Publication Date: October 2016
Capitalised words have the meanings set out in the Definitions section at Attachment A.Members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code have given a legal undertaking to comply with this Code.
Please read the disclaimer in section F.
Please note that references to Gemserv Ltd in Section 2.4 and Appendix D of the Code should be replaced by MCS Service Company, now the MCS Administrator. MCS Service Company can be found at: Innovation Centre, Sci-Tech Daresbury, Keckwick Lane, Daresbury, Cheshire WA4 4FS. Telephone: 0333 103 8130, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.mcscertified.com.
Please note that references to Renewable Energy Association (REA) in Contents, Sections 1 and 2 and Appendices D and F should be replaced with The Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology (REA).
The Renewable Energy Consumer Code is sponsored by the Renewable Energy Association and administered by its subsidiary Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd. The Code sets out the high standards of consumer protection in marketing, pre-contractual information, quotations, deposits, contracts, guarantees and after-sales service for domestic consumers (referred to as Consumers in this Code).
The Code applies to Code Members who are selling small-scale heat and power generators, whether from renewable or other low carbon sources (referred to collectively as 'Energy Generators' in this Code), and any product connected or linked to the Energy Generator (referred to as Related Products in this Code), to Consumers.
The Code extends to Code Members who are leasing Energy Generators to Consumers or who are leasing the space Energy Generators occupy from Consumers. It also extends to Code Members who are offering to fund some or all of the cost of Energy Generators in return for Consumers assigning their right to Government incentive payments to them.
The Code has been designed to help Code Members offer high standards of consumer protection so that Consumers can have the confidence to generate heat and power in their own homes. This will increase Consumers’ confidence and Code Members' chances of winning future business. In turn this will promote the sector.
Consumers may not be experts in Energy Generator technologies. It is thus essential that Code Members provide Consumers with the information they need to choose the most suitable system for them and to get the best from it. We have also provided guidance for Consumers here.
Consumers have the right to expect that Goods and services supplied by Code Members will perform properly, be fit for their purpose and that they meet the quality standards they would reasonably expect, including the standards set out in this Code. If these standards have not been met Consumers can complain using the dispute resolution process set out in section 9.1, below.
The requirements set out in this Code are not intended to interpret, replace or restrict the law. None of the conditions of the Code will affect Consumers' rights under any existing laws. Code Members must comply with the laws intended to protect consumers and govern transactions. (There is a summary of these laws in Attachment C (11), below.)
The importance of Energy Generators is growing. There is a wide range of different ways of producing heat and power from renewable or low carbon sources (referred to collectively as 'Energy Sources and Convertors' in this Code and set out in Attachment B).
Energy Generators allow Consumers to generate low carbon or renewable electricity or heat, depending on the fuel source. This Code is not technology-specific but applies to all Energy Generator transactions between Code Members and Consumers.
Energy Generators are connected, and often fixed on, to a consumer's property. This means that there are special safety standards that apply to their installation and operation.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) is the UK's leading trade association representing renewable energy producers and suppliers across a wide range of electric and heating energy sources. REA is a not-for-profit company which sponsors the Code.
Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of REA which administers the Code. REAL also administers a number of certification schemes and consumer codes in the renewable energy and wider environmental protection sectors.
The Renewable Energy Consumer Code, referred to as the Code, is open to all those businesses active in the small-scale renewable energy generating sector that have contact with Consumers. Any business that has joined the Code is referred to as a 'Code Member'.
The Code is governed by specific Bye-Laws which set out the basis of the relationship between the Code Administrator and Code Members. This Code relates to the contacts Code Members have with consumers. On joining Code Members must undertake to abide by the Bye-Laws and the Code.
The Code is that which is set out in this document. It covers all the factors that contribute to overall consumer service, including:
The Code is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) under the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS). The CCAS is facilitated self-regulation that aims to bolster high standards of consumer protection and foster effective customer service. The Code complies with the CCAS ‘core criteria’ which you can find here.
A Supervisory Panel that may be made up of Code Members, consumer representatives and others with an interest in the sector monitors the contents of, and changes to, this Code.
This Code has been designed to dovetail with the MCS Installer standard described in section 2.4 below.
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an important quality assurance certification scheme that sets out technical and process standards for installers of Energy Generators which dovetail with the contractual requirements set out in the Code. The MCS and the Code are thus complementary. The MCS covers both:
The MCS is administered by Gemserv Ltd. There are several bodies accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) to carry out certification against the MCS Installer standards. Certification is a requirement of the UK Government's Feed-in Tariff and domestic Renewable Heat Incentive schemes and the Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme.
Any Code Member who enters into a Contract with a Consumer for the sale and installation of an Energy Generator must be certified to the relevant MCS Installer standards for the technology types specified in the Contract. The MCS certified Installer that enters into a Contract with a Consumer must also create the MCS certificate associated with that installation on its own MCS user account.
Because the Code and the MCS are complementary, all Code Members should be certified, or be working towards certification, to the relevant MCS Installer standards. Any Code Member that has not achieved certification to the relevant MCS Installer standards within six months of joining the Code, and that has not provided a valid explanation for not having done so, may have its Code Membership terminated. Code Members that have their certification terminated may also have their Code Membership terminated in line with the section 14 of the Bye-Laws.If a Code Member obtains sales leads from any third party, the Code Member must require that the third party complies with all the relevant requirements of the Code and the relevant MCS standards. The Code Member will be responsible for any non-compliance with the Code by the third party.
Code Members must put in place a process and training for their Employees, including those working on their behalf, to check whether a Consumer they contact appears to be vulnerable in any way. Code Members must be able to demonstrate that their Employees have been appropriately trained and have followed this process. Consumers may be vulnerable as a consequence of mental or physical infirmity, age, credulity, learning difficulties, illiteracy or if their first language is not English. The information Code Members provide should be appropriate to the Consumer's needs, taking into account any apparent vulnerability.
Code Members should take special care to ensure that Consumers understand the key documents, including the quotation, the Contract and the guarantee arrangements.
Where appropriate, Code Members must seek the involvement of a trusted friend or relative in any contacts they have with the Consumer, and arrange for a trusted friend or relative to be present during a visit to the Consumer’s home. If this has not been possible, Code Members must re-schedule the visit at a time when a trusted friend or relative is available to be present.
Code Members may only use the Renewable Energy Consumer Code logo in relation to Energy Regulators and Related Products covered by the Code and can be found in different formats here. Code Members may only use the logo strictly in line with section 19 of the Bye-Laws and the latest version of the Guidance on the use of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code Logo issued by the Code Administrator from time to time and published on its website which can be found here.
Code Members may only use the CTSI logo strictly in line with the latest version of the CTSI’s Brand Guidelines which can be found here.
If Code Members are entitled to use other logos, they must follow the conditions of use for these, so long as there is no conflict with the conditions set out in this Code and in the Bye-Laws.
