In this document, 'the Code' means this Code; 'we' means the Renewable Energy Association;
the 'scheme' means the REAL Assurance Scheme, sponsored by us and administered by
Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (the 'scheme administrator'), a wholly-owned,
independent subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Association; 'members' means members
of the scheme. These and other words that have a specific meaning are defined in
the glossary, in section A.
Members of the REAL Assurance Scheme have given a legal undertaking to comply with
Please read the disclaimer in section E.
- Following this
- General business
- Pre-sale activities
- Completing the
- After-sale activities
- In case of problems
- Glossary and
- Types of renewable
energy sources or convertors
- References to
other relevant documents
- Contact details
and links to other organisations
We have designed this Code to help members achieve high standards when selling or
leasing small-scale heat and power generators, whether from renewable or other low
carbon sources, to domestic consumers.
We aim to develop and maintain the Code following best practice in achieving public
confidence, and to present it for accreditation under appropriate independent standards.
A Panel made up of members, consumer representatives and others with an interest
in the issue monitors the contents of, and changes to, this Code.
We want consumers to have the confidence to generate their heat and power themselves.
Offering high standards of service will increase scheme members' chances of winning
The area of renewable and low carbon small-scale heat and power generators (which
are referred to collectively as 'energy generators' in this Code) is growing. It
includes a wide range of different ways of producing heat and power (which are referred
to collectively as 'energy sources and convertors' in this Code and set out in attachment
Renewable sources of generation include:
- for electricity, solar, wind and hydro; and
- for heat, solar, biomass and heat pumps.
Energy generators are connected, and often fixed on, to a consumer's property so
there are special safety standards that apply to their installation and operation.
2.1 The Renewable Energy Association
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) is the country's leading trade organisation
representing renewable energy producers and suppliers across a wide range of electric
and heating energy sources.
We recognise that most domestic consumers are not experts in these technologies.
It is essential that suppliers provide them with the information they need to choose
the most suitable system for them and to get the best from it. This is why we have
set up the REAL Assurance Scheme to help companies provide high standards of service
when they supply energy generators to domestic consumers. We have also provided
guidance for consumers at www.realassurance.org.uk/consumers
2.2 The REAL Assurance Scheme
The REAL Assurance Scheme is governed by specific bye laws which members must undertake
to abide by. This Consumer Code is the centrepiece of the scheme, and is aimed at
all those companies that have contact with domestic consumers. Any organisation
that has joined the REAL Assurance Scheme is referred to in this Code as a 'member'.
All members of the Renewable Energy Association who provide products and services
to domestic consumers must join the REAL Assurance Scheme. It is also open to companies
who are not members of the Association.
2.3 The Microgeneration Certification Scheme
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an important quality assurance
mechanism that sets out both:
- standards for installers of small-scale heat and power generators; and
- standards for small-scale heat and power generating products.
The MCS is administered by Gemserv on behalf of Government. There are currently
6 bodies accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) to carry out certification
against the MCS installer standards. Certification is a requirement of the UK Government's
Feed-in Tariff 'Clean Energy Cash Back' Scheme, the Scottish Government's Community
and Renewable Energy Scheme (CRES) and is likely to be a requirement of the proposed
Renewable Heat Incentive in the future.
REAL Assurance Scheme members should be certified, or be working towards certification,
to the relevant MCS installer standard. Members that never carry out installations
themselves, but subcontract them to other members, do not have to be MCS certified.
They must declare this position to the scheme administrator. Any members that have
not made such a declaration, and that have not achieved certification within six
months of joining the REAL Assurance Scheme, will have their membership terminated
and the balance of their fee refunded.
2.4 The Consumer Code
This Code relates to the contacts companies have with consumers. The Code is that
which is set out in this document. It covers all the factors that contribute to
overall consumer service, including:
- details of the assurance the Code gives;
- clear information on the systems and their performance;
- any arrangements for installing and connecting the system;
- the selection and quality of goods supplied;
- details of the conditions of business that apply;
- the standard of any installation and other on-site work;
- guarantees, and any maintenance and after-sales services needed;
- what action will be taken to deal with any problems; and
- monitoring and continuously improving procedures.
