EAST Renfrewshire Council has issued advice to help residents decide whether home energy schemes are genuine or “too good to be true.”

Several firms operate across the area to install measures such as new boilers or wall insulation that make homes more energy efficient at a reduced cost or no cost through funding or grants.

Many of these firms, however, arrive at homes unannounced.

As a result, the council’s trading standards team is advising residents to ask questions, check if they qualify for any funding before agreeing to work and never sign an agreement without reading it.

Councillor Alan Lafferty, East Renfrewshire’s environment convener, said: “Making energy efficiency improvements can reduce heating bills and help lower carbon emissions.

“Please take some time to familiarise yourself with the four initiatives which are currently running.

“We do not recommend that you engage with cold callers and you should follow the advice at ofcom.org.uk.”

The four initiatives are the Local Authority ECO Flex scheme, Energy Efficient Scotland (EES), Warmer Homes Scotland and Home Energy Scotland Loans.

Funding for ECO is provided by gas and electricity companies.

The council approves applications for this after they are put forward by approved contractors on behalf of householders but the local authority does not have a contract with installers to carry out this private sector work.

Under EES (formerly known as HEEPS), councils get funding to deliver energy efficiency programmes in areas with high fuel poverty levels.

Warmer Homes Scotland provides efficient heating to homes struggling with the cost of high energy bills.

Home Energy Scotland Loans are interest-free loans for those not eligible for funding under the ECO, EES or Warmer Homes Scotland schemes.