We have been members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) for some time now. Through RECC we provide a two year workmanship guarantee that is transferable to a new owner; this guarantee is also backed by an insurance scheme so you can get help even if we cease to trade.
So what is RECC and what are the many benefits it provides to our customers?
What is RECC?
RECC (the ‘Consumer Code’) is a consumer protection scheme run by the Renewable Energy Association and backed by the Trading Standards Institute. It was established in 2006 and is the largest of its type. Its aim is to ensure that consumers wishing to install a small-scale heat or power generation unit (e.g. solar panels) for their homes have the necessary confidence and service standards so that they can make an informed choice.
RECC logo (Image: RECC)
RECC guidance is designed to help consumers get advice on generation solutions without being subjected to negative marketing/sales tactics, and to ensure high standards of service before, during and after a contract is agreed. It is important that consumers have full information about the upfront costs, the running costs and the expected performance before they agree to buy or lease a small-scale heat or power generating unit. Code members such as ourselves have agreed to provide this to consumers in an easy-to-understand format.
The Consumer Code links closely to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, of which we are also a member. Any member of the Code, including all those working on their behalf, are expected to also comply with this scheme, or if they sub-contract the work, to ensure those that carry out the work on their behalf comply with these schemes.
The Benefits of the Consumer Code
RECC sets high standards for its members and covers the areas below.
Advertising and sales promotion
Behaviour of sales staff
Performance information and predictions
Proposals, estimates and quotes
Permissions, approvals and incentives
Terms of business
Deposits and prepayments (for example, deposits are insurance backed)
Timetable and any preparation needed
Completing the order
Responsibility for the work
Design, delivery and installation (for example, installations come with a workmanship warranty)
Testing and commissioning
Guarantees and insurance
Fuel supplies (e.g. for a biomass boiler)
Maintenance and service agreements
Service and repair
Dispute resolution process
A Tanjent solar install (Image: Tanjent Energy)
Sales staff must not use selling techniques designed to pressurise you into making an immediate decision, for example:
Staying in your home for longer than 2 hours without good reason
Offering you a discount, or a inflated initial price followed by a discount, for signing on the day
Withholding price information from you until the end of the visit
Claiming that there is limited availability of a product.
Any proposal a member makes must be in writing and include a clear description of the system being offered and how it will work.
Members must give you a written estimate of how your system will perform. The estimate must be based on your specific property.
Members may also provide you with an estimate of how the system will benefit you financially. This should be based on your own energy usage but if not, any assumptions made must be clearly sourced.
The complete Consumer Code can be seen written out here: RECC.
RECC advice for consumers thinking of generating their own energy is given here: RECC Consumer Advice