Consumers have the right to expect that goods and services supplied by a member
will perform properly, be fit for their purpose and meet the quality standards they
would reasonably expect, including the standards set out in this Code. If these
standards have not been met consumers can complain using the complaints procedure
set out in section 9.1, below.
The principles set out in this Code are not intended to interpret, replace or restrict
the law. None of the conditions of the Code will affect consumers' rights under
any existing consumer protection law. There is a summary of the laws that protect
consumers and govern transactions in attachment C7, below.
This Code has been designed to fit with the MCS installer standard described in
section 2.3, above.
2.5 Using marks and symbols
The REAL Assurance Scheme logo provides a guarantee of a high standard of service
to consumers. It may only be used by members. Scheme members will use the REAL Assurance
Scheme logo strictly in line with the guidelines the scheme administrator issues
from time to time. If members are entitled to use other logos, they must also follow
the conditions of use for these, so long as there is no conflict with the conditions
set out in this Code.
3 Following this Code
All members must follow this Code and make sure they have a current membership certificate
to show consumers and staff. The membership certificate has a space for you to confirm
that you follow this Code. It is valid only when signed by the authorised senior
representative of your company that has been designated as the 'REAL primary contact'.
Members will inform the scheme administrator when there are any changes. Members
will take all reasonable steps to promote the benefits of the Code to consumers.
The Scheme administrator has put in place arrangements for monitoring members' compliance
with the Code. Members must agree to comply with the requirement for regular monitoring.
This includes audit compliance checks, mystery shopping and consumer satisfaction
Members will make sure that they have access to the latest version of the Code available
They will make sure that all employees, those individuals they contract with or
who act on their behalf are aware of the legal requirements that apply and their
responsibilities under the Code.
Members are responsible for ensuring that all staff, individuals they contract with
and those that act on their behalf have been effectively trained in how to use the
Code and that they comply with it.
Some members purchase, or otherwise obtain, sales leads from third party organisations,
individuals or websites. Members who do this are responsible for ensuring that the
organisations, individuals or those running the websites have been trained in, and
have complied with, all the relevant conditions of the Code. If they do not comply
with the relevant requirements of the Code, the matter will be dealt with as described
in section 9.4. This must be an explicit condition of any agreement between the
member and a third party.
The scheme administrator may, in certain circumstances, share details of a member
or consumer with the MCS licensee or certification bodies described earlier in this
section, or with the relevant Trading Standards Department. The scheme administrator
will not share details of a member or consumer unless they have first consented
for this to happen. The circumstances in which the scheme administrator will seek
to do this is in line with the data protection laws.
4 General business standards
Members will not act in any way that might bring the Code into disrepute.
Members must pay their annual membership fee promptly. Members who do not pay their
membership fee within a reasonable period of being invoiced will have their membership
terminated. Members who leave the Scheme and then apply to rejoin it within the
same calendar year will be expected to pay the membership for the full year.
Members will deal with consumers politely and quickly, and take steps to make sure
that important information is passed to them clearly. When made aware of a complaint,
members will act to resolve the complaint as speedily and effectively as possible.
Members must make consumers aware of any responsibilities they will have as a result
of the transaction in question. This includes any requirements on consumers to provide
information and to operate and maintain any goods provided. All written information
must be in plain English.
In the case of vulnerable consumers, members are expected to provide extra care
and support. Consumers may be vulnerable as a consequence of mental or physical
infirmity, age, credulity, learning difficulties, illiteracy or if their first language
is not English. The member must have reasonably been expected to foresee this. The
information members provide should be appropriate to the consumer's needs. Members
should take special care to ensure that the consumer understands the key documents,
including the quotation, the contract and the guarantee arrangements. Where appropriate,
members must seek the involvement of a trusted friend or relative.
Members must have appropriate insurance to cover possible third-party damage, which
may be caused by any of their activities in supplying energy generators to consumers.
