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Known Scams or Misleading Sales Practices


Are you wondering about the authenticity of a phone call, email, mailer, door-to-door salesperson, or other sales message claiming to represent Energy Trust of Oregon, a utility, or other energy-related organization? Some individuals and companies may use the Energy Trust name or logo inappropriately and without our permission, potentially for fraudulent purposes. They may also make overstated or inaccurate claims about available incentives or tax credits.

The information below can help you assess the validity of sales messaging or other communications. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 1.866.368.7878 or

Door-to-door sales

Many organizations and individuals use door-to-door sales to reach customers. These range from fundraising efforts to home maintenance services and licensed contractors. Some door-to-door salespeople are legitimate, but it’s important to check facts before signing agreements or making on-the-spot purchases. Watch for these warning signs:

  • Claims of free installation or “zero-out-of-pocket” costs.
  • Claims that equipment or services are “fully paid for” by utilities, the government, or Energy Trust of Oregon.
  • Salespeople claiming to work with, or for, Energy Trust of Oregon or a utility. Energy Trust does not conduct door-to-door sales.
  • Claims that a home improvement project will “zero-out” a home’s energy bills.
  • Installers claiming to be sent by a utility and that the utility sent advance notice of their visit.
  • Installers claiming to implement a program with a utility, the government, or Energy Trust.
  • Installers claiming that state regulation requires a utility to encourage installation of specific energy-saving or renewable energy improvements, such as solar energy, to avoid fines.
  • Offers with tight deadlines—requiring a quick decision that prevents fact-checking.
  • Salespeople who claim to work for a specific organization but do not have identification.
  • Salespeople offering free home energy audits who ask for account information or social security numbers.

Always confirm the facts behind claims that seem too good to be true, like free installation and equipment, and get clarification on statements that may have multiple meanings, like “zero upfront costs”. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an offer or organization, contact Energy Trust of Oregon at 1.866.368.7878, or your utility. Report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement, the Oregon CCB at 503.934.2229, or the Oregon Department of Justice at 1.877.877.9392.

When you may be contacted by Energy Trust or by a third party on our behalf

We do conduct outreach and advertising throughout Oregon and into southwest Washington to increase awareness of our energy-efficiency and renewable energy offerings for utility customers. We also occasionally work with vendors to conduct energy awareness surveys on our behalf, and with energy-efficiency firms to offer our cash incentives to businesses.