The not-so shocking truth. Bogus power-saving devices target British Columbians
April 28, 2010

Looking to save some power on your hydro bill? Better Business Bureau would like to warn consumers about telemarketers who are selling bogus energy saving devices.

Power$aver is a product that company representatives say can help consumers save at least 30 percent off their electricity bills. Electric utilities provider, BC Hydro, does not verify these advertising claims. In fact, there is no evidence that these products can even have moderate energy savings beyond one to two percent, let alone the 30 percent.

“The concern is that these telemarketers are stating they are working for the government and BC Hydro to help reduce hydro-bill fluctuations,” says Lynda Pasacreta, BBB President and CEO. “These products have no affiliation to the any government or BC Hydro. This is just a tactic to help lend credibility to a product with dubious power-saving claims.”

Consumers are required to pay a $150 deposit for these products that appear to be an adapter which plugs into your power outlet. The cost for the product is $249.

According to its website “hydroenergysaver.com,” Power$aver is purportedly based in Montreal.

BBB urges consumers to do their homework before they agree to any energy saving sale’s pitch.

Don’t buy into ad speak. Be wary of any ad claims and testimonials or slick website ads as they can present misleading information. Check with a third-party source to verify claims.

Do your homework. Check for a BBB company Reliability Report at mbc.bbb.org. Never wire or do a money order to a company/person you do know. Find out the physical address of the company before doing business and check to see that the company has an actual office listed at the location. Do not complete an online form for payment unless it is secure and you are sure you know all the terms and conditions.

Don’t be swayed by incentives. Cases like this one often have incentives, like free gas cards to entice consumers into purchase. Often the supposed ‘free’ gas cards either do not arrive or have strings attached making them difficult to redeem.

Get tips on energy saving you can do at home. Join BC Hydro’s Team Power Smart at bchydro.com to set a conservation target for your household. You’ll get access to free tools and resources to help you reduce your energy consumption.

Report misleading advertising. Canada has guidelines for advertising that can be visited at the Competition Bureau website: competitionbureau.gc.ca