Energy Audit - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Energy Audit

If you get hit with an offer to help you save money on your utility bills listen up! Hank uncovered the newest scheme that could be hitting your neighborhood. It promises to save you big energy bucks but it could actually end up costing you! Hank investigates.

It all started with a phone call: A woman offering the Jordan family “a deal”. For just twenty-nine dollars they’d get a complete "energy audit" of their New Hampshire home--

Jessica Jordan, Homeowner

It sounds very good, it sounded legitimate

Legitimate energy audits can save you big bucks on your utility bills—because inspectors check your windows, your chimney and your attic. The goal is to make your home more energy efficient by suggesting fixes like caulk, insulation, even energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.

But the Jordans say THEIR energy audit almost ruined their house.

Jessica Jordan, Homeowner

“it was horrifying.”

Horrifying because we found the Jordans were victims in a growing energy audit scheme--companies who pretends to be working for your utility company--then pressure you into buying their products.

Paula Fleming, Better Business Bureau

"They claim they'll save you a lot money in the long run, but in all actuality it is a scam."

The Jordans say the "auditor"--who led them to believe he was with National Grid--inspected their home, calculated how much they could save in utility costs, but then gave them the hard sell: Purchase thousands of dollars of stuff and --and have his comnay install a new insulation system in their attic.

Jessica Jordan, Homeowner

It was just adding more insulation, how could that be bad?

Here's how. Turns out the Jordans "energy auditor" was not with National Grid--but actually with an insulation sales company. A few months after spending $5300—Jessica looked up at her bathroom ceiling, and saw this.

Jessica Jordan, Homeowner

I got a stepstool and reached up and it was wet.

She went into their daughter's bedroom. Saw another wet spot. And this one and this one. Jessica's husband went up to the attic.

Look at these photos they took! The Jordans say the insulation was not properly installed--And as a result the attic was letting in moisture, the insulation was soaking wet, and water was dripping thru the ceiling!

Ted Jordan, Homeowner

It was an awful feeling

Jessica called the company the next day! But it took months to convince the company's insurance to pay for the damage.

She says her home will never be the same.

Jessica Jordan, Homeowner

It was a horrible horrible ordeal.

And now--We found the Woburn company that did this "energy audit" has vanished…

Their phone numbers go nowhere! But we found we found, your house could be next—because other companies are doing the same thing.

Paula Fleming, Better Business Bureau

Based on you reaching out to me and shedding light on this issue, I reached out to all the BBB's, 115 of them across the US and it is a problem that we see nationwide at this point in time, it's a new scam if you will and one we want to bring to light to consumers.

So here’s what you need to know so this doesn’t happen to you: you never have to pay for an energy audit--your utility company will arrange one for free. And they will never call you to offer one – they wait for customers to call them.

For more information on how to schedule an energy audit in Massachusetts:  

http://www.masssave.com/residential/home-energy-assessments

For more information on how to schedule an energy audit in New Hampshire:  

http://www.nh.gov/oep/programs/weatherization/

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