Code Members must follow this Code and make sure they have a current membership certificate in their possession. The membership certificate has a space for the Code Member to confirm that it follows this Code. It is valid only when signed by the authorised senior representative of the Code Member designated as the 'Renewable Energy Consumer Code primary contact' and by the Code Administrator. Code Members must inform the Code Administrator when there are any changes to the designated primary contact details. Code Members must not amend the certificate in any way. Code Members will take all reasonable steps to promote the benefits of the Code to Consumers and must not mislead them in any way as to their Code Membership.
The Code Administrator has put in place arrangements for monitoring Code Members' compliance with the Code. Code Members must agree to comply with the requirement for regular monitoring. This includes audit compliance checks, mystery shopping and Consumer satisfaction feedback.
Code Members will make sure that they have access to the latest version of the Code available here. The latest version of the Code will always be the one on the Code website. They will make sure that all Employees, those individuals they contract with and those who act on their behalf are aware of the legal requirements that apply and of their responsibilities under the Code.
Code Members are responsible for ensuring that all Employees, individuals they contract with and those who act on their behalf, are aware of the latest version of the Code, have been effectively trained in how to use the Code and that they comply with it.
Some Code Members purchase, or otherwise obtain, sales leads or signed-up Consumers from third party organisations, individuals or lead-generating websites. Code Members who do this are responsible for ensuring that the organisations, individuals or those running the lead-generating websites have been trained in, and have complied with, all the relevant conditions of the Code. If they do not comply with the relevant requirements of the Code, the matter will be dealt with as described in the Bye-Laws. This must be an explicit condition of any agreement between the Code Member and a third party.
The Code Administrator may, in certain circumstances, share details of a Code Member or Consumer with the MCS Administrator or MCS certification bodies described earlier in this section, CTSI, a Code sponsor whose Code is approved by CTSI, the relevant Trading Standards Department, Ofgem, the Financial Conduct Authority, Companies Investigation Branch, part of the Insolvency Service or as otherwise required by law or in the interests of consumer protection. The Code Administrator will only share details of a Code Member or Consumer in circumstances that comply with the data protection laws.
Code Members must inform Consumers they contract with about the Code and provide them with full details of how they can access it.
Code Members will not act in any way that might bring the Code into disrepute and will ensure that any individual or organisation they contract with does not act in any way that might bring the Code into disrepute.
Code Members must follow appropriate business practices and procedures to make sure they can meet their responsibilities to Consumers. This includes making sure the business has enough money and other resources to carry out any Contracts for buying or Leases for leasing Energy Generators or the space they occupy agreed with Consumers.
Code Members will not engage in high pressure selling techniques and will ensure that any individual or third party organisation they contract with does not engage in high pressure selling techniques.
Code Members will deal with Consumers politely and quickly, and take steps to make sure that important information is passed to them clearly. When made aware of a complaint, Code Members will act to resolve the complaint as speedily and effectively as possible.
Code Members will give all Employees training in delivering services to Consumers and will keep records on the training provided and extra training needs. It will often be appropriate for Code Members to be accredited to a recognised standard for quality and continuous improvement.
Code Members must make Consumers aware of any responsibilities they will have as a result of the transaction in question. This includes any requirements on Consumers to provide information and to operate and maintain any Goods provided. All written information must be in plain English. In the case of vulnerable Consumers, Code Members are expected to provide extra care and support. See section 2.5 above.
Code Members must retain all records, whether electronic or paper-based, relating to a Contract they have signed with a Consumer for a minimum of six years. These records shall include at least the following documents, where relevant:
Code Members must have appropriate insurance to cover potential liabilities to Consumers or third-party damage which may be caused by any of their activities in supplying Energy Generators to Consumers. The insurance must be adequate to cover all liabilities which might reasonably be expected to arise from their activities and must not be less than two million pounds for each incident. Code Members must make easily accessible to Consumers clear and accurate information about the insurance cover they have in place including the extent of the cover, the contact details of the provider and any limits to its territorial coverage.
Code Members must comply with their obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (and all other laws and regulations relating to data protection and privacy) in the collection and processing of the personal data of Consumers. Code Members must inform Consumers that information about them may in certain circumstances be passed to the Code Administrator and its auditors as part of the Code administrator’s monitoring of their compliance with the Code, and that the Code Administrator may contact them directly.
If finance, whether in the form of a personal loan or a hire purchase agreement, is part of a Code Member's offer to a Consumer, then the Code Member must ensure they hold valid, appropriate and up-to-date authorisation and that they conform to all relevant Acts and Regulations that relate to the provision of finance. If Code Members recommend specific finance arrangements to Consumers, it is their responsibility to ascertain the appropriate authorisation which they require to do so. More information is available here.
Code Members must comply with relevant regulations governing health and safety at work, including those covering working at heights. Code Members must also comply with regulations governing the carriage, storage and disposal of waste, where relevant, and those governing the protection of endangered species. (Some of these are listed in section C11 below.)
As the products covered by this Code are designed to contribute to a more sustainable use of energy and resources, Code Members should work in a way that minimises harm to the environment or to the communities in which they work. Larger companies should consider being accredited to a recognised standard for environmental management and reporting.
Code Members must make sure that any advertising materials they produce or use are legal, decent, honest and truthful, and that they comply with all the relevant legislation including the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code), the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code) and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('the CPRs'). (For further details of relevant Acts and Regulations, see section C11 below.) All performance claims, testimonials and claims about savings, financial payback or income from Energy Generators or Related Products in Advertisements and sales promotions must be clearly attributed to a reputable source.
Code Members must make sure that any verbal statements and advertising and sales promotion materials do not mislead Consumers in any way and that they do not lead Consumers into taking decisions they otherwise would not have done. Wherever possible, advertising materials should refer to or use this Code to tell Consumers about the Code and about the guidance the Code Administrator has provided here; and provide them with copies of it when asked. Where performance information is used in advertising, it must comply with the conditions of section 5.3 below. Code Members must not use the logo in any advertising materials in order to mislead Consumers in any way.
Any comparisons with other products or companies that Code Members make in their advertising materials must not be deceptive, and must be in line with the comparative advertising rules in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('the CPRs'). Code Members should refer to the online training resource here for more information.
Where Code Members promote their services by direct mail or telephone, they must first check the names against the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) or Telephone Preference Service (TPS) databases for any exclusions. Code Members must not under any circumstances contact Consumers who are registered on these databases. Where they use lists of names for promotional purposes they must ensure that these will be kept in line with data protection laws.
Code Members whose representatives contact Consumers by telephone must ensure that their representatives comply with best practice at all times, as set out in TPS Assured’s guidance on outbound telemarketing best practice here. They must:
In addition Code Members who send marketing or advertising messages by any electronic means, such as by telephone, fax, email, text and picture or video message, or by using an automated calling system, must comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations. These regulations also cover the use of telephone directories, cookies, traffic data, location data and security breaches.
