On the 5th March 2012 the following notice was published on CWaC Council's website.
Supplier chooses Winsford for energy advice trial
Residents helped to improve energy efficiency
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Climate Change Champion, Councillor Hugo Deynem, welcomes the trial being run in Winsford by energy supplier EON.
Trained advisors will be in and around the town from today (5 March) until Saturday, 24 March, to talk to residents about their energy use.
The focus will be on reducing energy consumption and improving the efficiency in homes and workplaces through specific advice and support.
Particular focus will be given to those households who spend more than 10 percent of their income on energy bills, placing them in the ‘fuel poverty’ sector.
Councillor Deynem said: "As Climate Change Champion for Cheshire West and Chester, I very much welcome the aims of this type of approach by any energy supplier in tackling the impact of high fuel costs and reducing emissions through improved energy efficiency and the installation of more effective insulation measures.
“I am particularly pleased that EON has chosen Winsford to run this trial and look forward to the benefits that targeted specific advice will bring to the residents of the town.”This notice made me suspicious for a couple of reasons,
1) Most people are aware that one of the oldest tricks in the salesman's book is to offer free advice in order to get the person interested and gain their trust. Once you have them hooked you then go for the sale. Most people, having been given something free, even if it's only information widely available from other sources, feel obliged to at least listen to your sales pitch with many even buying your product.
2) Why is CWaC Council promoting just one specific energy supplier? One would have thought a council should be impartial and not favour one energy supplier over another. Furthermore, why were they not aware of this common sales trick?
In addition, doorstep selling has been received so much bad press over the last few years that most energy suppliers have now stopped using doorstep selling and started using shopping centre based events similar to the one above,
As a result I decided to do some digging and it didn't take long before finding the answer to that question. My first port of call was the register of interest for the councillor who used the council website to promote this event, Councillor Hugo Deynem
together with a search of earlier entries in the register.
My comment: I think the register of interest speaks for itself. In addition is this not a breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct: 6 (a): You must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage.
UPDATE 15th March 2012: Climate change champion on Cheshire West and Chester Council caught in political storm.
A COUNCILLOR has defended using his position on Cheshire West and Chester Council to back a promotional event by the company which employs him.
Cllr Deynem, who represents Tarvin and Kelsall, was quoted in a council press release supporting an energy efficiency roadshow by E.ON in his capacity as climate change champion.
However, the release did not mention that Cllr Deynem is employed by E.ON as its residential energy sales manager which is declared in the council’s register of interests.
Cllr Deynem has defended not making clear his employment position in the release about the event at Winsford.
He told The Chronicle: “I think that would have raised far more questions than it would have answered.
Cllr Deynem accused the CWAC Watcher website of being ‘politically motivated’ and said he took it with ‘a pinch of salt’. [My emphasis]
Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle
My comment: Interesting that Cllr Deynem should have to resort to the ad hominem fallacious tactic of trying to poison the well. However, for his benefit and others, ironically from all political parties, who have in the past suggested the same, my blog is not politically motivated. It exists to expose council/councillor wrongdoing.
If Cllr Deyham had taken the time to read the background to my blog and view my other blog he would have seen that I have also exposed councils such as Wirral who were not Tory controlled at the time. Visit my other blog and enter Labour or LibDem in the search box.
In any event, is he implying that I would have kept quiet about my find if I had been a Tory supporter? Surely that would have also meant my silence on the subject would have been politicly motivated. Looks like I am damned if I do and damned if I don't.
UPDATED 4th April 2012: Eon faces watchdog's mis-selling probe.
Energy regulator Ofgem has opened an investigation into whether industry giant Eon is mis-selling to consumers.
The probe follows concerns over whether Eon's face-to-face and telephone sales activities comply with the watchdog's rules on energy sales.
Ofgem is remaining tight-lipped on further details. It only quotes industry guidelines which state firms must have practices in place to guard against mis-selling and must ensure marketing is fair, accurate and easy to understand.
Read the full story from the source Money Saving Expert