Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Gift From Enbridge? The Taps Program

I responded to a knock at the door this week to find a man holding a cardboard box and a clipboard. My eyes immediately went to the name tag pinned on his pocket, and I prepared to ask him to leave. Then, he introduced himself as an Enbridge employee. I had thought he was an energy marketer. Gas prices had just shot up from 1.34 to 1.41 in my town after all, and poor, unsuspecting consumers were ripe to be ripped off further. 

He quickly proceeded to explain he had been hired for the Enbridge TAPS program, and he had some free gifts for being an Enbridge customer. He handed me four compact florescent light bulbs and two aerators (one for the bathroom tap and one for the kitchen). I was still skeptical. Why was I getting this for free? What does he really want?

Next, he pulled out a water-saving shower head, but asked if he could install it. Um, I hesitated. It's not every day someone comes to your door, asking if they can stand in your shower. He insisted he had to install it. It was his job. I agreed, and 2 minutes later I had a new shower head.

I was still perplexed after he left though. Since when do gas companies give their customers anything free? Did they overcharge me somewhere, and this is their way of making it up? What kind of a tax break are they getting for doing this? Obviously, he had to install the shower head to guarantee it got used.

Regardless, I replaced a few old light bulbs with the new this morning and put the aerator on the bathroom tap. It reduces my water use from 7.5 gpm to 1.5 gpm. Not huge savings. According to the program card, it's about $122 in gas (to heat the water) and water savings / year, if I also installed the kitchen aerator. The light bulbs account for a $21 savings. Not a fortune, but still $143 I could put toward a new TV, garden plants, or decorating my craft room!

Did anyone else have someone from Enbridge TAPS come by? Did you take their offer? Anyone know what their motivation is behind TAPS?


  1. Was he actually with Enbridge or just wearing thier logo and caseing out your home to rob it. That happened here they tried the same thing.... I have an oil fired furnace.

  2. He was with an independant company, hired by Enbridge. He handed out a flyer on the program and explained. I just checked the program website, which is only one page on Enbridge's website, and it said they should come by with the flyer 48 hours before. He did not come before, but he otherwise seems the program is legit. I signed a form acknowledging he'd installed the shower head. Now that you've commented, I did a Google search and there are lots of stories out there similar to yours. I called Megacity Heating & Air Conditioning and recieved an answering machine. I then called Enbridge, and after going through several menu prompts, I did get to a list of their contractors providing the TAPS program. Megacity was listed. I feel more comfortable with allowing them in, but you raise a great point in not letting people into your house. I feel so naive this didn't cross my mind.

  3. NEVER let anyone in your home unless you called them there yourself. This program is a government funded tax incentive to Enbridge funded by the Ontario Power Authority. It is legit, however there is always a safety concern when letting anyone in your house. They did come to my house, but left the shower aerieator for us to install ourselves. Best thing to do when someone comes to the door and you aren't sure if they are legit, is say - you aren't sure if they are legit and you are going to go google it. Chances are if they aren't legit, they'll be long gone when you return.

  4. You had to fill out a form with all your information on it too, didn't you. Think it odd that this guy didn't have your information already if he represented Enbridge? If he didn't know who you were, how did he know you were an Enbridge client?

    He *had* to install the showerhead to ensure it got used? What about those four lightbulbs and two aerators he gave you... did those have to get installed too to be sure they were used?

    Bottom line, nothing is free and Enbridge is selling your information... this guy now knows what the inside of your house looks like (and if he was a security contractor, he was probably looking for a home security panel too...) and just got your information.

    Still feel like you won?

  5. I'm not sure what you mean by whether I 'still feel like I won'. I admit it was not smart to let them in, but I did contact Enbridge and verified the company was part of their program. I didn't actually fill anything out. I only signed to acknowledge receiving the taps, and I have a copy of what I signed.

    Ironically enough, I now have a contact at Enbridge through work. I'm going to verify with her next time we talk.