Vermont Business Magazine At a press conference today at the Vermont State House, Vermont Secretary of State Sarah Copeland Hanzas and Vermont Attorney General Charity Clark announced a new consumer tool to help their offices highlight their own consumer protection work regarding residential contractors and help Vermonters protect themselves. An interactive map on the Secretary of State’s website that helps consumers determine if a home contractor is registered and in good standing with the state.
“We have good residential contractors here in Vermont, and the new residential contractor registration program is here to protect consumers and hold bad actors accountable,” Copeland Hanzas said. “The contractor applicant map makes it easier for Vermonters to research and vet contractors before work begins, which helps both parties.”
The Vermont General Assembly passed a measure in its 2022 legislative session requiring registration of residential contractors operating in Vermont. This requirement applies to any residential contractor performing construction with an estimated cost of $10,000 or more, including labor and materials. Registered home contractors are also required to maintain insurance and execute a written contract. The registration program is administered by the Vermont Office of State Professional Regulation (OPR).
The Vermont Attorney General’s Office supports both consumers and small businesses and has long supported the Residential Contractor Registry. The new law created a “residential contractor specialist” position in the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program.
“I encourage all Vermonters to do their homework before hiring a residential contractor,” said Attorney General Charity Clarke. If you need help in any way, my office’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) is here to guide you, CAP can be reached at 800-649-2424, or visit ago.vermont.gov/cap For more information.
Rep. Scott Campbell, D-St. Johnsbury, joined the secretary and attorney general in praising the new map and the new registration program. Campbell, the lead sponsor of the legislation that created the record and a contractor himself, sees the map as a great benefit to contractors in addition to helping consumers.
“This program, along with tools like this map, puts the contractor’s name in front of the customer, showing people they’re a professional,” Campbell said. “And for the first time, we’ll have a statewide list of contractors. This will create new ways to connect with contractors and help with training and best practices. The industry is becoming more complex, and customer expectations are high.
Guy Payne, executive director of Sustainable Energy Supply (SEON), also spoke to reporters and expanded on Campbell’s comments about training and the development of professional standards. SEON works in the field of renewable energy/energy efficiency and provides training through a network of businesses and educational institutions.
“The enrollment program will create new opportunities for SEON and others to provide educational resources and training for home contractors,” Payne said. “Builder certification, which demonstrates that they have the knowledge and skills to build to quality standards, including the Vermont Energy Code, will become an important part of the registration program as it grows. Homeowners want contractors who are engaged in continuing education and are certified.
Secretary Copeland Hanzas encouraged Vermonters to check out the new. Map And renewed her call for contractors to register. For more information and to register contractors, visit OPR’s Residential Contractor website https://sos.vermont.gov/residential-contractors/.
The Home Improvement Fraud Registry is available at the Attorney General’s Office. websiteWith additional tips for homeowners and residential contractors. The Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program is a free resource available to Vermont consumers and small businesses. Consumers and small businesses are encouraged to contact the Customer Assistance Program for assistance by calling 800-649-2424 or visiting ago.vermont.gov/cap.
Source: 5.4.2023 Montpelier, VT- Vermont Secretary of State’s Office
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