REA faces High Court action

The Renewable Energy Association is facing a High Court legal action over damaging claims it has unfairly targeted companies with a campaign of disruption.

The REA and its wholly owned Renewable Energy Assurance Scheme are being challenged over whether it is acting beyond its powers and unfairly interfering with legitimate companies.

The court documents also raise concern that the REA and the REAL Scheme, which was recently chosen to help regulate the Green Deal scheme, were last year both actually operating while insolvent.

And a judge has been asked to force the REA and REAL to reassure its members by providing up to date information about its finances and reveal the nature of an employee fraud that occurred in 2008 and what steps it has taken to recover the loss.

A claim has now been lodged with the High Court in London, which sets out in detail how the industry trade association has acted and is asking for a ruling that the REAL must act without bias and provide members with genuine support. It claims by meddling in the affairs of companies, REAL is not acting “fairly, reasonably or impartially”.

In addition, the petition claims the association has demonstrated a clear bias against certain industry sectors and have not adhered to its own code and set of bye-laws.

It adds: “In so doing, [the REA] have failed to act in the interests of the renewable energy industry sector or of the consumer.”

And it claims that the REA has not exhibited a “necessary or basic level of competence” with regards to the administration of the REAL scheme or the administration of its own affairs, including its finances.

The court action has been launched by the same legal team that defeated the Government over the unlawful cuts to the Feed-in Tariff on behalf of MCS-registered Crystal Doors and Windows.

The south east company, which has an annual turnover of £26 million, is one of the largest employers of its kind in the region and has installed over 120,000 windows and 600 solar power systems since it diversified into renewable energy in January 2011.

“There has been growing concern about REAL’s competence and fairness for some time,” said one senior member of the legal team at Prospect Law .

“This is about one company taking High Court action to try to sort these issues out and to stand up for what is right for the renewable energy industry.”

And John Oddi, MD of Crystal Doors and Windows, added: “Simply, we want the renewable energy industry to be overseen and represented by a fair and ‘fit for purpose’ organisation. The green economy is far too important for businesses and consumers alike for there to be fundamental issues at the top.

“There are 400 of us here at Crystal and we’re very proud of our business and our diversification into solar power. Companies like ours should be supported, not hindered, whilst we grow and create much needed green jobs.”