Code Members will be held responsible for all the actions of their Employees and of those who sell on their behalf. Code Members must make sure that all these people receive suitable training and that any contact they have with Consumers complies with this Code, relevant guidance and the law. This should cover the general standards described in section 4, and all the requirements of the Code, in particular those in sections 5, 6 and 7. Code Members must ensure that any-one visiting a Consumer’s home on their behalf shows clear identification. Job titles or descriptions used by sales Employees, representatives and any-one acting on a Code Member’s behalf should not be misleading in terms of the holder's qualifications and experience.
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf must act with integrity and, in particular, must respect Consumers’ right to privacy and bring any contact to an end immediately if requested to do so. They must answer Consumers' questions honestly and clearly.
Code Members must check whether a Consumer is vulnerable in any way. (See section 2.5 above for more information on which groups of Consumers may be considered vulnerable.) In such a case, they must adapt key information accordingly, and suggest that the Consumer reads it with a trusted friend or relative.
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf must not give false or misleading information about their business or the product, services or facilities being offered. They must not make any statement that is likely to mislead a Consumer in any way. Providing misleading information is prohibited by this Code and the law. In line with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 any statements or information which the Consumer relies on in making a buying decision are now considered an implied term of the Contract. If such statements or information are false or misleading in any way they are likely to be considered as a breach of contract.
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf must not use any selling techniques designed to pressurise a Consumer into making an immediate decision. These high pressure selling techniques may be prohibited by law as well as contravening this Code. They include, but are not limited to:
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf are only permitted to offer discounts of more than £200 where:
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf, must not follow up sales visits by further visits or telephone calls offering further discounted prices or other information intended to pressurise a Consumer into signing a Contract.
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf should keep a record of the length of time they spend in a Consumer's home for all sales visits. This record may be required as evidence, for example in the event of a complaint being registered by a Consumer. A sales visit must not last longer than two hours. If, in exceptional circumstances, a sales visit lasts longer than two hours, the reasons for this must be recorded, but simply recording the reasons will not of itself be a justification for spending more than two hours in the Consumer's home.
It is very important that Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf do not 'oversell' Energy Generators to Consumers. For this reason, it is essential that Code Members give Consumers in writing before the Contract is signed the technical and performance information set out in the relevant MCS Installer standard and in section 5.4 below. Code Members must present the information in a format that is readily understandable by non-expert readers in line with the guidelines provided here.
In the case of a sales visit where a Contract is signed in a Consumer's home, Code Members must provide the information in writing during the visit. Code Members must ensure that Consumers have sufficient time to read and understand the information provided before the Contract is signed.
The written estimate must be based on specific performance data for the technology in question as required in the relevant MCS Installer standard for the individual technology (described in section C2 below) or, in the case of Related Products as required in the relevant Installer guidance, and in section 5.4 below, and be specific to the property in question. Where the estimate is based on some standard or 'average' premises, rather than being specific to the property, Code Members must provide full details of all the assumptions that underpin the data which must be clearly attributed to a reputable source.
Any estimate of performance must include details of Related Products, if any are being supplied, and show separately how they are likely to impact on the way the Energy Generator performs. Calculations based on product information must have been confirmed by an independent test laboratory in line with all standards that apply. All ratings must be presented in kilowatts (kW), and output in kilowatt hours (kWh), although other units, for example btus or therms, may also be used, if appropriate.
Code Members must keep a record of the information provided to a Consumer during a sales visit, or on which they rely in any verbal or written statements they make, whether in printed form, on a laptop or in any other format, including all site-specific performance calculations on which they have based predictions of savings or periods of recovery, for 10 years after the Energy Generator has been installed. They must be able to justify the calculations and make them readily available for inspection by the Code Administrator if asked.
Code Members should carry out, and pay for, a technical site survey, if possible before a Consumer signs the Contract. If a Code Member does make a charge for carrying out a site survey, then the cost of this must be reasonable in the circumstances, and a written survey report must be provided to the Consumer. Code Members must make the Consumer aware of this cost, and under what circumstances it will be refunded. Code Members should not carry out a site survey if they have established that a property is clearly unsuitable from preliminary conversations. If a Consumer insists on a site survey being carried out at a property that has been established as clearly unsuitable, it would be reasonable for the Consumer to pay for the site survey.
If a Code Member does not carry out a technical site survey before a Consumer signs the Contract (where this is permitted under the relevant MCS Installer standard), and in the event the site later proves unsuitable, the Code Member will promptly refund the Consumer's deposit in full.
Code Members must make clear to Consumers whether or not they are carrying out a technical site survey during the visit. Where they are not, Code Members must make clear to Consumers that the performance estimate in their quotation may change following the technical site visit and that, in such a case, they have the right to cancel the Contract with no penalty. As a minimum Code Members must provide Consumers, before they sign the Contract, with the performance information required by the relevant MCS Installer standard, this Code and the law. (See section 5.4 below for more details about the technical site survey, section 6.2 below for more details about cancellation rights and the Cancellation Period and section 7.1 below for more details about technical designs and drawings.)
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf must ensure that any estimate of savings, periods of recovery ('payback') or other measures of financial effectiveness they provide to Consumers are provided in writing and are based on Consumers’ actual energy use and pattern of energy use. Any assumptions that have been made (for example, about future energy prices, interest rates or inflation) must be set out, clearly explained and attributed to a reputable source.
Code Members may, however, provide case studies showing the effectiveness of previous installations, as long as they give full details of the size and type of the Energy Generator and any related product supplied, the type of property which it was used for, when it was supplied as well as the energy costs (and resale price where appropriate). Such estimates must not mislead the Consumer in such a way as to persuade them to take any action they would not otherwise have done.
When calculating the likely income from the Feed-in Tariff or the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive for a Consumer, Code Members should use a model based on a reasonable set of assumptions which they must disclose to the Consumer. Where possible they should use the Government model for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. It can be found here.
Where finance, such as a personal loan or a hire purchase agreement, is part of a Code Member’s offer to Consumers, any estimate of savings, periods of recovery ('payback') or other measures of financial effectiveness must take account of monthly repayments as well as of the full amount payable, including interest. Code Members must provide Consumers with clear and accurate information about the terms of the finance including the total amount of any loan, the amount payable each month and the amount of interest payable on the loan. Code Members must not mislead a Consumer in such a way as to persuade them to enter into a finance agreement which they would not have otherwise have done.
There are extra conditions for Energy Generators whose output is in any way unpredictable, for example, due to climatic effects or fuel variations. In such a case, when presenting performance information, Code Members should, unless the relevant MCS Installer standard says otherwise:
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf will provide a Consumer with a proposal which comprises performance and any financial estimates and a detailed quotation before the sale is agreed and the Contract signed. (See section 5.3 above for more details.) The Code Administrator has prepared technology-specific model proposal packs for Code Members' use. They can be found here.
