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Is "free cavity wall insulation offer" for my elderly parents really free?

(9 Posts)
Pradaqueen Tue 18-Nov-14 16:46:12

Just found out parents have invited back a surveyor tomorrow who called last week without an appointment as apparently they can get "free cavity wall insulation". They are not entitled to any benefits or tax credits so I was wondering if this is actually the case? Has anyone had this done and found it was exactly what it said on the tin? The firm is called 'niceenergypeople.co.uk' they appear to be based in Brighton but Parents are in Essex. Would hate for this to be a scam/ sort of deal with hidden costs. Can anyone shed any light or share experiences with the same firm? Thanks ever so!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Nov-14 16:50:54

We had it and wish we hadn't.
The company didn't know what they were doing, but yes it was free.
be careful the property is the right type and that it won't make things worse as this can be expensive to remove.
Most companies offer this as it is government money, but there are good and bad companies in all types of work.
Check its a rep company not likely to go out of business soon as ours did and that you get a receipt.
We finally had a specialist who told us it shouldn't be put in walls of houses built before 1930.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 18-Nov-14 16:52:54

This is the MSE guide, which seems to imply that British Gas are the only provider who will do this for free unless they get pension credits. So unless these people are acting as intermediaries for British Gas (possible?) it seems iffy.

tywysogesgymraeg Tue 18-Nov-14 16:58:38

Cavity wall insulation is free, yes. But not suitable for all property types.
Firms get paid by how many houses they do I think, so check its the right thing for that particular house.

PacificDogwood Tue 18-Nov-14 17:00:47

We have been assessed by a surveyor by British Gas and yes, it was free and as far as I can tell all above board.
Our house was not suitable and all was well.

I think you need to check who the company is that have approached your parents.

wowfudge Tue 18-Nov-14 17:04:28

The survey appointment will be to drill a pilot hole to assess 1) whether the house is suitable to cavity wall insulation, and 2) what type. We had it done by BG. When they first came round to survey, due to access issues for part of our house they couldn't do it - they were using a wool based insulation. However, they then started offering what are called 'thermobeads' I think which can be injected via a long probe and that got round the access issue for us. It is noticeably warmer now.

Lelivre Tue 18-Nov-14 17:22:09

In our last home the surveyor for BG recommended we did not have CWI because of the design of the house. It would have been free if the house had been suitable. I'm having them assess our new home, this 'refusal' last time (and explanations given) has given me a level of confidence that we will get good advice again. I just don't know about other smaller companies, I would have reservations too.

gallopinghorse Tue 18-Nov-14 17:33:17

hi
I used to work for E.on in the insulation dept. The larger energy companies have a commitment to the gov to provide energy saving measures to customers. Therefore they run schemes whereby certain people will benefit from free insulation. E.on had an over 60's scheme amongst others.

the surveyors may well be acting a contractors for one of these companies.

There are certain criteria which houses need in order to be suitable for CWI. Some of which are; Most houses built before 1930's will not actually have cavities, they will need to check the cavity is wide enough, and that they can access all outside walls. New houses will already have insulation as it is now a requirement.

You could also check whether they are entitled to free loft insulation.
hope this helps.

Pradaqueen Tue 18-Nov-14 17:45:17

Thanks everyone. Called the guy who seemed very evasive on the phone and unsure how long they had been trading..... Just about to cancel them and call BG instead. Does anyone know of a simple scheme that deters cold callers? I obviously need to have a word with my Dad but think he is lonely and possible in early stages of dementia so telling him won't really work....

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