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Green Deal Scheme

Volume 656: debated on Monday 18 March 2019

The petition of residents of Glasgow North,

Declares that the Government-backed Green Deal Scheme has adversely affected residents of Glasgow 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.—[Presented by Patrick Grady, Official Report, 14 January 2019; Vol. 652, c. 981.]

[P002303]

A petition in the same terms was presented by the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Gavin Newlands) [P002301].

Observations from the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth (Claire Perry):

The Department recognises the distress that these issues have caused, and it is right they be resolved as quickly as possible. To that end, the following process is in place.

Consumers can obtain appropriate redress where they have suffered detriment under the Green Deal. A process for handling complaints was established under the Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Acknowledgment, Redress etc.) Regulations 2012. The consumer makes a complaint to their Green Deal Provider, the company responsible for the work undertaken. Where this is not resolved satisfactorily, the consumer may approach the Green Deal Ombudsman or the Financial Ombudsman Service, depending on the nature of the complaint. Their decision is binding on the Green Deal Provider.

Where the consumer remains unsatisfied with the redress offered through those channels, they may refer their complaint to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for consideration. Where the Secretary of State is satisfied there has been a breach of the regulations, he may impose the sanction of reduction or cancellation of the Green Deal loan. This is the full extent of the Secretary of State’s powers to provide redress to consumers in relation to the Green Deal.

The Department has secured additional expert support from the Green Deal Ombudsman Investigation Service and Financial Ombudsman Service to assist in the review of cases. It is the Department’s intention to address the outstanding complaints within the next few months.

For one particular Green Deal Provider, that has dissolved, additional arrangements have been made whereby complainants can approach the Green Deal Finance Company who are able to make offers of loan cancellation or reduction where the evidence supports this.

The Government are undertaking a fundamental review of the Green Deal. We published a Call for Evidence in October 2017 and a summary of responses last summer. We are now considering the next steps to develop policy proposals and will continue considering what changes could be made to the Framework.