Code Members, when providing a Consumer with an estimate and a quotation for the sale and installation of an Energy Generator, must describe clearly the Energy Generator and how it will work. They must also explain any 'side effects' of the system in terms of noise, heat radiation, electro-magnetic radiation and any other effects. Where Code Members are providing one or more Related Products connected to an Energy Generator they must describe clearly the Related Products and how they will work.
Code Members, their Employees and those who sell on their behalf must give a Consumer certain financial information before the sale is agreed and the Contract signed. Code Members will provide a Consumer with a written cost estimate based on the information the Consumer has given them, and make clear that the estimates are not definite figures. Code Members will provide a Consumer with a formal quotation in writing, signed by an Authorised Signatory. Code Members will follow a 'no surprises' pricing policy.
Quotations must show:
When a Consumer receives the final invoice, there should be no unexpected items compared with the quotation, unless they have been agreed beforehand. Prices should be itemised clearly and broken down as far as possible. The quotation must be clear and easy to understand. Code Members must draw a Consumer's attention to any variations to the original quotation and how these will affect the completion date before the Contract is agreed.
Code Members must provide Consumers with an accurate description of any ancillary costs they are likely to incur, for example the costs of a back-up fuel. If any other Goods and services will be needed (for example, routine servicing or phone helplines), information on the availability and price of these must be provided in the quote. If any part of the system is likely to require replacing during the lifetime of the system the current price of the part should be provided. If a system will need an annual safety check or other regular maintenance, this should also be made clear to the Consumer along with the likely cost of this. If the Consumer is being offered a leasing arrangement, the same principles will apply.
Code Members must make Consumers aware accurately and in writing of all the permission and approvals that may be needed for the Energy Generators and Related Products they offer, including planning permission, building regulations, Energy Performance Certificates and connection requirements before any Contract is agreed. Code Members will agree with Consumers who will take responsibility for getting all necessary approvals before any Contract is agreed and before either side enters into any financial commitment. If the conditions of the approval will affect the supply of the unit, Code Members will update and reissue the quotation as necessary once it has been obtained. Code Members will make sure that they follow the conditions of any approval during on-site work, and tell any subcontractors about the conditions.
Code Members will advise Consumers that they should tell any leaseholders, freeholders, mortgagors and insurers of the property about the planned work and of the need to obtain the relevant consent.
Code Members will advise Consumers about any grants or other incentives available for the work and agree whose responsibility it is to apply for them. If it is the Consumer's responsibility, the Code Member will inform the Consumer where to find the relevant information about procedures and deadlines. If Code Members are permitted to apply for the grant or incentive on the Consumer's behalf, they must first provide the Consumer with full information as to the source of the grant or incentive, and the terms and conditions that apply to it in writing.
Code Members must provide Consumers with accurate information regarding incentives available for installing an Energy Generator, and any Related Products, at the Consumer's home, such as the Feed-in Tariff and the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
Where the successful award of a grant or incentive is essential to a Consumer's agreement to proceed with the installation of an Energy Generator, this should be specified as a condition in the Contract. Where no such grant or incentive is forthcoming, or where it is not available, for whatever reason, the Consumer cannot be held to the Contract. In such a case Code Members will refund in full their deposit and any advance payment.
Where Code Members are offering to fund part or all of an Energy Generator in return for a Consumer assigning their right to the Government incentive payments, they must give the Consumer full information in writing before the Consumer signs a Contract. The Contract should comply with the law and this Code in all relevant respects and take account of best practice guidance available here. To assist Code Members, the Code Administrator has developed a set of model Contract terms for the assignment of rights here.
Before the Contract is signed, Code Members will provide Consumers with certain relevant information in a clearly accessible and accurate manner. This is in addition to that described in sections 5.4 and 5.5 above, and sections 6.2 and 8 below. The information includes:
The Contract should not be in the name of more than one business, and this business must be both MCS certified and a Code Member. All the information listed in this section must relate to the same business.
Before the Contract is signed, Code Members will provide Consumers with a telephone number they may call or the address of a local office or showroom they may visit should they later have any queries.
Finally, Code Members must provide Consumers with a leaflet describing this Code available in hard copy from the Code Administrator on request or to download here.
Code Members will provide Consumers with clear, unambiguous terms of business that do not disadvantage the Consumer. Code Members will ensure that they carry out their contractual obligations without excluding their liabilities. All terms must conform to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('CPRs'). (For further details of relevant Acts and Regulations, see Attachment C (11) below.) All terms of business must be effectively communicated in writing to the Consumer and form part of the quotation (as set out in section 5.4 above).
The written terms of business must include details about:
These terms will not affect a Consumer's legal rights under national or international law (including, but not limited to, those shown in Attachment C (11) below). There are more details on Consumers' legal rights under the heading 'your rights' here.
If someone other than a Code Member will install or supply other services under the Contract, the Code Member must tell the Consumer the name of the person and describe what work they will do. The Code Member will make clear to the Consumer that the Code Member is responsible for the activities of these other contractors, and that the Consumer should inform the Code Member if there are any problems. Code Members must ensure that any subcontractor, third party, or person carrying out work on their behalf complies this Code and the relevant MCS Installer standards.
An MCS-certified business may subcontract another MCS certified business to carry out the on-site installation work on its behalf so long as this is strictly in compliance with MCS Installer standards and there is a formal subcontract agreement between the parties. An MCS-certified business may only subcontract individuals that are not MCS-certified to carry out certain elements of the Contract on its behalf so long as this is strictly in compliance with MCS Installer standards, those individuals have been notified in advance to MCS, and there is a formal subcontract agreement in place between the parties requiring that the work be carried out strictly in line with the relevant MCS Installer standards. An MCS-certified business that signs a Contract with a Consumer will be responsible at all times for fulfilling that Contract. (See section 7.1 below for more details on subcontracting.)
The contracts Code Members agree will be governed by the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 a significant part of which apply specifically to a Contract or quotation where a Consumer:
In these circumstances Code Members must give the Consumer the right to cancel without penalty within 14 days of the date on which the last item of the Goods is delivered to the Consumer’s home. (This is known as the 'Cancellation Period'.) Code Members must provide the Consumer with written notice that they can cancel the Contract.
These Regulations may also apply to Contracts or quotations where a Code Member:
In these circumstances Code Members must give the Consumer the right to cancel without penalty within 14 days of the date on which the last item of the Goods was delivered to the Consumer’s home. (This is known as the 'Cancellation Period').
In the event that a Consumer cancels the Contract within the Cancellation Period, Code Members must refund any money to the Consumer within 14 days.
