A new cross-party group (CPG) has been set up in the Scottish Parliament to help consumers who have been saddled with debts resulting from alleged mis-selling of Green Deal energy savings packages.
Clare Haughey has registered the new CPG with the aim of protecting consumers of energy efficiency and renewable energy products. The new CPG was approved by Holyrood’s standards committee last week.
The establishment of the CPG was prompted by problems resulting from concerns about the mis-selling of solar panel packages to hundreds of consumers across Scotland by HELMS (Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Systems), which was an accredited Green Deal installer.
The company, which was based was based in Cambuslang on the south-east outskirts of Glasgow, went into administration in April last year.
HELMS went out of business after suffering a record £200,000 fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office after making more than 6 million automatic, unsolicited nuisance calls offering “free” solar panels
Haughey told the Scottish Parliament in a debate in June that households, which were sold the panels by HELMs on the basis that their energy bills would fall, had seen them increase while incurring debt for their installation.
She said some of her constituents had problems selling their homes because of the debt that they had been saddled with.
Announcing the establishment of the CPG, Haughey said some of her constituents in “dire financial straits”.
She said: “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.”