As the coalition prepares to launch its Green Deal energy efficiency scheme on 1 October 2012, Which? is encouraging the government to keep its promise to protect consumers from mis-selling.
From Monday, consumers will be able to have their homes assessed for the government’s Green Deal scheme. However, the finance to pay for Green Deal measures such as insulation, double glazing, boilers and solar panels will not be available until January 2013.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘We know that energy prices are one of consumers’ top financial concerns so we support helping people save money and making their home more energy efficient.’
Risk of mis-selling
Prior to the scheme’s launch, the government promised high levels of consumer protection. Which? has warned: ‘The government must live up to its promise to protect the consumers from mis-selling and dodgy sales techniques.’
Richard Lloyd added: ‘We will be watching closely to see if people get ripped off. Any poor practice must be stamped out as quickly as possible.’
A better Green Deal
Which? wants the Green Deal to provide high levels of consumer protection and offer:
- Clear and comparable Green Deal quotes: It must be easy for consumers to compare quotes for different Green Deal loans and other finance options on the market. Which? wants clear information for consumers that outlines at every stage the different costs and savings, including the cost of finance so that consumers can compare the Green Deal with other forms of credit.
- More of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) allocated to the poorest: The ECO will subsidise Green Deal loans and, at the moment, only around 40% of the ECO is guaranteed to be allocated to the fuel poor. Which? would like to see greater investment in low cost measures like loft and cavity wall insulation that will have a big impact on reducing people’s energy use and bills.
- No harsh penalties for early repayment of Green Deals: Government is planning to amend regulations which will lead to people taking out Green Deals of 15 years or more could pay a large penalty for paying their loan back early. Which? wants to see the existing protections offered under law applied to the Green Deal, just as they would any other form of credit.
- Read our Green Deal advice guide for full details of the scheme
- Join the Green Deal debate on Which? Conversation
- Replay our Green Deal Q&A with Energy Secretary Ed Davey