Code Members who fail to give a Consumer written notice that they can cancel the Contract may not be able to enforce the Contract and may be committing a criminal offence. The Cancellation Period may be extended up to 12 months or until the Code Member has complied with its obligation to give the Consumer written notice that they can cancel the Contract. The notice Code Members provide must be in line with Schedule 3 of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
The Code Administrator has prepared a model cancellation form and the detailed guidance for this purpose which can be found here. Code Members must keep a record of cases in which Consumers cancel Contracts together with the reasons given.
Code Members who provide a Consumer with a Contract or quotation for them to sign and return in their own time must first explain how the Consumer can cancel the Contract in line with the Code, give the name and address of the person to contact in this event, and provide a prominent cancellation form as part of the Contract document.
Code Members will give a Consumer not less than 14 days to cancel the Contract without penalty after they have signed it. (This is known as the ‘Cancellation Period’.) In the event that a Consumer cancels the Contract within the Cancellation Period, Code Members must refund any money already paid by the Consumer within 14 days.
The Cancellation Period of 14 days stipulated in this Code reflects a reasonable standard of practice given that the relevant legislative provisions differ depending on how and where the sale takes place. The Code Administrator has prepared a model cancellation form which can be found here.)
In the event that legislation requires a longer Cancellation Period then this should take precedence over the requirements of the Code. (See Attachment C(12) below for more details of the different cancellation periods required in relevant legislation.)
Code Members must not install an Energy Generator at a Consumer’s home during the Cancellation Period unless they have first obtained the Consumer’s express written permission to do so, for example by letter or email. In such a case, the Code Member will make the Consumer aware that, should they later decide to cancel the Contract within the Cancellation Period, they may be responsible for the costs of Goods and services already supplied, and of making good the property. Code Members will keep a record of any instances in which they start to install the system within the Cancellation Period, and the reasons why.
Code Members must set out clearly in the Contract the conditions and costs that will apply if a Consumer wants to cancel after the Cancellation Period. Code Members will only be entitled to retain the Consumer's funds in respect of specific costs they have reasonably incurred. Such costs will not include any sales, marketing or other costs incurred before the Contract was signed. Conditions must comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the relevant section of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
Code Members will set out clearly in the Contract the amount and timing of all payments required. If a Code Member requires Consumers to pay a deposit when the Contract is signed, this will constitute a reasonable percentage of the estimated overall costs of the work as set out in the Contract, for example 15 per cent. It should not exceed 25 per cent under any circumstances. Code Members may only use this money for work under the Contract, for example for purchasing Goods. Code Members will repay a Consumer’s deposit within 14 days if the Contract is cancelled in line with the conditions set out in section 6.2 of this Code. This is a very important requirement of the Code and the law.
If the Code Member subsequently requires Consumers to pay a further advance payment, this must constitute a reasonable percentage of the overall costs of the work and will only be used for work under the Contract, for example for purchasing Goods. Under no circumstances can the deposit and the further advance payment, taken together, exceed 60 per cent of the estimated overall costs of the work. Code Members can only require a further advance payment no more than three weeks before the agreed delivery date of all the Goods to be installed.
Code Members must arrange for all deposits and any further advance payments to be insured, such that, if they should become insolvent or cease to trade (see the Glossary in Attachment E for definitions), before the Contract has been completed, the Consumer will be able to have their Contract completed at no additional cost by another Code Member.
Code Members may place such funds in a 'client' or other third party account or use the protected payment scheme which the Code Administrator has arranged. Such funds must be separate from those accounts linked to the Code Member's own credit and banking facilities and should only be used with the Consumer's consent. (This can be obtained in advance when a Consumer signs the Contract.)
Code Members must arrange to insure all deposits and advance payments. The Code Administrator has listed available insurance providers here. (See also section 8.1 below.) Code Members must inform the Code Administrator and Consumers accurately about the arrangements they have in place to comply with this section of the Code.
Where Code Members uses Consumers’ money, paid in advance, to purchase Goods, and where those Goods are delivered to a Code Member, the Code Member will hold the Goods on trust for the Consumer and will keep them separate from its own Goods and those of third parties. Code Members will keep such Goods properly stored, protected, insured and identified as the Consumer's property. Consumers should be able to inspect or repossess the Goods at any time. Code Members should set out in the Contract that the legal title to those Goods, or the proportion of them that has already been paid for, will pass directly to the Consumer. In this way, if the Code Member becomes insolvent or ceases to trade (see Glossary in Attachment E below for definitions), before the installation takes place, the Goods will remain the Consumer's property.
Code Members will agree with Consumers and then include as part of the Contract the timetable for carrying out the work. This timetable must be convenient for and agreed by the Consumer. If a Code Member cannot provide a precise date for carrying out the work, they should instead provide a window of two or three days within which the work will be carried out. This window must be convenient for and agreed by the Consumer. In setting out the timetable, Code Members will at all times show flexibility, and take into account the Consumer's preferred working times and dates, including any 'critical completion deadlines'. The installation must be carried out within a reasonable timeframe, whether or not a date has been specified. If it is not the Code Member must offer the Consumer a price reduction. (See section 7.2 below for more details about design, delivery and installation.)
Code Members must tell Consumers about any changes to the agreed timetable as soon as possible before the work starts. In this case, the Code Member must give the Consumer the opportunity to agree a new start date. In the case of a major delay, or a delay which would take the completion date beyond a ‘critical completion deadline’, the Code Member may offer different, but equivalent, products so long as they are MCS-certified.
If Code Members make a significant change to the agreed timetable set out in the Contract, the Consumer will be entitled to cancel the Contract and receive a full refund of any deposit or advance payment. This is in line with the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Code Members should make Consumers aware of their rights under this legislation. (This does not apply to changes that result from events beyond the Code Member's control.) To continue with the work, the Code Member will issue the Consumer with a new Contract, including a new Cancellation Period.
If a delay is the responsibility of the Consumer, for example if they have not got the permission they need in time, the Code Member will use their best endeavours to arrange a new start date that is convenient to both of them.
Code Members who enter into a Contract with a Consumer may carry out on-site work themselves, or they may subcontract it or elements of it to someone else. In either case, the Contract must be signed by and the installation work carried out by a Code Member who is certified to the relevant MCS Installer standards described in section 2.3 above. The MCS-certified Installer that signs a Contract with a Consumer will be responsible at all times for fulfilling that Contract and must also create the MCS certificate associated with that installation on its own MCS user account. (See section 6.1.1 above for more details about subcontracting.) They must meet the general business standards described in section 4 above, including the requirement for having suitable insurance cover.
An MCS-certified business may subcontract another MCS-certified business to carry out some or all of the on-site work on its behalf so long as this is strictly in compliance with MCS rules and there is a formal subcontract agreement between the parties. An MCS-certified business may only subcontract individuals that are not MCS-certified to carry out certain elements of the Contract on its behalf so long as this is strictly in compliance with MCS rules, those individuals have been notified in advance to MCS, and there is a formal subcontract agreement in place between the parties requiring that the work be carried out strictly in line with the relevant MCS Installer standards.