The insurance must be adequate to cover any liabilities which might reasonably be
expected to arise from their activities but must not be less than one million pounds
for each incident.
Members must follow appropriate business practices and procedures to make sure they
can meet their responsibilities to consumers. This includes making sure the company
has enough money and employees to carry out any orders for buying or leasing energy
generators agreed with consumers ('contracts').
Members will give all employees training in delivering services to consumers and
will keep records on the training provided and extra training needs. It will often
be appropriate for members to be accredited to a recognised standard for quality
and continuous improvement.
If credit or hire purchase is part of a member's offer to consumers, then the member
must ensure they hold a valid and up-to-date credit licence with the appropriate
categories and that they conform to all relevant Acts and Regulations that relate
to the provision of credit. If members recommend specific credit arrangements to
consumers, it is their responsibility to ascertain whether they require a credit
licence to do so.
As the products covered by this Code are designed to contribute to a more sustainable
use of energy, members should work in a way that does not harm the environment or
the communities in which they work. Larger companies should consider being accredited
to a recognised standard for environmental management and reporting.
5 Pre-sale activities
5.1 Advertising and sales promotion
Members must make sure that any advertising materials they produce or use are legal,
decent, honest and truthful, and that they comply with all the relevant legislation
including the British Code of Advertising and Sales Promotion ('the CAP Code') and
the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('the CPRs'). (For
further details of relevant Acts and Regulations, see section C10 below.) All performance
claims, testimonials and claims about savings, financial payback or income in advertisements
or sales promotions must be clearly attributed to a reputable source.
Wherever possible, advertising materials should refer to or use this Code to tell
consumers about what the REAL Assurance Scheme offers. Where members promote their
services by direct mail or telephone, they must first check the names against the
mailing preference service or telephone preference service databases for any exclusions.
Where they use lists of names for promotional purposes they must ensure that these
will be kept in line with data protection laws.
Members should tell consumers about the Code and about the guidance mentioned in
section C4 below, and provide copies when asked. Where performance information is
used in advertising, it must comply with the conditions of section 5.3 below.
Any comparisons with other products or companies that members make in their advertising
materials must not be deceptive, and must be in line with the comparative advertising
rules in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('the CPRs').
5.2 Behaviour of sales representatives
Members will be held responsible for all the actions of their employees, those individuals
they contract with or who sell on their behalf. Members must make sure that all
these people receive suitable training. This should cover the general standards
described in section 4, and all the requirements of the Code, in particular those
in sections 5, 6 and 7. Members must ensure that any-one visiting consumers' premises
on their behalf must show identification. Job titles or descriptions used by sales
employees, representatives and any-one acting on their behalf should not be misleading
in terms of the holder's qualifications and experience.
Employees must not give false or misleading information about their company or the
product, services or facilities being offered. They must not make any statement
that is likely to mislead the consumer in any way. Sales employees and representatives,
whether employed directly, sub-contracted or selling on the company's behalf, must
not use any selling techniques designed to pressurise the consumer into making an
immediate decision. These techniques are prohibited by law as well as contravening
this Code. They include, but are not limited to:
- staying in the consumer's premises for more than two hours except in exceptional
- offering an inflated initial price followed by a discount, or equivalent, for
- signing on the day
- agreeing to provide testimonials
- providing customer referrals
- providing performance monitoring data;
- withholding price information until the end of the visit; or
- claiming that there is limited availability of the energy generator .
Members are only permitted to offer any discounts of more than £200 where:
- the undiscounted price quoted is a genuine price at which a significant number of
retails sales of a energy generators could reasonably have been expected to have
been made; and
- the discounts have been specifically advertised a reasonable time beforehand on
the website or in press or other media advertising.
Members must not follow up sales visits by offering further discounted prices intended
to pressurise consumers into signing a contract.
Members should keep a record of the length of time they spend in the consumer's
premises. This record will be required as evidence in the event of an investigation,
but will not be a justification for spending more than two hours in the consumer's
premises. Members' sales employees, representatives and any-one acting on their
behalf must act with integrity and, in particular, they must respect the consumer's
right to privacy and to bring any contact to an end if requested to do so. They
must answer consumers' questions honestly and clearly.
