Consumer Protection For Green Heating and Insulation

At the end of May 2023 and following a call for information in 2022, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published their reported findings in a report entitled: Consumer protection in the green heating and insulation sector.

As you will have gathered from previously voiced frustrations, double glazing is still not formally regarded as a “green measure” nevertheless this report, along with their supporting guidance for consumers does make interesting reading and much can be taken from it in relation to double glazing in the UK.

We therefore suggest you take a look.

Back in H2 2022, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a call for information looking at consumer protection in the UK green heating and insulation sector, focusing on the sale of the following products for the home: heat pumps; home solar; insulation; biomass boilers and hydrogen-ready boilers.

It looked at consumer experiences and business practices, including those relating to the marketing and sale of the above products. The purpose was to explore whether further steps or action is needed to help ensure consumers are treated fairly and businesses are supported to meet their obligations under consumer protection law. 

As we said, whilst double glazing may not be specifically mentioned, there is, at least a degree of synergy across the sector,

Consumer protection in green heating and insulation sector

The resulting report entitled “Consumer protection in green heating and insulation sector” was published on 31st May 2023. It looked at three key themes

  1. people’s experience of buying green heating and insulation products
  2. business practices
  3. the landscape of standards bodies which provide quality assurance and consumer protection standards for member businesses

The report identified concerns in these areas and sets out actions to help address these.

The report can be downloaded directly from the CMA website:

What is of particular interest though is teh simultaniously published a consumer guide to assist people when buying green heating and insulation products, which sets out a summary of their key rights and protections under the law; and a set of good practice principles for standards bodies, to help raise the level of protections in the sector.

Again, no mention of or reference to double glazing however we would suggest that much of the advice coule be followed by consumers looking to purchase double glazing in the UK.

Buying green heating and insulation products: a consumer guide

In the words of the CMA themselves:

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has produced this guide to help you make decisions when buying and installing ‘green’ heating products (such as heat pumps, solar panels, biomass boilers) and insulation (such as cavity and solid wall, underfloor, roof and loft insulation) for your home. These products can help you to heat your home in an environmentally sustainable and more energy efficient way, reducing your carbon footprint. This guide also sets out a summary of your main rights under consumer protection law.

We have set out the key stages for people buying green heating and insulation products – referred to as the ‘consumer journey’ – below. This guide follows these stages. We recommend familiarising yourself with this guide before buying your product(s), though you can also dip into it as needed during the process.

Throughout this guide we use the term ‘businesses’ to cover all of the different types of businesses or tradespeople that you might come into contact with during the process.

The guide is available to all and free to download – it contains some great advice relating to buying green heating products (like solar panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers) or insulation (we feel that double glazing could be included within this section) for your home can be complicated. The guide was produced to help the consumer with each stage of the process, and to understand key rights and protections under consumer law.

This guide covers the following key stages of the consumer journey:

  • before you buy
  • when you’ve decided to buy
  • installation of your product(s)
  • post-installation
  • what to do if something goes wrong

Accompanying the guide is a short but very handy checklist of 10 top tips for consumers buying green heating and insulation products. Again, we feel this is well worth a read and worth considering applying the same principles to any investment in new double glazing.