Are you wondering about the authenticity of a phone call, email, mailing, sales person at your door or other contact you’ve received claiming to represent Energy Trust of Oregon or available Energy Trust services and incentives, or other energy efficiency or renewable energy organizations? The information below will help you assess the validity of a communication. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 1.866.368.7878 or email@example.com.
Alerts on past or potential scams with claims of representing Energy Trust or other similar organizations
Some individuals and companies may use the Energy Trust name or logo inappropriately and without our permission, potentially for fraudulent purposes, or make claims about available incentives or tax credits. The following are potential scams or misleading sales practices:
Misleading Marketing (November 2017):
Solar Partnr, Inc., released an article on their website “Green Energy Tribune” with potentially misleading information about available solar incentives. The article states that “Alternative Energy Solar Project” is the promotional manager for the “Solar Affordable Verified Establishment” and covers “30 percent of (solar) costs with available Government Rebates & Incentives” and other funding. We are not familiar with this organization or program and neither are eligible to offer Energy Trust incentives.
- Avoid scheduling home visits with unknown organizations that use vague or misleading language in their advertising. If you choose to schedule an appointment based on this solicitation, or other marketing efforts, obtain the company name and Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) license number of the company that will come to your home. Visit the Oregon CCB website and use their online license search to review the company’s record. This will help you determine if you want to proceed with them.
- If an individual or company claiming to represent or work for a utility contacts you based on this solicitation or other marketing efforts, contact that utility to verify their claims. The utility can also verify whether or not they are conducting their own outreach to homeowners in this manner.
- If a business contacts you through this solicitation or other marketing efforts, and claims to be an Energy Trust trade ally, call us at 1.866.368.7878 and press 0 to verify their trade ally status with one of our representatives. You may also search our find a contractor list by company name.
- Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement, the CCB at 503.934.2229 or the Oregon Department of Justice at 1.877.877.9392.
Misleading Marketing (June 2017):
An organization claiming to be the “Portland Solar Energy Department” recently mailed a letter to Portland-area residents. The letter states that residents may be eligible for tax incentives and local rebates if they install qualified solar energy systems on their homes. They also state that a $249 home inspection fee will be waived if the recipient responds within 14 days. When asked, they claim to represent a group of contractors.
We are not familiar with an organization operating under this name. No organization with this name is eligible to offer Energy Trust incentives.
- Avoid scheduling home visits with unknown organizations or through misleading sales practices. If you choose to schedule an appointment because of this solicitation, obtain a company name and Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) license number of the company that will come to your home. Visit the Oregon CCB website and use their online license search to review the company’s record. This will help you determine if you want to proceed with them.
- If an individual, through this solicitation or other sales practices, contacts you and claims to represent a utility, contact that utility to verify that it is conducting outreach to homeowners in this manner.
- If a business representative, through this solicitation or other sales practices, contacts you and claims to be an Energy Trust trade ally, contact us at 1.866.368.7878 and press 0 to reach a representative and verify their information. You may also search our find a contractor list by company name.
- Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement, the CCB (503.934.2229) or the Oregon Department of Justice(1.877.877.9392).
Door to Door Sales
Individuals going door-to-door, posing as licensed contractors doing maintenance and installation work on heating and cooling equipment. The individuals claim to represent a legitimate heating and cooling company, that they are a subcontractor for another company, or that they recently purchased the customer’s maintenance contract from another contractor. They often target seniors and may demand upfront payment. They may also install equipment or perform work not meeting state standards.
View the Oregon CCB’s press release for more information about recent scams affecting customers and contractors in the Willamette Valley.
Contractor going door-to-door saying they are affiliated with Energy Trust, or a local utility, and can guarantee an Energy Trust incentive.
Representative going door-to-door, offering a free energy audit. They may ask for utility account numbers and social security numbers.
- Always verify an individual’s identity or contractor’s license information before working with them. The Oregon Construction Contractors’ Board, or CCB, offers a license search on their website. If the individual claims to represent a utility, contact that utility before allowing them into your home. Report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement, the CCB (503.934.2229) or the Oregon Department of Justice (1.877.877.9392).
- For Energy Trust to pay an incentive on a project your contractor must complete the work to Energy Trust specifications. An incentive is not guaranteed. Not all contractors have the same level of experience with Energy Trust specifications for energy savings. Energy Trust trade ally contractors are members of our Trade Ally Network and up-to-date on the latest Energy Trust energy-efficiency standards, quality control requirements and incentives. We strongly encourage you to select a trade ally contractor from our website to receive well-informed, energy-efficiency services
- Energy Trust does offer a free online Home Energy Review to help identify ways to save energy in your home. However, we no longer offer in-home Home Energy Reviews, and we do not conduct door-to-door solicitation for energy audits or ask for your social security number.
Unsolicited phone call from someone asking for personal information in order to provide a tax credit or other financial offer for energy-efficiency improvements.
Unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to work for Energy Trust, offering a free Home Energy Review or audit. This person may also ask for personal or financial information, such as phone bill information.
- Energy Trust, the utilities and federal or state agencies typically do not make unsolicited calls offering tax credits or other financial offers for energy efficiency improvements. Be wary of such callers and do research online to learn if the offer is genuine before providing any personal information.
- We do offer a free Home Energy Review via our website and over the phone and we do conduct surveys that ask for personal household information. If you are called by one of our survey vendors, the caller will identify themselves as being employed by a survey company (for example, Abt-SRBI or Research Into Action) contacting you on behalf of Energy Trust; they will not claim to be employees of Energy Trust. You may contact us directly at 1.866.368.7878 or firstname.lastname@example.org to verify the validity of any company calling on our behalf.
If you are not sure about someone approaching you for work
If someone contacts you claiming to represent Energy Trust and you believe the call or visit may be fraudulent, please call us at 1.866.368.7878 or email us at email@example.com.
Tips from the CCB:
- Ask to check your calendar and say you’ll call back. Call the business you regularly use to verify any appointments. If someone shows up at the door, tell them “no.”
- Never give out personal information such as a Social Security or credit card number or pay in cash.
- Always check a construction contractor’s CCB license number to verify a worker is legitimate.
- Report suspicious encounters to your local law enforcement.
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.