The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a call for information looking at consumer experiences and business practices in the green heating and insulation sectors. It will explore whether action is needed to help ensure consumers are treated fairly and businesses are supported to meet their obligations under consumer protection law.
Heating millions of homes across the country accounts for about 17% of the UK’s carbon emissions. With this in mind, more people are taking steps to switch to greener forms of heating, and to insulate their homes, to help reduce their carbon footprint. With better insulation, many are also seeking to reduce household energy bills.
The CMA is concerned about the potential for poor practices, such as making misleading claims about potential cost savings, product performance and suitability – particularly when selling newer, next generation technologies. Consumer groups have already raised concerns, including that consumers have a limited understanding of some newer green heating products and the process for buying them can be complicated and confusing.
It is crucial that the many businesses stepping up to offer homeowners green solutions are clear on their obligations under consumer protection law, as they support the UK’s aim to hit net zero by 2050.
The CMA wants to hear about consumer and business experiences of buying or selling home insulation (including wall, loft and spray foam), as well as existing and newer next-generation green home heating technology:
- Home solar – systems that are typically installed on roofs to generate electricity or heat water
- Heat pumps – draws heat from the outside air or from pipes buried in the ground and increase it to a higher temperature for use in the home
- Biomass boilers – boilers that use renewable sources (for example, wood pellets), as fuel to heat homes
- Hydrogen-ready boilers – boilers that use natural gas when initially installed but are specifically designed to be simply converted later to use 100% hydrogen instead
Sarah Cardell, the CMA’s Interim Chief Executive, said:
Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy for Citizens Advice, added:
Consumers, businesses and other interested groups are invited to share their views through a questionnaire by 1 November 2022.
All updates on the CMA’s work in this area can be found on the Green Heating and Insulation case page.