RECC is continually monitoring Code Members to ensure that they comply with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code and its Bye-Laws. However, sometimes RECC receives information suggesting that Code Members may not have complied with these standards. This information can come from any source, but commonly comes from complaints from consumers, mystery shopping exercises and Trading Standards departments. RECC assesses this information and carries out a further investigation where required before deciding whether any action is needed.
There are various disciplinary steps RECC can take against Code Members, which include:
RECC will write to the Code Member to confirm where it has invoked the disciplinary procedure. The end of the disciplinary process will vary on a case by case basis. It could be when any conditions imposed by the Non-Compliance Panel have been met, or when a Consent Order has been complied with, or once RECC is satisfied with the Code Member's compliance.
RECC and the Code Member may agree a Consent Order which will set out agreed steps for the Code Member to address any non-compliance and to remedy any breaches of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code or the Bye-Laws, or to otherwise conclude ongoing non-compliance action. If the Code Member does not agree to a Consent Order, or would prefer the matter to be heard by the Non-Compliance Panel, a Hearing will be arranged.
The Non-Compliance Panel
The Non-Compliance Panel considers disciplinary matters which concern Code Members. This includes where there is a concern that the Code Member has breached the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, the Bye-Laws, or a Consent Order. Code Members and RECC are invited to attend and make submissions at Hearings of the Non-Compliance Panel. The Panel will decide where the Code Member has committed any breach, and if so, what sanction, if any, should be placed on the Code Member in accordance with the Bye-Laws.
The Appeals Panel
The Renewable Energy Consumer Code may appoint an Appeals Panel as and when required, in line with the Bye-Laws. The Bye-Laws provide that the Appeals Panel shall comprise at least 3 Panel Members the majority of whom, including the Chairman, should be Independent Panel Members. They may also be Supervisory Panel Members. No Appeals Panel Member should have served as a member of the Non-Compliance Panel in relation to a matter under consideration.
The Appeals Panel should determine any appeals in line with the procedure set out in Clause 8 of the Bye-Laws.
Termination of Code Membership
Since the last Appeals Panel Hearing Determination in November 2018 and to June 2023, 23 members had their Code membership terminated due to non-compliance with the Code and its Bye-Laws. The Bye-Laws at that time did not provide for their names to be published on the RECC Website.
An update in the Bye-Laws published in July 2023 now provides that where RECC considers it desirable in the interests of consumer protection, the name of the Code Member and/or the circumstances of termination will be published on the RECC website for an appropriate time.
Prior to this update, RECC only published Consent Orders, Non-compliance Panel Hearing Determinations and Appeals Panel Determinations which can be found on the RECC website. RECC will continue to do this in the interests of consumer protection.
The publication of this information will allow consumers, other Code Members, and 3rd parties to understand the actions undertaken by RECC where its Code Members have not complied with the Code and its Bye-Laws.
RECC may decide to terminate a Code Member’s Code membership where it has failed to comply with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code and its Bye-Laws.
Clause 14 of the Bye-Laws sets out the circumstances where RECC may terminate Code Membership with immediate effect without reference to the Non‐Compliance Panel.
Code Members who are terminated must immediately cease to:
Please take note that termination of Code membership is without prejudice to any obligations the Code Member have accrued prior to termination.
Where RECC has decided to terminate a Code Member's Code membership, there is no appeal process to have this matter reconsidered. A Code Member has a right of appeal against a Determination of the Non-Compliance Panel in accordance with clause 11 of the Bye-Laws.