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Consumer protection tightened up in UK Government’s Green Deal

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The UK Coalition Government is attempting to tighten up consumer protection in its flagship energy efficiency scheme, the Green Deal, which is currently moving through Parliament.

The Green Deal provides consumers with access to long-term finance to pay for energy efficiency improvements to their homes.  In an amendment tabled on the Energy Bill, the home assessments carried out as part of the scheme to determine suitable improvements would have to be performed by independent assessors.  The proposal has been welcomed by consumer organisation Which? that has been campaigning for a raft of additions to the legislation to ensure that the Green Deal is a good deal for customers.  The Green Deal requires homeowners to sign up to a complex financial product, says Which?, so customers need to receive all the right information.  As well as impartial assessments of the property requirements, Which? also wants reassurance that there is readily available redress for consumers in the event of complaints or problems.  “It’s great that there is now a stated requirement for energy assessors to be impartial,” says Josh Green of Which? “[But] we’d now like to see even more robust protections for consumers including an ombudsman with the power to take action against rogue companies and provisions to get redress for consumers if something goes wrong.  Which? is also calling for thorough vetting of Green Deal installers and fair terms of finance for consumers.

For more information about Which? please click here.