The crucial free guidance covers legislation and best practices and is available free to all businesses installing renewable energy, green heating and energy saving measures in domestic premises.
The soaring demand for renewable energy, green heating, and energy saving measures has been gaining momentum in recent years. Heat pumps, solar panels, batteries and other green technologies are all innovative solutions that allow homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on energy costs. With more people across the UK installing such devices in their homes under the multibillion-pound net zero initiative, there will be increasing need for businesses equipped and qualified to meet the demand.
With the domestic installation sector not only growing rapidly but also continually evolving, consumer protection needs to be the main priority of all businesses working in the sector. Being aware of responsibilities under consumer protection legislation is essential for traders to ensure the safety, functionality, and environmental impact of the devices they install, as well as protect their customers and avoid legal risks and potential penalties.
Getting it right
To help traders navigate this complex and ever-changing field, Business Companion has launched a new guide designed to help businesses understand the legislation and best practices surrounding the installation of renewable energy systems, green heating and energy saving measures.
As the domestic energy-efficiency sector involves operating in people’s homes and installing technology with which many consumers are likely to be unfamiliar, businesses need to be keenly aware of potential consumer vulnerability issues. Traders must ensure that all information provided to customers is clear, accurate and not misleading, and that sales practices are ethical and transparent.
The guidance comes in three parts:
Avoiding misleading promotion
Part 1 focuses on how businesses promote their products and services, exploring the practices that should be avoided with concern to energy-efficiency performance claims, marketing and advertising.
A useful overview of the key aspects of consumer protection law is included, and Part 1 also provides helpful links to the relevant trade bodies and consumer codes that operate in the domestic energy sector.
Part 2 of the guidance explains how businesses need to engage with consumers before, during and after the installation of domestic energy-efficiency measures. Practical guidance on what information should be included in a contract and what practices to steer clear of are provided. The section also has some great tips on after-sales service, a crucial part of ensuring that customers are happy and satisfied.
Part 3 of this resource is designed to assist businesses to effectively handle customer complaints and provide proper redress when customers are not satisfied.
The section outlines the processes that businesses should follow to ensure that customers’ grievances are addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner. The role Trading Standards play in helping to resolve disputes between businesses and consumers is also highlighted.
The guidance ends with links to additional useful resources such as the relevant industry standards, the Green Claims Code and the CMA’s consumer guidance on buying green heating and insulation products, as well as links to the full legislation discussed elsewhere in the guide.
Business Companion’s new guide is an essential tool for traders looking to stay ahead of the game in the domestic energy-efficiency sector. By understanding their responsibilities under consumer protection legislation, businesses can ensure that they provide gold-standard services and products that meet the needs and expectations of their clients.
As with all Business Companion guidance, Domestic energy saving has been written by experts to be clear, concise and practical. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes that need to quickly find accurate and reliable answers to issues they may face while going about their work.
Business Companion is a government-backed service provided by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
John Herriman, Chief Executive of CTSI, said: “Businesses, consumers and bodies such as Trading Standards all have a role to play in making the UK’s transition to net zero run smoothly and effectively. It is in everybody’s interest to ensure that the practices businesses follow are lawful and honest.
“The domestic energy saving sector has previously been subject to misleading and exaggerating claims, which in the short-term leave consumers vulnerable to being exploited and undermines confidence in the net zero agenda, and in the long term do more harm than good in efforts to create a more environmentally sustainable society.
“This guidance has been designed to help businesses avoid common mistakes, and it provides some really useful tips on how businesses can build a strong reputation and make the most of the opportunities that come with good customer service and honest business practices.”
To view the guidance or download the PDF booklet, click here.
Business Companion is a free online information resource operated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) with the support of the Department for Business and Trade. It hosts a wealth of information for businesses across a wide variety of sectors, providing accurate, reliable and up-to-date guidance on numerous aspects of consumer law.