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Blog Post 16 September 2022 Updated 23 May 2024

How to spot an energy scam

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

These scammers may pretend to be your energy company, say they’re from Ofgem or even from Energy Saving Trust to try and gain your trust.

They can use the availability of grants, promises of cheaper energy or to make your home more energy efficient, as tactics to trick you.

Scammers can contact you in many ways: 

  • by a knock at your door. 
  • by phone call.
  • on social media, including through adverts or sponsored posts.
  • by email. 
  • via a pop up on a website.  
  • by text message. 

What are some common energy scams?

What are the signs of 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 report@phishing.gov.uk
  • forward suspicious text messages to 7726 – this is a free service mobile users can report scam texts or calls to

If you’ve handed over any financial or 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 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.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme can help homes in England and Wales switch from an old boiler to a heat pump or biomass boiler.

The Great British Insulation Scheme is also available in England, Scotland and Wales to help homes get free or cheaper home insulation.

In Scotland, you can get free and impartial advice from Home Energy Scotland, which we run on behalf of the Scottish Government.

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

In Wales, Nest provides free, impartial advice on energy efficiency, benefit entitlement and more. You may also be eligible for home energy efficiency improvements.

If you live in North East England, get advice on energy saving home improvements at Home Energy Advice North East or call 0808 175 9345.

In Northern Ireland, you can use the Northern Ireland Energy Advice service online, or call freephone 0800 111 4455.

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.  

Our top tips could also help you save up to £351 a year in Great Britain (GB) and £493 in Northern Ireland (NI) on your bills.

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

Scammers may try to convince you to agree to work that 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’ll 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 getting at least three quotes to give you choice and 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.

MCS can help you find certified installers and low-carbon energy products. TrustMark is a Government-endorsed quality scheme for work carried out around the home, while the GasSafe Register is the official list of gas engineers.

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.  

Go Renewable, our digital tool developed with MCS, can help make installing renewables in your home easier.

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Last updated: 23 May 2024