Members must check whether a consumer is vulnerable in any way. (See section 4 above
for more information on which groups of consumers may be considered vulnerable.)
In such a case, they must adapt key information accordingly, and suggest that the
consumer reads it with a trusted friend or relative.
Members must check in advance of a sales visit whether the consumer is vulnerable
in any way. If so, they must request that the consumer arrange for a trusted friend
or relative to be present. If this has not been possible, the member must re-schedule
the visit at a time when a trusted friend or relative is available to be present.
5.3 Performance information and predictions
It is very important that members do not 'oversell' energy generators to consumers.
For this reason, it is essential that members give certain technical information,
set out below, in writing to consumers before the contract is signed. These
are set out below. This means that, in the case of a sales visit where a contract
is signed in a consumer's home, the information must be provided in writing during
the visit. Members must keep records of the information provided.
Before the contract is signed, members must:
- give consumers a written estimate of how the energy generator will perform in a
format that is readily understandable by them, based on specific performance data
for the technology in question;
- make clear whether the estimate is specific to the property and, if it is, whether
it follows a site survey;
- where the estimate is based on some standard or 'average' premises instead, give
the full details and source of that standard.
Members must present calculations using recognised standards or based on those that
have been developed for the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installer
standards for individual technologies (described in section C2 below). They must
provide comparisons for non-expert readers, with predictions presented according
to the guidelines provided by the scheme administrator. Calculations must be based
on product information which has been confirmed by an independent test laboratory
in line with all standards that apply. All ratings must be presented in kilowatts
(kW), and output in kilowatt hours (kWh), although other units, for example btus
or therms, may also be used, if appropriate.
Proposals to consumers must only include estimates of savings, periods of recovery
('payback') or other measures of financial effectiveness based on the consumer's
actual energy use. Any assumptions that have been made (for example, of energy prices,
interest rates or inflation) must be set out and clearly explained. These estimates
should not mislead the consumer in such a way as to affect their economic behaviour.
Members may, however, publish case studies showing the effectiveness of previous
installations, as long as they give full details of the size and type of the energy
generator supplied, the type of property which it was used for, as well as the energy
costs (and resale price where appropriate).
There are extra conditions for energy generators whose output is in any way unpredictable,
for example, due to climatic effects or fuel variations. When presenting performance
information, members should, unless the technology-specific MCS installer standard
- clearly say whether the estimates are based on average or 'worst case' information
(in either case, the figures should be based on yearly figures, not those for any
particular time of year, and the guidelines recommend that both the yearly average
and the 20-year minimum should be shown);
- say where the information on which their calculations are based came from;
- name the area and altitude where the information was measured;
- describe the relationship between the rated output (in kilowatts) and the predicted
average output (in kilowatt hours each year);
- take account of predicted variations from the calculated output, for example, to
allow for shade from buildings, aspect, distance from the measurement location,
variations in fuel moisture and quality, and any other factors that apply); and
- follow the guidelines on presentation provided by the scheme administrator (described
in section C2 below).
Members must keep a record of all performance calculations on which predictions
have been made for 10 years after the energy generator has been installed. They
must be able to justify the calculations and make them available to the scheme administrator's
nominated appointee if asked.
The Scheme administrator has prepared
guidance on the clear presentation of technical performance information.
5.4 Proposals, estimates and quotations
Members must give consumers certain financial assurances before the sale is agreed
and the contract signed. These are set out below.
Any proposal made to a consumer, whether with a quotation or an estimate, must give
a clear description of the energy generator proposed and how it will work. This
must also explain any 'side effects' of the system in terms of noise, heat radiation,
electro-magnetic radiation, noise and any other effects.
Members will provide consumers with a written cost estimate based on the information
the consumer has given them, and make clear that the estimates are examples only
and not definite figures. Members will also provide consumers with a formal quotation
in writing, signed by an authorised signatory. The scheme administrator has prepared
a sample quotation
for members' use.
