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France issues fraud warning over dodgy energy renovation companies

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France issues fraud warning over dodgy energy renovation companies
There are grants on offer to make your home more energy efficient. Photo: AFP
15:40 CET+01:00
Homeowners have been warned about cowboy businesses offering cheap deals on making homes energy efficient or installing green technology.

The French government's public information service has issued the warning after a 20 percent increase in complaints of fraud relating to energy renovation works over the last year.

There are a variety of grants on offer for people who want to make their homes more energy efficient - for example by re-insulating their roof - or install green technology like solar panels, but this seems to have lead to an increase in dodgy companies offering to do the work and ether doing a substandard job or pocketing the money and running.

The French consumer rights body Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) has reissued advice to householders to be careful of falling for rogue operators.

Their advice includes:

  • Be careful with companies that claim to act on behalf of public bodies (which never canvass) or your energy supplier;
  • Do not give your bank details and never sign the same day;
  • Request a quote and compare with other offers;
  • Beware of offers that are too attractive (you may not be eligible for the aid announced and actual energy savings may be lower than promised);
  • If you have taken out a loan, do not sign the certificate of completion until the work is fully completed;
  • In the event of a dispute, consider using consumer associations;
  • If you notice a fraudulent practice, contact the DGCCRF.
 
The French government also runs a website - www.faire.fr - and a helpline - 0 808 800 700 - which advises what work may need to be done on your property and what financial help you are entitled to.
 
 
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