Hello 2017, goodbye door-to-door energy sales
As of Jan. 1, 2017, Albertans no longer have to endure the misleading and often predatory sales practices of energy marketers on their doorsteps.
Energy goods and services prohibited from door-to-door sales include:
- natural gas and electricity energy contracts
- water heaters
- air conditioners
- energy audits
“In 2016, we heard from Albertans who were fed up with aggressive sales pitches at their doors, and that’s why we are putting a stop to door-to-door energy sales. I’m happy that the New Year brings relief for Albertans and I look forward to taking further action to better protect Alberta consumers throughout 2017.”
The prohibition applies to unsolicited door-to-door sales. Companies that do not comply with the ban could face charges under the Fair Trading Act (FTA).
- Penalties under the FTA include a fine of up to $300,000 or imprisonment for up to two years.
- Other sanctions include administrative penalties of up to $100,000, director’s orders and licensing actions.
Alberta’s energy companies use a variety of customer outreach channels to sell their household energy products, including telephone and online sales, kiosks and advertising. All of these options remain open to them, as will the ability of Albertans to contact a company and invite them to their homes.
In all door-to-door sales visits, consumers should:
- Always ask for official company-issued identification.
- Never feel pressured to sign contracts on their doorsteps.
- Be cautious of any door-to-door offer.
- Call the consumer protection line at 1-877-427-4088 with any questions.
- Visit servicealberta.ca to learn more about consumer rights.