SNP MSP Clare Haughey is leading calls for the UK Government to streamline the complaints process for their flagship energy-saving scheme, the Green Deal, following a scathing report by Citizens Advice Scotland. Dubbed the “biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War” when it was launched by the coalition government in 2013, the Green Deal scheme provided homeowners with energy-efficiency products like solar panels, insulation and new boilers, with no up-front cost. More than 4260 across the UK – including 3050 in Scotland – have HELMS Green Deal finance for solar panels that were supposed to cut their power bills, but ended up costing them instead. A study last November by Citizens Advice Scotland entitled “Bad Company” accused HELMS of involvement in “pressure selling, providing misleading information about repayment, returns on investment, and financing, and selling to people in vulnerable situation”. It found the complaints process to be long and drawn out, with a number still pursuing complaints about measures typically installed four years ago in 2014. Citizens Advice Scotland is now calling on the UK Government to set up a dedicated scheme to resolve this issue by fast tracking complaints, providing satisfactory compensation and bespoke solutions for specific problems.
The National 17th Feb 2019 read more »