Technology is paving the way for innovations in the ways energy is used, produced, stored and shared. More consumers are interested in green energy alternatives, and smart homes and apps make managing energy use and paying your electric bill easier than ever.
While the changing energy market has created more options for consumers, it has also resulted in more utility scams and misleading information.
Utility scams are common because everyone wants to make sure their power stays on, and new products and services provide an opening for scammers to mislead consumers and sell shoddy products and services.
Avoid Phone Scams
A common phone scam typically begins with a phone call from a number that appears to be from a valid utility company. The scammer will claim you have a past due account and threaten to disconnect service or take legal action. The scammer will typically demand that you use a prepaid debit card or money order, often within a very short, urgent time frame to pay a supposed past due amount.
You can combat this scam by being aware of the status of your account. Never give your banking or personal information over the phone to someone you did not call. If you have a question or concern about your electric bill, call us directly at 866.226.3372. Do not use a phone number given by the scammer.
Avoid Solar Scams
Another scam we see from time to time is connected to rooftop solar. Homeowners with rooftop solar power systems may receive a sales call offering an accessory, upgrade or extended warranty for their solar array. The calls could be from crooks claiming to represent a solar company or promising to replace faulty or broken parts or improve efficiency.
Again, if you aren’t expecting the call, don’t be fooled. These calls offering misleading information are likely a scam. Call Bandera Electric Cooperative or the company that installed the solar panel array if you think there may be a problem.
It’s also common for a salesperson to make claims of “free electricity” if you install a solar power array. But the truth is, in addition to the cost of the solar power installation, you’ll still pay fees to your electric provider to be connected to their system. Before you sign up, call us to find out exactly what costs you can expect.
Use Trusted Sources
When considering any electrical upgrade to your home, make sure you’re working with a reputable company. Because this is still an emerging industry with evolving technology, there has been a proliferation of pop-up companies in the market whose main priority is to make a quick buck.
Remember that you have a trusted energy adviser in Bandera Electric Cooperative. We’re a community-focused organization that works to deliver affordable and reliable energy to our members safely and efficiently.
Posted: 6/2/2023 2:05:47 PM