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Energy renovation scams: 7 tips to stop being fooled

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Since last September, aid for energy renovation has evolved in France. Wanting to carry out work such as improving a thermal strainer is laudable, even necessary, but many unscrupulous players are taking advantage of this lucrative market to crack down.

The Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression (DGCCRF) notes that complaints linked to this sector are constantly increasing from deceived or misled consumers. The French administration therefore offers valuable advice in the face of this omnipresent danger. Here is our summary of the essential points to remember.

1) Do not respond to telephone requests

To carry out renovation work, you should first call on a France RENOV advisor to inform you about the different aid available and the possible work. He will support you in your efforts. To do this, go to France-renov.gouv.fr or dial 0 808 800 700.

If you are contacted by a professional in the sector by telephone, never respond to their requests. Indeed, commercial prospecting has been prohibited in this way since a law dating from 2020. If a company approaches you in this way, it is therefore a safe bet that they are craftsmen with little regard for legality and it you should therefore avoid going any further.

2) Do not give your telephone details

The DGCCRF advises against leaving your number on a company's website, as it risks being resold to unscrupulous companies who may subsequently carry out extensive cold calling. You should also avoid unwanted contacts which often aim to recover your personal data.

3) Beware of companies that usurp public bodies

Certain companies do not hesitate to pass themselves off as public services or present themselves as mandated by public actors (ADEME, town hall, Anah, etc.) or as companies in the energy sector (EDF, ENEDIS, Engie).

In most cases, these partnerships simply do not exist. This is a way to build confidence in order to take the next step and sell you a service. So check the veracity of what your interlocutor says, in particular by going to their website or by contacting the actors they mention.

4) N 'don't act on impulse

The cost of energy renovation work is often very substantial. You must therefore take the time to think and never rush to sign a document, particularly in the case of door-to-door canvassing or a proposal that seems very attractive on the Internet.

You can notably compare offers by contacting other companies. The time saving obtained is also important for carrying out your research on the various existing assistance systems.

5) Never take your interlocutor's word for it

Companies can offer you figures in anticipation of certain aid that could be paid to you. Never believe these ads and check them for yourself by going to specialized sites such as Simul’Aides.

6) Check the quality labels of companies

When it comes to energy renovation, professionals highlight certain labels such as RGE or eco-artisans. You can verify these claims online via the company's SIREN number. This is for example the case on “ RGE – recognized guarantor of the environment ”.

You should also ask the craftsman for references on his previous work to ensure his seriousness. Finally, you should read the documents provided to you to ensure that there are no tricks.

7) And in the event of a dispute  ?

Despite all these precautions, it can still happen that an installation does not comply with the promises made by the professional. In this case, you can in particular resort to consumer mediation at this address. If this approach fails, it is also possible to summon, depending on the amount of the dispute, the craftsman before civil courts, specifies the DGCCRF.

Finally, you can report problems that arise during your interaction with the company concerned on the signal.conso.gouv.fr platform.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116