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OFT advises energy efficiency firms on business practices

The Office of Fair Trading has written to over 50 of the leading installers of double glazing, insulation and solar panels, asking them to ensure they are providing consistently good standards to consumers.

The initiative is part of an OFT drive to raise compliance standards across the energy efficiency sector. An OFT review of the sector found instances of poor practice towards consumers such as the use of high pressure sales techniques, unclear information about paperwork and cancellation rights, and poor quality installations.

Energy efficiency measures can provide major benefits to households through lower energy bills and warmer homes. The wider sector, with sales worth around £18 billion in 2010-11, is expected to be an area of substantial economic growth in the future.

However the OFT’s review found that the behaviour of some businesses in the energy efficiency sector – including instances of poor practice, some of which might breach consumer law – risk undermining consumer confidence and limiting expansion of the market.

Concerns include instances where consumers have been given potentially misleading or inaccurate information about the energy they could save or their eligibility for a grant or subsidy.

To address the concerns arising from the review, the OFT is working with fellow enforcers, regulators, government, industry and consumer groups to promote a consistent level of good business practice.


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