Goldhawk Fights Back: Invasion of the Clipboards

This is a weekly column by Dale Goldhawk, Canada’s best-known consumer advocate. A journalist, author and broadcaster, Dale hosts Goldhawk Fights Back For You, on AM 740 or at AM740 ZoomerRadio, Monday through Friday from 11 am to 1 pm, in the eastern time zone. Visit his website at

Spring has sprung. And that’s a good thing. It’s not so good that the warmer weather brings with it certain pests. Not the early mosquitoes. The energy brokers. They’re usually young men armed with a clipboard and an aggressive sales attitude. They say they are out to save you money. It is their mission in life. But all they really want to do is sign you up for an ironclad, five-year energy contract, collect their commission and move on to the next victim.

The brokers, under the guise of passing along a bargain to you, want to lock you in for a specified energy rate — a set rate of cubic metres for a gas supply and a set rate of kilowatt hours for an electricity supply. The pitch is that you will save money because the company can lock you in at a good rate because energy prices are going up. Sure, that could happen. But locking in at a set rate is a gamble. If you want to play the energy market, just as you might play the stock market, just remember it is a gamble. And if energy prices go down, you lose. You get to pay more than the going rate for your energy, over the course of a long contract.

Once locked in at the set rate, you are not likely to be able to get out of the contract. Lawyers stayed up way late at night to write these tough, unbreakable documents.

The worst part is the sales people are pushy. They want to see your utility bill so they can show you how much you can save. Don’t do it.

Unless you know all about energy markets and know how to play them, just say you are not interested. You can always continue to buy your energy from your local utility, no matter what these guys say.

And if you say no, be prepared for an argument, based on the not-so-subtle argument that you must either be too stupid or too stubborn to understand that you just cannot afford to pass up this opportunity.

That’s when you close your front door. Retreat inside to your castle. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of grief and maybe a lot of money.

Photo © Brad Killer

Dale GoldhawkGemini award nominee, journalist and broadcaster, Dale Goldhawk has earned Canada’s trust by his four decades of work exposing fraud and greed in the marketplace. To read more of his articles, go to (now part of the ZoomerMedia family of websites).

Don’t miss Goldhawk Fights Back , on the New AM740 Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.