The Department for Energy and Climate Change has outlined rules in the Energy Bill, published today, to protect consumers from cowboy builders.

Those who go ahead with insulating their properties under the new deal will receive accredited advice and any improvement work must be installed by accredited installers.

Other measures include insurance-backed warranties to cover the work so consumers are covered if there are faults with the advice or installation of measures.

The rules are aimed at preventing customers being subjected to unfair or misleading selling practices.

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.

“But I don’t want people to be hoodwinked by rogue traders or receive dodgy advice. Trust is important when it comes to having work done in our homes.

“Consumer protection will be built into the Green Deal from the word go. Accreditation, a quality mark, insurance-backed warranties – there’ll be no place for cowboys to get a foothold in the Green Deal.”

The Energy Bill also confirms that consumers will be able to pay back the Green Deal through a charge on their energy bills. When the occupier moves on the charge will also be left behind.

A new Energy Company Obligation on energy suppliers will be provided to support low income vulnerable households and those whose homes are more difficult or expensive to improve.

The Secretary of State will have the power to ensure that energy companies provide their customers with information on their cheapest tariffs, if a voluntary agreement isn’t reached.

In addition to the details on the Green Deal, other points announced in the Energy Bill today were measures to enable investment in low carbon electricity generation and steps to improve energy security.

Alison Brown

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