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North American Power - WTF?
November 26, 2010 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Some relatives have been bugging me about getting involved with North American Power. Is this a legit opportunity or just another scam?

I'm unemployed at the moment thanks to layoffs, and in turn relatives have been bombarding me with all sorts of job postings and opportunities, many of which have proven to be flat-out scams. I've done some googling on NAP, but everything out there links to their own sites. Does anyone have any experience with NAP (been to their meetings, etc.)? How exactly does a person profit from energy deregulation in any case?
posted by Anima Mundi to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
How exactly does a person profit from energy deregulation in any case?

Well, deregulation generally means competition for your business, which hopefully leads to lower prices. What sort of "involvement" with this company are your relatives pressing on you? Are they just suggesting that this would be a cheaper way to buy your household electricity, or is there something else to this? I can't see what you think might be a scam.
posted by jon1270 at 8:59 AM on November 26, 2010


It looks just like the sort of energy re-sellers we have here in Ontario. If it's the same, most of the jobs they offer will involve knocking on doors and telling old people that they can save money by signing contracts that "lock in" the rate they pay for hydro or gas. Of course, if it actually did save people money over the long term, then the resellers wouldn't make a profit.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:19 AM on November 26, 2010


If it's the same, most of the jobs they offer will involve knocking on doors and telling old people that they can save money by signing contracts that "lock in" the rate they pay for hydro or gas.

In this case there doesn't seem to be any lock in, so I don't see the scam.

If you are interested in their green options, I would do some research. Renewable Energy Certificates are better than nothing, but I don't think that they really lower the amount of conventional power generation by their full energy value.
posted by ssg at 9:35 AM on November 26, 2010


...or to put it another way, deregulation means they can enter the market to offer "protection" from the huge price increases that could result from the deregulation.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:36 AM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


> It looks just like the sort of energy re-sellers we have here in Ontario.

Yeah, it looks similar, except let's hope they're less sleazy than Ontario Energy Savings, who have conned a bunch of people into signing.
posted by scruss at 9:47 AM on November 26, 2010


Scam. Electricity regulation like this is done at the state level, so there is no way you could have a "North American" energy company. Their site is almost completely devoid of information on how it works or why the energy is supposedly cheaper, or greener.

I suppose it's possible they have different programs for different states, On their FAQ they talk about some deregulation that happened in Connecticut. Maybe this is only a service offered in CT or something.
posted by delmoi at 10:33 AM on November 26, 2010


Just a point of perspective, in my experience if you find yourself wondering "Is this a scam?" it's a 99.7% accurate indication that it is, indeed, a scam.

Their Careers page is a big red flag for me. Most businesses will have one of two things:

1. A form where you indicate your desired department (accounting, sales, sysadmin) and paste in your resume/cover letter.

2. A collection of actual job postings, with attendant description.

This thing about "Just email our HR department if you want work" looks pretty fishy. Particularly in such a job-hungry climate like we have going right now.
posted by ErikaB at 10:36 AM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


If it's the same, most of the jobs they offer will involve knocking on doors and telling old people that they can save money by signing contracts that "lock in" the rate they pay for hydro or gas.

I did this about ten years ago for "Energy America," where we encouraged people to sign up to get our cheaper gas rather than the default gas offered by the local gas company.

It wasn't a scam, per se (or if it was, I as a low-level door-knocker was not privy to it), but we did mislead people by saying we were from the "gas supplier" when they asked "Who is it?" so people would answer the door, thinking we were from their gas company.

Also, there was no base pay (100% commission), you were gone all day long (the first part of the day was filled with bullshit "motivation" exercises which I hated), and it was generally shitty work for not very much money. It was more worth it, however, to better salespeople than I.
posted by mreleganza at 10:43 AM on November 26, 2010


Also, there was no base pay (100% commission), you were gone all day long (the first part of the day was filled with bullshit "motivation" exercises which I hated), and it was generally shitty work for not very much money. It was more worth it, however, to better salespeople than I.

This is probably the kind of thing NAP is offering, and I would describe this kind of work as a scam on the person who takes the job, if not on the people who buy the service. It's not lucrative, it takes up too much time, and it's unimpressive on a resume (to say the least). For an unemployed person your time is much better spent looking for something better rather than taking a "job" like this.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:52 AM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think Lentrohamsanin has hit the nail on the head. I'll be giving this "opportunity" a pass.
posted by Anima Mundi at 4:51 PM on November 26, 2010


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