Responding to the Government’s statement on the Green Deal and ECO today, Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, said:
‘It is welcome that the Government has listened and improved many aspects of consumer protection for the Green Deal, but two key issues remain. Protections must apply to all Green-Deal accredited products and services regardless of how they are paid for, and quotes must be clear and comparable for customers. As a minimum, voluntary standards from industry are needed to prevent the misselling that could be so damaging to this fledgling market.
‘We are also concerned that the Government has still not outlined further steps to stimulate consumer demand for the Green Deal. Without clear incentives to attract consumers, such as council tax or stamp duty discounts, we are worried that people won’t see the benefit or relevance of the scheme to them.
‘With the poorest consumers hit hardest by rising energy prices we also want to see greater emphasis on helping those living in fuel poverty under the energy company obligation. While targets have been marginally increased for ECO much more needs to be done, given the millions of pensioners, families and disabled people struggling to afford to heat their homes. In particular we think some of the revenue the Government will receive from carbon taxes should be used to get help to those who need it.’