solicit you.</p> <p>You would need to call your gas or electric company to set it up.</p> <p>If anyone does come to your door, be sure to ask for identification to see whom he or she actually works for.</p> <p id=”copyrightStoryModule” class=”fontStyle10″>Copyright WPRI</p>

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