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The consumer protection legislation that applies to the home renewables sector is the same as for any other type of business. In essence, the law requires traders to treat consumers fairly by ensuring they are given accurate information about what they are buying; that services are carried out with reasonable care and skill; and that there are no hidden charges or unfair terms in contracts. The key points for traders in the home renewables sector are outlined below, followed by links to more detailed information about each of the three pieces of legislation on the Business Companion website.
Consumers can in some cases, seek redress against traders if they have been the victim of a misleading action or an aggressive practice. This can be 'right to unwind (the contract)', right to a discount and/or damages (compensation). Under the CPRs, businesses can be fined or in some cases imprisoned.
The CRA also provides the consumer with basic rights around receiving goods of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose. Services should be carried out with reasonable care and skill. These rights can be enforced through the Courts.
The regulations also provides the consumer with a 14-day cancellation period for off-premises contracts. An off-premises contract is usually classed as a contract made in the consumer’s home, or at a place away from your usual place of business. The rules around whether a contract is made on premises (e.g. in a store or showroom) or off-premises can be complex. However it is important to get the laws on cancellation rights correct. Failure to give the correct cancellation rights at the right time can be a criminal offence.
It sounds difficult, but there are resources and organisations that can help you:
- Business Companion www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/off-premises-sales/consumer-contracts-off-premises-sales
- A consumer code of practice: the Home Insulation and Energy Systems contractors scheme (HIES) and the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC)
- your local trading standards service: www.tradingstandards.uk/about-ctsi/contact-us
Disclaimer: The information in this guide is provided in good faith, using information available at the time of writing. Government grants can change or stop over timeBack to top