Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida agriculture commissioner accuses Unlimited Energy Solutions of offering fake energy audits

Florida's agriculture commissioner filed suit Monday against a company for violation of the state's telephone solicitation laws, accusing the business of attempting to bilk consumers with offers of fake energy audits.

Commissioner Adam Putnam filed the suit against Unlimited Energy Solutions Inc., a Seminole County company, after consumers complained they were receiving "incessant sales calls from individuals who claim to be affiliated with utility organizations."

"Floridians are not only agitated by, but have also fallen victim to, incessant sales calls offering goods and services under false pretenses," Putnam said.

Consumers in the Tampa Bay area have contacted the St. Petersburg Times in recent weeks, complaining about similar problems. A report in the Times on Saturday highlighted the scam, which Putnam's office says it has been investigating with local and state law enforcement for about a year.

Putnam says consumers complain that salespeople are using automatic dialing machines programmed with prepaid cell phone numbers to disguise their identity, making it difficult to know who is calling.

Unlimited Energy Solutions and other companies with similar practices have callers pose as employees of local utilities in an attempt to sell goods or services, Putnam says consumers have reported.

The salespeople then set up appointments for energy audits, and upon arrival, inspect the home and offer repair services or equipment that they claim would reduce energy consumption and generate savings on utility bills.

The state's investigation has linked Unlimited Energy Solutions and nine individuals to 62 consumer complaints received through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Under court order, the state shuttered one such business, Sun Energy of Florida, in February for violating Do Not Call List laws.

Consumers who may have received a similar call may contact the Consumer Assistance Call Center toll-free at 1-800-435-7352.

Ivan Penn can be reached at ipenn@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2332. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Consumers_ Edge and find the Consumer's Edge on Facebook.

Florida agriculture commissioner accuses Unlimited Energy Solutions of offering fake energy audits 05/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 12:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  2. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]
  3. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B

    Banking

    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project

    Business

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  5. One of St. Petersburg's newest condo projects is sold out

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. Records show that a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit sold Friday for $620,000 in an all-cash deal. Two other units — a 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse and a …

     Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. 
[Rendering courtesy of aalliiggnn LLC]