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No place for ‘cowboys’ in Green Deal scheme

Chris Huhne announces rules to protect consumers

Tough rules to protect consumers who insulate their properties are to be implemented as part of the Green Deal, due to start in 2012.

The Green Deal is part of the government’s new legislation, which aims to make energy efficiency available to all at no upfront cost. Work to upgrade a property’s energy efficiency credentials will be paid for from the savings made on future energy bills.

Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne said: ‘I’m confident the Green Deal will catch on with the public. It’ll make upgrading our nation’s draughty homes a no brainer.’

Quality mark and insurance-backed warranties

In order to ensure that people aren’t given bad advice or hoodwinked by rogue traders, Huhne said: ‘Consumer protection will be built into the Green Deal from the word go’.

Protection measures include a ‘Green Deal’ quality mark, and insurance-backed warranties, to cover work in case there are faults with the installation.

In response to the government’s Energy Bill, Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: ‘Millions of us spend more than we need to on energy, either from being on the wrong tariff or because our homes are poorly insulated.’

‘The Green Deal must work for consumers, not just for energy suppliers and providers of “green” products. Independent advice, robust standards and strong enforcement are all vital to ensure that this happens.’

Tariff confusion

A recent survey showed that 70% of consumers find the number of energy tariffs available confusing. Which? is calling for changes in energy regulator Ofgem’s licence conditions to require minimum standards for tariffs.

Customers switching to a dual fuel tariff with Which? Switch between 24 March and 9 September 2010 saved an annual average of £270. If you’re unsure how to switch energy company, or are switching for the first time, read our guide to switching suppliers.

There are more ways to save on your energy bills with Which? Best Buy energy-efficient appliances, energy-saving light bulbs and .

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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