New Clause 10 — Green deal installation apprenticeships

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:00 pm on 14th September 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change 1:00 pm, 14th September 2011

Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that an assessor would knock on someone’s door, undertake a green deal assessment and, at the same time, encourage them to switch to another tariff? [ Interruption. ] He is suggesting that they would switch hats and do that. I do not expect that to happen, not least because the assessment must be independent. However, there can be a degree of cross-selling, provided that the independent assessment is truly independent. However, I shall clarify that when we come to the technical detail of the Bill. I understand that what the hon. Gentleman describes is possible, but energy company practice would be covered by the regulations, such as the code of practice. We shall have an opportunity to look at the detail of what they can offer under the code of practice, but I would expect that type of activity to be strongly regulated.

However, it would not be impossible—indeed, it would not necessarily be a bad thing—for people to be able to switch to a better tariff at the same time as they were considering their energy usage. We are encouraging consumers to switch. Far too many families in this country are on the wrong tariff and do not take advantage of the cheaper tariffs that are available, often from their own supplier, particularly by switching to a direct debit. I would therefore not want to rule out the possibility of a consumer taking a green deal assessment and, at the same time, switching to a cheaper, more appropriate tariff. Indeed, that might seem quite sensible, but it will be covered by the code of best practice.