All those involved in carrying out the work must be aware of, and comply with, the conditions of this Code.
Code Members must produce a final design for an Energy Generator and any Related Products before installation work starts. Designs must use only products that are MCS certified, as described in section 2.4 above.
Before the work starts, Code Members must provide Consumers with designs that show where the main system will be installed, and any alterations to the property or services such as electrical and heating systems that will be needed.The design must be specific to the Consumer's property, and any schematic design must be amended to show which elements will go where in the specific property where the Energy Generator and any Related Products are being installed. The Consumer must approve this design. (See sections 5.3 and 5.4 above for more details about performance estimates and quotations and section 6.2 above for more details about the Cancellation Period.)
If, as a result of this information being provided to the Consumer, the Energy Generator and any Related Products differ from the quotation, Code Members must draw this fact to the Consumer's attention in writing. Code Members must allow the Consumer to cancel the Contract if it is no longer suitable for their needs, and refund any deposit or advance payment in full.
If a technical site survey has not already been carried out, before starting the work the Code Member must validate the design through a technical site survey. (See sections 5.3 and 5.4 above for more details on this.) If, after carrying out the technical site survey and the health and safety risk assessment, the Installer considers that the site is not suitable for installing the system, the Installer must explain the reasons in writing to the Consumer, cancel the Contract and refund any deposit or advance payment in full. If the Installer considers that the system can only be installed in a different form or place, the Installer must explain the reasons in writing to the Consumer.
If the Consumer is not happy with the amended design and specifications, the Code Member must agree to cancel the Contract and refund any deposit or advance payment in full. The Code Member must also explain to the Consumer in writing about any disruption to facilities or services which may happen during the installation work, and any work that may be needed to put things right. Code Members must make sure that the installation, if carried out on their behalf, is in line with the standards and good practice. They must follow the specific conditions set out in the relevant MCS Installer standard linked to the Code and described in section 2.3 above.
When the work has been completed, Code Members must check the system fully and test it in line with the MCS Installer standards. Code Members must record any test results on a commissioning record, signed by an Authorised Signatory, to confirm the work is satisfactory and must give Consumers a copy of this commissioning record together with all relevant conformity and other certificates and guarantees.
Code Members will also give Consumers full operating and maintenance instructions, along with a full description of the system and details of all the guarantees in place. These are the ‘handover documents’ which, where relevant, must also include the MCS certificate, compliance certificate and invoice for payments received. All the documents provided must be written in hard copy or as scanned documents, in plain English and, in the case of vulnerable Consumers, the information provided should be appropriate to any particular needs they may have. Handing over these documents to Consumers cannot be linked to receipt of full payment and must take place promptly after the system has been commissioned.
In cases where a Contract has not been completed, for example because the Code Member has become insolvent or ceased to trade (see Glossary in Attachment E for definitions), the Consumer will be able to make a claim against the insurance policy arranged for them by the Code Member, in line with sections 6.3 above and 8.1 below. In these cases, the Code Administrator will notify the insurance provider, if known, that the Code Member has become insolvent or ceased to trade.
If for any reason the Consumer cannot claim against the insurance policy to have their Contract completed, the Code Administrator will use its best efforts, within a reasonable timeframe, to find another Code Member who is prepared to complete the Contract. If possible this will be under the conditions of the previous Contract or, if not, under any other conditions that may be agreed with the Consumer. If the Consumer incurs any additional cost in completing the Contract this will be agreed in advance.
Before a Contract is signed, Code Members must provide Consumers with a telephone number they may call or the address of a local office or showroom they may visit should they have any queries after the Contract has been completed. Code Members must ensure that any enquiry is dealt with in an efficient and friendly way, preferably by someone specifically appointed for such a task, for example, a consumer services manager.
By law, Goods supplied by Code Members should be of a satisfactory quality, including in their appearance and finish. They should be fit for any purpose for which such Goods are commonly used, and free from minor defects. Code Members must make sure that Consumers are provided with, at no extra cost, a guarantee against manufacturing faults in any Goods supplied, whether the Energy Generator or any Related Product. Manufacturer’s guarantees are required by law and should be in line with any conditions set out in the MCS product standards described in section 2.3 above.
These guarantees must not limit Consumers’ legal rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or other relevant legislation. Code Members must explain to Consumers clearly and in plain English, both in writing and verbally, the terms of the guarantee being offered, which must be fair, as well as its period of validity.
Where the manufacturer is based outside the EU Code Members must provide the Consumer with the details of the importer or distributer of the Goods who will assume the responsibilities of the manufacturer in the event of a fault.
Code Members will also make sure that Consumers are provided with, at no extra cost, a guarantee against any faults that might arise as a result of the installation process and workmanship applied. Workmanship guarantees must be valid for a minimum of two years, and be transferable to the new owner in the event that the Consumer moves home. These guarantees should be in line with any conditions set out in the relevant MCS Installer standards. Code Members must also inform the Consumer accurately about the remedies available to them in line with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 the event of a fault arising. (Details of this are set out in section C11 below.)
In the event that they should become insolvent or cease to trade (see Glossary in Attachment E for definitions) during the term of the Installer's guarantee, Code Members must have made arrangements so that the full term of the workmanship guarantee will be honoured, by means of an insurance-backed workmanship guarantee. (See also section 6.3 above.) Code Members must inform the Code Administrator, the MCS Administrator and Consumers accurately about the arrangements they have in place to comply with this section of the Code.
Code Members may offer a Consumer a guarantee that the output of the system will not fall by more than a certain amount from the predicted level. (For example, the guarantee could say that 'output should be no less than 80% of the predicted output over a year'.) If they do so, Code Members must make clear what the conditions of the guarantee are.
If Code Members offer a Consumer any extended guarantees or additional warranties, Code Members must tell the Consumer that these are optional, and set out clearly who is offering it, what the extra costs are, and the main benefits.
For any Energy Generators that use fuel (such as a biomass boiler), Code Members are not normally responsible for the ongoing supply of fuel, unless this is covered in the Contract (in which case 8.3 below would apply).
Code Members supplying these systems should give Consumers specific details of the fuel properties, and the likely fuel usage, and instructions for delivery and storage. They should make sure that enough fuel will be available and, if asked, give details of possible fuel suppliers.
Code Members must make clear to a Consumer before the Contract is signed if there is any requirement for regular servicing. In case of a change of ownership of the property, any regular servicing arrangements must be transferable to the new owner.
Code Members may offer ongoing maintenance and service agreements to a Consumers, as well as providing fuel or other Goods. The conditions of any agreement must be clearly set out in line with the relevant parts of sections 4, 5 and 6 above, and must include details of the cancellation procedure.
