“Going green” is not just about driving a fuel-efficient car or recycling cans and bottles. Some of our everyday tasks can be quite taxing on the environment, and more importantly, on our wallets. Most home appliances are energy hogs, driving up our electricity bills every month. Yet often it is too expensive to upgrade to newer models, especially as families tighten their belts during a recession.
Massachusetts is setting out to help consumers ditch their electricity-hogging home appliances with a new “cash for clunkers” program that targets devices in the home we use every day such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and laundry machines. Earlier this week, the Patrick Administration announced the launch of a rebate program enabling consumers to trade in old home appliances for cash towards new energy-efficient models. It’s a winning situation for everyone: for thousands of consumers, immediate cash savings towards new appliances and future savings on electricity bills. For the environment, recycling old devices and wasting less energy.
The state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs estimates that when the program is complete, around 27,000 old, inefficient appliances will be taken out of service. The energy savings as a result of the program will be 2.6 million kilowatt-hours per year, equivalent to a full year’s energy consumption from 340 Massachusetts homes.
This program is yet another innovative component of Governor Patrick’s Recovery Plan, and it enables Massachusetts to become greener, help consumers invest into major components of their homes, and save electricity in the long term.
How to Combat Illegal Robocalls posted on Jul 25
Robocalls have become an all-too-common nuisance for consumers. Robocalls are unsolicited, pre-recorded phone calls, often scams, which are made to consumers without their permission, as opposed to calls solicited by the consumer, such as those from pharmacies and childrens’ schools. Robocalls are illegal in Massachusetts under M.G.L. c. 159C. While consumers can, and should, sign-up -for both the state and national Do-Not-Call lists, unfortunately this does not always stop many unscrupulous solicitors and scammers from making these calls.
Summary of the 2015 Consumer Federation of America Annual Consumer Complaint Survey posted on Jul 22
The Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators recently released the results of the 2015 Consumer Complaint Survey. This report is based on consumer information, complaints, and suggestions for increased consumer protections from 33 consumer agencies in 21 states.
Do-Not-Call Consumer & Solicitor Responsibilities posted on Jul 20
The Massachusetts Do-Not-Call Registry allows consumers to stop receiving certain telephone solicitations simply by signing-up and providing their telephone number. Established in 2003, the law requires telephone solicitors, list-brokers, and telemarketers to register with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, subscribe to the Do-Not-Call Registry, and remove registered telephone numbers of consumers from their call lists.