MCS welcomes CMA report on ‘consumer protection in the green heating and insulation sector’

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) published a report yesterday (31 May 2023) summarising consumer protection provisions in the UK green heating and insulation sector.

The report contains the CMA’s findings following a call for information earlier in the year as the green heating sector becomes increasingly important to consumers in the context of achieving Net Zero and the rising cost-of-living. The call for information focused on consumer experience, business practices, and the standards landscape; the report makes recommendations on all three themes.

Over 40 stakeholder organisations including household names and industry leaders responded to the call for information.

MCS responded to the call for information and is referenced heavily throughout the report. We are pleased to see that our contributions, through research and analysis,  offered insight and evidence which helped shape the CMA’s conclusions.

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, commented: “We recognise many of the issues that the CMA highlight. In particular the conclusion that ‘without consumer confidence in this developing sector, there is a risk that people are put off from buying green heating’. This was a feature of our own report, published in 2022, on consumer protection in small-scale renewables.

Our upcoming consultation, which we will publish next week, outlines proposed changes to MCS which not only improve the robustness of our scheme as a recognised quality mark, but bolster safeguards for consumers. Our proposals address many of the challenges described in the CMA report in relation to small-scale renewables, including what the CMA refer to as ‘green heating’.

“MCS will have a central role in giving consumers confidence as they embrace the benefits of decarbonising their home heating and generating their own electricity. That’s why we strive to deliver our mission “to give people confidence in low-carbon energy technology by defining, maintaining and improving quality.”

You can read the CMA report in full here.

The CMA has also published a consumer guide for those buying green heating.