Charges for these services must be reasonable in relation to the cost of the original Contract. Code Members must tell Consumers what these charges are likely to be before the Contract is agreed.
This section applies to work carried out to existing Energy Generators, whether under guarantee or otherwise.
Code Members must agree charges and conditions with Consumers before any work is carried out. All work should be set out in a written quote before it is carried out, in line with section 5.4 above. This quote should specify the extent of the work they will carry out, the nature of the fault they are seeking to repair and any limits to their responsibility. If repair work is being carried out by some-one other than the original Code Member, this business should provide a separate guarantee for the repair work. Code Members will only charge Consumers a reasonable amount for remedies or repairs they carry out.
Consumers may give their permission for friend or relative to help deal with a dispute. In this case, Code Members must co-operate fully with this person. The dispute resolution process is intended to be accessible and low cost, and should not require either party to rely on legal representation. The Code Administrator will not communicate directly with either party’s legal representative.
The Code Administrator will seek the Consumer's consent for their details to be shared with the relevant MCS certification body, the relevant trading standards department or another specified body if appropriate.
The Code offers an independent Arbitration service that can be used in the unlikely event of a dispute not being resolved amicably between a Consumer and a Code Member using the process set out in section 9.1 above. In line with the Bye-Laws a Consumer has the right to ask for the dispute to be referred to the independent Arbitration service if the dispute has not been resolved within 56 days of the Consumer first having registered it with the Code Member or, alternatively, once the Code Administrator’s case worker has completed the mediation process without resolving the dispute.
A Consumer is not required to refer a dispute to the independent Arbitration service, and may choose to deal with the matter in other ways, including by taking legal action. However, if a Consumer does refer a the dispute to the independent Arbitration service, the Code Member must co-operate with the process.
The Code Administrator has appointed IDRS Ltd (IDRS) to run the independent Arbitration service on its behalf. Once a Consumer refers a dispute to the independent Arbitration service, IDRS will handle the application in line with the rules here and appoint an independent arbitrator from the panel it maintains for this purpose. The Arbitration process will be conducted under the Arbitration Act 1996 and will work as follows:
An award made under the independent Arbitration service shall be final and binding on both the Consumer and the Code Member, and enforceable. The Consumer or Code Member may only challenge it on certain limited grounds under the Arbitration Act 1996. The Consumer or Code Member would not normally be able to pursue the same dispute later through the courts.
Code Members have given a legal undertaking that they will follow this Code. If any Code Member is suspected of not following the Code, the Code Administrator will investigate the matter and take disciplinary steps (if any are required) in accordance with sections 6 to 12 of the Bye-Laws, a copy of which is available here.
The Code Administrator will assess how effective the Code is in delivering high consumer protection standards in line with the core criteria established by CTSI. The Code Administrator will carry out the following monitoring and auditing measures, and report the results to the Supervisory Panel described in section 1 above:
The Code Administrator will publish the results of this monitoring in an annual report, which it will make available to Code Members, CTSI and other relevant organisations, and also on the website. The report will include plans for improving Consumer satisfaction levels and the contents of the Code against a set of key compliance areas agreed with CTSI. The Supervisory Panel described in section 1 above will consider the report and take any appropriate action.
This Code uses the following definitions.
Any form of representation including oral representations made in connection with a trade or business in order to promote the supply or transfer of Goods and services. Such representations could include those made during or after the sale.
The independent Arbitration procedure described in section 9.2 which is a means of binding dispute resolution that is cheaper, faster and more effective than court action.
Nominated Employees who are trained in using the Code and authorised to sign on behalf of a Code Member any quote, commissioning record or other document.
The length of time during which a Consumer may cancel a Contract they have agreed with a Code Member with no penalty.
The Renewable Energy Consumer Code set out in this document.
Renewable Energy Assurance Limited, the organisation appointed to run the Code.
Any registered member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code.
A domestic consumer who has signed a contract, or intends to sign a contract, for the purchase or lease of an Energy Generator or Related Product which is installed at or near private domestic premises occupied by them, and intends that the amount of electricity or heat generated by the Energy Generator will not significantly exceed the amount of electricity or heat consumed in those premises.
(See also Micro-business consumer, below.)
An agreement between a Code Member and a Consumer for supplying and / or installing an Energy Generator, and any Related Product.
(See also Lease, below.)
An individual who is in the paid employment of a Code Member as well as an individual it contracts with or who represents it or otherwise acts on its behalf.
Energy Source or Convertor
A particular type of Energy Generator such as solar heating, wind power or biomass (wood) boilers.
Any renewable or low carbon small-scale heat and power generator (this may include systems mounted on the roof or the structure of a building, or those mounted nearby within the Consumer's grounds).
Equipment or hardware forming part of an Energy Generator or Related Product.
An business or person installing an Energy Generator at or near a Consumer’s home.
Certification by MCS that a business has the ability and expertise to fit, test and commission an Energy Generator to the MCS Installer standards set out in relevant government programmes and in compliance with ISO 17065.
A contractual arrangement according to which a Consumer agrees: to make available space in in or near their property to a Code Member or other third party for the use of an Energy Generator for a term; or to pay a Code Member for the benefits of an Energy Generator installed in or near their property.
A person, or a corporate or unincorporated body (whether or not having a separate legal personality) who seeks to buy or who has signed a Contract for the purchase and installation of an Energy Generator who
(i) has an annual consumption of:
(a) electricity of not more than 55,000 kWh; or
(b) gas of not more than 200,000 kWh;
(ii) or has:
(a) fewer than 10 employees (or their full time equivalent); and
(b) an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total not exceeding £1.5 million.
The MCS product standards that exist to make sure that Energy Generators, are suitable and safe to be installed as required by relevant Government programmes.
Any product supplied which will be connected or linked to the Energy Generator in any way (for example, this includes inverter, generation meter, ground loop, battery storage unit, voltage optimiser, immersion boost or remote monitoring device).
The panel appointed to monitor the development and implementation of the Code.
The internet site where details of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code and the Bye-Laws are published.
This Code covers the following renewable energy sources. (The Code also covers low carbon small-scale heat and power generators and fuel cells, even where their energy source is not renewable.)
Air Source Heat Pumps
Systems which collect heat from the surrounding air and feed it into the heating system of the property.
Fuels produced by crops, plants and trees, in particular logs, wood pellets and chips. Even though carbon dioxide is released when they are used, they are considered to be renewable sources because the plants take this carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when growing.
Heat generation using biomass fuels, for example, in wood- or pellet-burning stoves or biomass boilers.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (electricity) production using biomass or fossil fuels. Systems of the size typically used for domestic or small-scale generation are sometimes referred to as 'micro-CHP'. Units that run on fossil fuels, normally natural gas, are not classed as renewable.
