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Blog Post 16 September 2022 Updated 17 August 2023

How to spot an energy scam


Over 40 million people have been targeted by scammers amidst the cost-of-living crisis. Out of this, 12% of scams are related to energy.  

Scammers pray on vulnerabilities, such as financial worries. As more people are worried about paying their bills right now, more people are at risk of being scammed.  

Luckily, there are some easy ways to protect yourself and the people around you from energy scams.  

What are energy scams?

Energy scams involve people pretending to be energy companies or regulators to get your money or personal information.  

They can use the availability of grants, promises of cheap energy, and energy efficiency claims as tactics to trick you. 

Scammers can contact you in many ways: 

  • By a knock at your door. 
  • By phone call. 
  • Via social media. 
  • By email. 
  • Via a pop up on a website.  
  • By text message.  

What are some common energy scams?

How can you spot an energy scam?

The best way to spot an energy scam is to stay vigilant and know what to look out for. Here are some key signs that a scammer is at work:  

  • A deal looks too good to be true. 
  • You’re being pressured to transfer money quickly. 
  • You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way.  
  • You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company.  
  • You’ve been asked to give away personal information such as passwords or PINs. 

What to do if you think you’ve spotted a scam

If you think you’ve spotted a scam but haven’t yet given over any personal information or money, you can:

  • contact Citizens Advice for support
  • forward suspicious emails to
  • forward suspicious text messages to 7726

If you’ve handed over any financial and personal information or made a payment, you should talk to your bank or card company immediately.

You should also report the scam to Action Fraud and report it to Citizens Advice.


By reporting scams, you can help reduce the chances of someone else getting defrauded.  

What genuine financial support is available?

If you’re eligible, you might be able to get financial help from the UK Government.

We’re also working with Citizens Advice in England and Wales to help you save money. For advice on everything from taking a meter reading to what to do if your supplier goes bust, Citizens Advice can help.  

In Scotland, you can get free and impartial advice from Home Energy Scotland, the Scottish Government-funded advice service.

Home Energy Scotland works closely with Trading Standards Scotland to help householders avoid energy scams

Our top tips could also help you save up to £474 a year on your energy bills.


How to find out which energy efficiency improvements will benefit your home

Scammers may try to convince you to agree to work which won’t actually benefit your home. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a good source of reliable information – it highlights the energy efficiency improvements you could make to your home, how much they will cost, and how much you could save.  

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, only accredited domestic energy assessors can produce valid EPCs. In Scotland, only organisations approved by the Scottish Government can produce valid EPCs. You can find out more information in this guide to Energy Performance Certificates 

How to find a reliable installer

Getting the right person to install your energy efficiency improvements is important. We recommend shopping around for at least three quotes to give you choice and to ensure good value for money.  

Make sure your chosen installer is fully qualified and, if possible, accredited with a relevant industry body and/or trade federation.

It’s also a good idea to ask installers what guarantees they provide for the quality of their work and what warranties they supply with the products.

You should also check that the installation is covered by an appropriate length guarantee.  

You can read more about finding an installer in this blog on avoiding rogue traders and installers.  

Working in partnership

We’re not alone in working to raise awareness of scams, protect householders, and signpost to legitimate support during this challenging time.




Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: 

“We know scammers prey on our worries and fears and the cost-of-living crisis is no exception. 

“Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s more important than ever we recognise the red flags. 

“By reporting scams and sharing our own experiences, we can work together to protect ourselves and each other.” 

John Herriman, Chief Executive of Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: 

“Everyone is at risk of being scammed but the cost-of-living crisis results in more and more consumers facing increasing levels of vulnerability. This means they face even greater risks of being caught by unscrupulous and illegal practices by those who are intent on exploiting the already difficult situation people find themselves in. 

“At a time when the sad reality is that some are having to make choices between heating and eating, people can be particularly vulnerable to, for example, fraudsters offering cheaper energy. It is crucial that the public is wary of all these threats and that they contact the authorities if they suspect any attempt to defraud them or others.” 

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Last updated: 17 August 2023