Competition and Markets Authority publishes green heating and insulation sector report
The report highlights the difficulties faced by consumers when buying green heating
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its findings report on consumer protection in the green heating and insultation sector on 31 May, which highlights the difficulties faced by consumers when buying green home heating technologies, such as solar panels and heat pumps. In light of the findings, the CMA has confirmed that it will be carrying out further work to assess whether potential misleading practices are occurring in the sector.
The CMA’s report identifies three main areas of concern: (1) information about products is difficult to find and to understand, with people often being unaware about where to start to get the information they need and unnecessarily complicated information putting consumers off from buying green heating products or leading them to install the wrong systems in their homes; (2) not all businesses are acting fairly, with the possibility that some businesses may be making misleading claims about the cost saving or environmental benefits of their products and possible greenwashing; and (3) quality assurance schemes are not as effective as they can be, with several different quality assurance schemes potentially causing confusion.
Alongside the publication of the findings report, the CMA has published a new consumer guide to help people looking to buy green heating and insulation products. The CMA’s guidance sets out key considerations for people at each stage of the buying process and summarises their rights under consumer protection law. The CMA has also published a set of good practice principles for quality assurance schemes and will begin working with scheme providers to implement these principles, as well as with the UK governments to help better support and protect consumers in the sector.
In light of the findings, the CMA has confirmed that it will carry out further research into possible misleading claims in the industry, which will include engaging with businesses, trade bodies and other stakeholders. The CMA intends to produce guidance for businesses on their legal responsibilities and will consider further action, such as enforcement, as needed.