New Clause 10 — Green deal installation apprenticeships

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 14th September 2011.

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Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change 2:00 pm, 14th September 2011

I should like to start by thanking Caroline Lucas for tabling amendments 49 and 50 and my hon. Friends the Members for Manchester, Withington (Mr Leech) and for Brigg and Goole (Andrew Percy) for tabling amendment 28.

Amendment 49 would require that any energy efficiency services provided or products sold by green deal participants, in addition to those paid for with green deal finance, should be subject to the green deal regulatory framework. It is important to note that the green deal is an innovative form of finance agreement that is attached to the meter and therefore passes between bill payers. I think that we all understand that. So it needs specific protections, which are not necessarily relevant to those who do not take out the green deal.

I should like to assure hon. Members that we intend to require customers to be made fully aware of the difference between offers that fall under the green deal scheme, with all its specific safeguards, and those that fall outside. However, many of the forms of mis-selling that rightly concern the House can be prosecuted already under existing general consumer protection legislation. We will not accept companies using green deal accreditation as cover for less appropriate goods and services.

Amendment 50 would ensure that recommendations and estimated costs and savings are clearly and transparently communicated to the consumer as part of the green deal plan, thus enabling customers to compare offers. I should like to reassure hon. Members that we intend to require green deal providers to set out clearly how the proposed savings and costs meet the golden rule principle, as enabled by the power in clauses 4 and 5. I urge hon. Members to look specifically at clause 5.

In addition, the Consumer Credit Act 1974 will apply to domestic green deal plans in full, bar a few essential amendments, thus ensuring robust consumer protection, and it already regulates the provision of information to consumers who enter into credit arrangements.