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Volume 653: debated on Tuesday 22 January 2019

Green Deal Scheme

Apology accepted, Madam Deputy Speaker. I was pleased to hear your comments on that very important issue.

Nearly 300 households in my constituency have been affected by the utterly shameful mis-selling by Robert Skillen’s company, Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Systems—or HELMS, as it is better known—all carried out under the umbrella of the UK Government’s green deal scheme. Far too many people were tricked into signing away their solar energy feed-in tariffs to HELMS’s sister company, PV Solar. In fact, many have not signed them over yet, but PV Solar still collects the tariffs. There is a host of other issues, which I do not have time to go into this evening, but they were outlined by my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Alan Brown) when he presented his ten-minute rule Bill earlier today. Suffice it to say that the Government’s response thus far has been utterly woeful and must improve.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of Paisley and Renfrewshire North,

Declares that the Government-backed Green Deal Scheme has adversely affected residents of Paisley and Renfrewshire North both financially and psychologically; further that many residents have, in good faith, invested their life saving or accrued several thousands of pounds of debt to pay for work that was carried out by companies approved by the Green Deal Scheme; further that in some cases the work including the installation of insulation and of solar panels, was incomplete; further that some were sub-standard and in many cases residents were given incorrect information which led them to believe that they would save or make money when in fact they have simply lost money; and further that in other cases the installer did not apply for building warrants and as a result they are unable to sell their properties, or have the peace of mind that their homes are safe to live in, or that the insurance policies residents continue to pay are valid without a building warrant.

The petitions therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to compensate financially and protect people who have found themselves suffering in this way after signing up to this Government-backed scheme using Government-approved installers.

And the petitions remain, etc.