A cell that produces energy in the form of electricity and heat as long as fuel is supplied. The fuel is typically a gas, like hydrogen, which may be from a renewable or a non-renewable source. (Fuel cells are not currently available for use in domestic consumers' homes.)
Ground-Source Heat Pumps
Systems which collect heat from the coils buried in the ground and feed it into the property's heating system.
Power from the flow of water, for example, in a river, canal or weir, usually collected by a water turbine. Systems with a capacity of less than 100 kilowatts (the size typically used for small-scale generation) are sometimes referred to as 'micro-hydro'. Very small systems with a capacity of less than five kilowatts are also known as 'pico-hydro'.
Power produced from solar cells that convert light into direct current (DC) electricity, which is usually then converted to standard alternate current (AC) power and fed into the property's distribution system.
Solar Water Heating
Collecting heat from the sun's rays, usually using solar panels in which water is heated and then circulated to the domestic hot-water system through a heat exchanger.
Power from the wind collected by using a wind turbine, usually involving 'propeller' blades rotating about a horizontal axis (but some designs use other turbine designs or a vertical axis). Systems of the size typically used for domestic or small-scale generation are sometimes referred to as 'micro-wind'.
There are many other renewable energy sources, including wave and tidal power, and energy from landfill and other biogas sources. Because these sources are not normally used for small-scale heat and power generators, they are not part of this Code.
These documents are available on the website. They will be updated from time to time.
C1 Guidance on using the Renewable Energy Consumer Code logo and other marks
C2 Guidance on presenting performance predictions and quotations
C3 Technology-specific model performance estimatesC4 Guidance to help consumers choose renewable and low carbon small-scale heat and power generators
C5 Guidance on protection of deposits and advance payments
C6 Model Contract
C7 Model Cancellation Notices
C8 Model Workmanship Guarantee
C9 Guidance on selling and installing battery storage linked to a solar PV system
C10 Training on consumer protection legislation
C11 The laws, guidance and codes that apply:
Alternative Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015
Arbitration Act 1996
Business Names Act 1980
Companies Act 1980 & 2006
Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013
Consumer Protection Act 1987
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('CPRs').
Consumer Rights Act 2015
Data Protection Act 1998
Direct Selling Association Consumer Code
Enterprise Act 2000 (and all the legislation covered by it)
Misrepresentation Act 1967
Ofcom Consumer Code
PhonePayPlus Consumer Code
Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR)
Provision of Services Regulations 2009 (‘the Regulations’)
UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code)
UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code)
(More details on these Acts and Regulations can be obtained from Citizens Advice here.)
C12 Details of Cancellation Periods required in relevant legislation
The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, and E-Commerce Regulations 2002 - for goods purchased by telephone, mail order, fax, digital TV, the Internet, consumers have the unconditional right to cancel an order fourteen working days after receipt of the last item of goods.
The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 - consumers who enter into a Contract made off -trade premises have a right to cancel the Contract within fourteen days of receipt of the last item of goods unless the consumer has given express consent to the contrary. Members who fail to give the consumer all the information set out in Schedule 2 (l) (m) & (n) as well as written notice that they can cancel the Contract as set out in Schedule 3 will be committing a criminal offence.
3rd Floor North
200 Aldersgate Street
London EC1A 4HD
Tel: 0300 023 1231
(Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland only)
Block C, Unit 1, Boucher Business Studios
Belfast BT12 6QH
Tel: 028 9072 7760
Fax: 028 9023 4464
CORGI Services Ltd
(Now part of Benchmark, above)
The term become insolvent or ceased to trade’ includes:
Where the Code Member suspends, or threatens to suspend, payment of its debts, or is unable to pay its debts as they fall due or admits inability to pay its debts or (being a company or limited liability partnership) is deemed unable to pay its debts within the meaning of section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 or (being an individual) is deemed either unable to pay its debts or as having no reasonable prospect of doing so, in either case within the meaning of section 268 of the Insolvency Act 1986 or (being a partnership) has any partner to whom any of the foregoing apply;
Where the Code Member commences negotiations with all or any class of its creditors with a view to rescheduling any of its debts, or makes a proposal for or enters into any compromise or arrangement with its creditors;
Where a petition is filed, a notice is given, a resolution is passed, or an order is made, for or in connection with the winding up of the Code Member (being a company);
Where an application is made to court, or an order is made, for the appointment of an administrator, or if a notice of intention to appoint an administrator is given or if an administrator is appointed, over the Code Member (being a company);
Where the holder of a qualifying floating charge over the assets of the Code Member (being a company) has become entitled to appoint or has appointed an administrative receiver;
Where a person becomes entitled to appoint a receiver over the assets of the Code Member or a receiver is appointed over the assets of the Code Member;
Where the Code Member (being an individual) becomes the subject of a bankruptcy petition or order; dies; or, by reason of illness or incapacity (whether mental or physical), becomes incapable of managing his own affairs or becomes a patient under any mental health legislation; and
Where a creditor or encumbrancer of the Code Member attaches or takes possession of, or a distress, execution, sequestration or other such process is levied or enforced on or sued against, the whole or any part of the Code Member’s assets and such attachment or process is not discharged within 10 Days;
Where the Code Member suspends or ceases, or threatens to suspend or cease, carrying on all or a substantial part of its business.
As the Code sponsor, Renewable Energy Association (REA) has developed this Code to help Code Members achieve high standards and to give consumers peace of mind when purchasing renewable energy products.
We agree to monitor the Code (either ourselves or through the Code Administrator or Supervisory Panel members) and to update it regularly to reflect appropriate business practice.
We will also make sure that our members undertake to follow the Code. The Code Administrator will publish a list of all Code Members, together with their membership status, on the website. We will not allow an organisation who has not been accepted as our member, but who has agreed to follow the Code, to become a Code Member. Neither we nor the Code Administrator are a party to any Contract covered by this Code. Other than providing the services described in the Code, we cannot accept responsibility for the performance of Code Members or non-members in meeting the conditions of a Contract. Except as explicitly set out in this Code and Bye-Laws neither the Code Sponsor, the Code Administrator or the Supervisory Panel shall have any other obligation, duty or liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise. We shall not be liable to you in contract, tort or otherwise for any direct loss or loss of revenue, business, contracts, anticipated savings, profits or any indirect or consequential loss however arising.
We recommend that Consumers take great care in deciding which Energy Generator to purchase, and who will install it. (We have set out further guidance for Consumers on what to look for, available on the website here.) The Code Administrator welcomes reports of good or bad experiences with purchasing and installing Energy Generators or Related Products. Please provide feedback here.
If you have any concerns about this Code then please tell us using the feedback form here. If you would like to complain about the way in which the Code Administrator has carried out its role you can do so by contacting CTSI at this address: email@example.com
Publication Date: October 2016