Posted: 31 July, 2023. Written by Virginia Graham
In its response to MCS’s consultation on Scheme Redevelopment, RECC has called for enhanced consumer protection standards in the small-scale renewable sector as a mattery of urgency.
In its response RECC particularly questions MCS’s proposal to substitute approved Consumer Code Membership with a tick-box Consumer Duty lacking in any detail or substance. RECC believes that the proposal will make MCS certification easier and quicker for unscrupulous contractors.
RECC Chief Executive, Virginia Graham, said:
“If the UK is to have a robust and sustainable small-scale renewables sector there must be a balance between contractors’ and consumers’ interests. MCS’ proposals will skew the balance in favour of contractors to the detriment of consumers, removing the balance carefully constructed since 2008.”
RECC further questions MCS’s proposal to set up a Fund of Last Resort to which all MCS-certified contractors would be required to contribute. From the Consultation it is not clear who would benefit, on what basis or who would decide. In RECC's view, the lack of transparency and regulation surrounding the Fund, as currently described, would not provide consumers with the confidence to commit large, unprotected sums of their own money to purchase a small-scale renewable energy system.
While RECC generally welcomes MCS’s proposals to strengthen the relationship between MCS and the Certification Bodies, it warns that contractors could be confused as to which is their primary MCS interface and contact point. RECC also points out that, with some 20 Certification Bodies linked to MCS, there will be a complex landscape which will be easy for contractors to game and hard for consumers to navigate.
You can read RECC's response to the consultation below.