DENVER - Coloradans considering ways to conserve energy and reduce energy costs may have been misled by Mile Hi insulation's door-to-door advertising, which insinuates a relationship with Xcel Energy that does not exist.
"Some businesses have gone out there and misrepresented their relationship with Xcel Energy," said spokesperson Gabriel Romero.
Xcel Energy promotes a rebate program for customers, encouraging them to install insulation and perform other energy efficient improvements to save energy and reduce energy bills. In order to receive the rebate, work must be completed by one of Xcel's listed registered contractors.
Mile Hi Insulation had the opportunity to be a registered contractor, a status that would have required them to follow an evaluation and installation process approved by Xcel. However, Mile Hi decided not to work with Xcel or become one of their registered contractors.
Instead, Mile Hi used the Xcel logo on their business cards and advertisements without permission; creating the perception their work was associated with Xcel Energy. The logos have been removed, but the advertising continues to inappropriately connect their work with Xcel.
-- See the misleading documents tonight during 7NEWS at 10pm.
CALL7 investigator Theresa Marchetta spoke with one of Mile Hi Insulation's customers who thought installing insulation in his attic would qualify him for an Xcel rebate. However, after spending thousands he learned he would not receive the expected rebate.
"I feel this is false advertising. You know I feel that they are making an insinuation," said David Jackson. "The words are very crafty legalese. They definitely strongly insinuate that they are a registered contractor and that I can qualify for the Xcel Energy rebates."
In their most recent advertisement home owners received flyers on their doors that claimed "instant rebates" "expiring soon." Highlighted and bolded, the flyer even says "all work must be completed by a registered contractor."
Jackson hired Mile Hi to install insulation in his attic after receiving one of their flyers on his door. He felt confident with their work because he had used them previously for lawn aeration and blowing out his sprinklers.
Jackson explained to Marchetta that he thought "the tone of the flyer very clearly show(ed) that, 'hey come with us you'll get a rebate on your insulation.'"
References to the rebate program were not limited to printed advertisements. Jackson told Marchetta that the rebate program was also part of the initial sales pitch. However, Jackson's rebate application was denied.
Romero says "Xcel Energy will do what we have to do to protect our reputation, and in these cases most importantly to protect our customers from this kind of misrepresentation."
Xcel reached out to Mile Hi to stop their advertising practices by phone. In addition, the utility sent cease and desist letters and discussed legal options to stop the improper advertising by Mile Hi.
Mile Hi now tells Jackson that they will give him the monetary equivalent to the Xcel rebate if he pays for additional services. At this time Jackson is not interested in spending more money in order to get the $300 dollars he originally expected. His concern now is getting Mile Hi to change their advertising practices.
If you are interested in learning about the Xcel Energy Rebates visit their website for details: http://www.Xcelenergy.com/Save_Money_&_Energy/Rebates