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Use credit cards for heat pumps, UK consumers told

Trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance has issued a warning to those investing in green energy for their home following numerous misrepresentation cases. 

a man holding a wallet in his pocket

After red flags were raised by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) over misleading claims by many ‘green heating’ installation firms, UK consumers have been advised to use a credit card for at least part of any such investment.

Large numbers of customers who have spent significant amounts on heat pumps have subsequently found out they do not perform as advertised and sold. Those who paid ‘cash’ via debit card or bank transfer are unlikely to recoup costs.

In comparison, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act stipulates that misrepresentation or breach of contract is partly the credit card company’s responsibility. This makes it possible to make a claim against the lender, with a much higher chance of success compared with taking on firms that carried out installation work

‘The recent CMA report on new green heating technologies should concern us all. As an industry, we should be putting consumer interest first,’ said Mike Foster, Energy and Utilities Alliance Chief Executive, who developed the credit card recommendation with support from consumer law specialist Lincoln Green Solicitors. 

‘Sticking a few quid of the purchase on the credit card offers consumers an extra layer of protection compared to a simple bank transfer. Then if things go wrong or the performance is not as you were sold, you have an extra route available to seek redress,’ he continued. ‘This help isn’t new but given the concerns expressed by the CMA over exaggerated performance quoted by some suppliers of green heating technologies, reminding consumers that S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act is there for them [is sensible].’

More on heat pumps: 

UK ‘heat pump scheme’ failure to deliver 1/3 of promise

‘Absurd Soviet-style’ heat pump policy threatens UK jobs

House of Lords: Boiler Upgrade Scheme is failing to deliver

 

Image: Clay Banks

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