Be aware of deceptive sales tactics that claim to have ENERGY STAR® or Natural Resources Canada backing
The Government of Canada does not provide rebates
The Government of Canada does not provide rebates or incentives for energy products. If you see a website purporting to represent the Government of Canada and promising rebates, please contact the appropriate provincial or federal consumer protection authorities. Please let us know if they claim to represent ENERGY STAR Canada.
Natural Resources Canada does have a searchable database to locate regional energy product rebates across the country.
What does the scam look like?
The Government of Canada is aware that salespeople are visiting Canadian homes to try and sell them furnaces, hot water heaters, and other similar equipment using misleading and high pressure sales tactics. The scenario will typically look like this.
The salesperson will:
- visit your home unexpectedly
- demand to inspect your furnace or hot water heater and/or
- appear to represent a utility company, a provincial/territorial organization, or a heating equipment company and/or
- make you believe that they are backed by the Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, ENERGY STAR®, EnerGuide or the old ecoENERGY program and/or
- try to convince you that they should inspect your equipment, tell you something’s wrong with your equipment, and to buy or rent their equipment
The Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada and its family of brands (ENERGY STAR, EnerGuide and ecoENERGY) NEVER go door to door asking to enter Canadians’ homes to inspect, sell, or rent heating and cooling equipment. EnerGuide home energy evaluations are performed by licensed service organizations only at the request of homeowners. For a listing of licensed service organizations, please visit our web site.
Ontario and Alberta have now made door to door sales of home heating and cooling equipment illegal (with some exceptions).
What should I do?
If you think you’re being scammed, don’t let the salesperson into your house. It’s your legal right. You also have the right to ask the salesperson to leave your property. Your utilities will not be disconnected.
How do I report door-to-door sales scams?
If a salesperson visits your home and pretends to be backed by the Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, ENERGY STAR, EnerGuide or the old ecoENERGY program, please do the following:
- Contact the appropriate provincial or federal consumer protection authorities or your local police; and,
- email Natural Resources Canada with the following information: your name; when and where the incident occurred (time, date, address); name of the salesperson/s and their company, including contact information; a description of the sales tactic, especially references to Natural Resources Canada and any of our brands—ENERGY STAR, EnerGuide, ecoENERGY.
Note that while Natural Resources Canada may be able to restrict the future misuse of its trademarks or brands, it has no power to investigate consumer protection complaints, and cannot help you get your money back.
For more information on consumer rights and legal protection, please refer to the following resources:
- Canadian Consumer Handbook, Office of Consumer Affairs, Industry Canada.
- Federal, Provincial and Territorial Consumer Affairs Offices.
- Consumer Information features consumer protection legislation for each province and territory, along with many more resources. This web site is a collaboration of federal, provincial and territorial governments, and non-government sources.
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is the central agency in Canada for collecting information on mass marketing fraud, Internet fraud and other scams. Its web site publishes useful information about these activities.
- Federal Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
Spot a fraudster when they are knocking on your door with our latest blog, “How to Recognize Energy Scams”.
The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.
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