Consumer code extended to cover home battery systems

Move follows reports of mis-selling and confusion among customers

The Solar Trade Association has backed a move by the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) to cover home battery storage systems, following reports of people being mis-sold systems.

The organisers behind RECC announced yesterday it will now include storage systems and other related items, which are typically sold alongside solar panels

The chief executive of Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL), which administers RECC, Virginia Graham, said there is “already mis-selling and confusion among customers”, and “we are aiming to ensure that this is avoided going forward”.

According to RECC, they received one complaint a week about battery storage during 2016, and the total so far this year stands at 13.

More than half of the complaints have been about mis-selling, with cases relating to the battery’s lifespan, payback times and whether consumers will receive additional feed-in-tariff payments.

RECC is encouraging all installers to sign up to the code, so that customers can be reassured when buying home storage systems.

The code also links directly with technical guidance drafted by BRE and IET.

“With a downturn in the solar market, installers are turning their attention to batteries instead, often aggressively so” said Joju’s technical director, Christian Jardine.

“It’s a recipe for mis-selling, unfortunately, so we welcome RECC’s guidance wholeheartedly. Maintaining consumer confidence in the short-term will be vital to the long-term success of this market.”

A spokeswoman for the Solar Trade Association said it is “very much in the interest of this nascent industry that professional consumer standards for selling are established early”.

“This will help to ensure the sector, which could grow very rapidly, is on a sustainable trajectory. Indeed, we are discussing this issue at our members’ working group on behind the meter storage next week. There will be keen interest in RECC’s initiative, which we welcome.”

Author: Jamie Hailstone,
Channel: Customers
Tags: UK , Solar , Solar Trade Association

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