A salesman going door to door pushing solar energy plans in Rosemount is legitimate, but he is using unscrupulous business practices that are making residents suspicious, the city’s police chief said Friday.

On Thursday, the city issued a scam alert saying the salesman was posing as an employee with Xcel Energy and was asking homeowners for access to their computers to discuss ways to save money on utility bills. After further investigation, the city learned that the salesman is affiliated with NRG, a Fortune 200 company with headquarters in New Jersey and Texas. NRG was at one time affiliated with Xcel, but is not now, said Rosemount Police Chief Mitchell Scott.

“Our concern is that he is misrepresenting himself as a representative of Xcel, and that is not correct,” Scott said. “He’s using tactics making residents concerned that it is a scam. People don’t just ask to go on your computer. That raises a red flag.”

Scott said several residents called to complain.

While police have determined that this is not a scam, the salesman and the company have been told to stop because they do not have a solicitor’s license, which city ordinance requires for such transactions.

Xcel does not have employees performing this type of request, Thursday’s advisory said. Residents who are confronted with the request are asked to call 911 or the Rosemount Police Department.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has information about solar energy on its website.

Tim Harlow