New Cross-Party Group launched to help protect consumers in energy market

energy-switching-fuel povertySNP MSP Clare Haughey has established a new Cross-Party Group (CPG) aimed at improving consumer protection in the energy market.

The new Cross-Party Group on Consumer Protection for Home Energy Efficiency was established after getting the go-ahead from the Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee.

The CPG was set up following concern over problems with the UK government’s Green Deal initiative, with Haughey pointing to examples of businesses selling householders solar panels on the promise of reduced energy bills and other benefits, when in fact bills have in some cases tripled and saddled customers with years of debt.

Members of the CPG are SNP MSPs Clare Haughey, Ivan McKee and Christina McKelvie, as well as Green MSP Ross Greer and Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton.

Haughey said: “The UK government’s Green Deal has left some of my constituents in dire financial straits after they were allegedly mis-sold energy efficiency products by the Cambuslang-based company, HELMS.

“This now liquidated company has already been fined for making millions of nuisance calls and for breaching the Green Deal’s code of conduct; however the UK government must also support those people that have been left in debt after signing up to the scheme.

“Some of my constituents involved in the scheme have had difficulties selling their homes because their debt, resulting from alleged mis-selling of energy efficiency products, is tied to the property.

“As a result, I have launched a new CPG in the Scottish Parliament to protect energy efficiency and renewable energy consumers and restore their confidence to ‘go green’ in the future.

“We need to make sure that individuals and community groups alike that are keen to make a difference to the environment are not taken advantage of by big companies.”

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