Quotations must show:
- an itemised list of the goods to be supplied;
- the price of all goods, services to be supplied, including the costs of any required
safety checks and all taxes payable;
- an itemised list of all survey, design, installation and other services (if a proposal
does not include installation work or is made on the assumption that any installment
will be done by the consumer or an independent person, the member will draw the
consumer's attention to the relevant section of the consumer guidance referenced
in section C4 below);
- items and services not included in the quotation, which the consumer will need to
provide to complete the work, including permissions and approvals, any work needed
to restore the property to its original state and any facilities for storing fuel;
- site conditions and special circumstances beyond the control of the member which
may result in extra chargeable work not covered by the quote, and hourly or daily
rates which would apply in this situation;
- a timetable for supplying any goods and carrying out any work at the property;
- business terms, including the payment method and timetable, how long the quote will
be valid for and other conditions set out in section 6.1, below; and
- completion dates for installing the energy generator.
Members must provide consumers with accurate information regarding incentives available
for installing small-scale generation at the consumer's property, such as the Feed-in
Tariff for electricity generators and the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive for
heat generators in the future. When calculating the value of the Feed-in Tariff
for consumers, members should use a model based on a reasonable set of assumptions
which they must disclose to the consumer. Where possible the Energy Saving Trust
model should be used. It can be found at:
Where members are offering to provide the small-scale electricity generator free
of charge in return for the consumer assigning their right to the Feed-in Tariff
benefits they must give the consumer full information in writing before the consumer
signs a contract. The contract should comply with this Code in all respects. The
full information members must provide to consumers is
set out here.
Members must produce performance predictions in line with section 5.3 above and
they must be included in the formal quotation. Members should follow a 'no surprises'
pricing policy. Prices should be itemised clearly and broken down as far as possible.
The quotation must be clear and easy to understand. Members must provide consumers
with an accurate description of any ancillary costs they are likely to incur, for
example the costs of a back-up fuel.
If any other goods and services will be needed (for example, routine servicing or
phone helplines), information on the availability and price of these must be provided
in the quote. If a system will need a yearly safety check or other regular maintenance,
this should also be made clear to the consumer along with the likely cost of this.
When the consumer receives the final invoice, there should be no unexpected items
compared to the quote, unless agreed beforehand.
If the consumer is being offered a leasing arrangement, the same principles will
apply. Members must draw to the consumer's attention any variations to the original
quotation and how this will affect the completion date before the contract is agreed.
Members should carry out, and pay for, a technical site survey before the consumer
signs the contract. They should not carry out a site survey if they have established
that a property is clearly unsuitable from preliminary conversations. If a member
does make a charge for carrying out a site survey, then the cost of this must be
reasonable in the circumstances. The member must make the consumer aware of this
cost, and under what circumstances it will be refunded. If a consumer insists on
a site survey being carried out at a property that has been established as clearly
unsuitable, it would be reasonable for the consumer to pay for the site survey.
If a member has not carried out a technical site survey before the consumer signs
the contract, and in the event the site later proves unsuitable, the member will
promptly refund the consumer's deposit in full.
Before the contract is signed, members will provide consumers with a number they
may call or the address of a local office or showroom they may visit should they
later have any queries.
5.5 Permission, approval and grants
Members must be aware of all the permission and approval needed for the energy generators
they offer, including planning permission, building regulations and connection requirements.
They must provide this information to the consumer before any site survey is carried
out. Members will agree with the consumer beforehand who will take responsibility
for getting all necessary approval before either side enters into any financial
commitment. If the conditions of the approval will affect the supply of the unit,
the member will update and reissue the quotation as necessary once it has been obtained.
Members will make sure that they follow the conditions of any approval during on-site
work, and tell any subcontractors about the conditions.
Members will advise the consumer that they should tell any leaseholders, freeholders,
mortgagors and insurers of the property about the planned work and of the need to
obtain the relevant consent.
Members will advise the consumer about any grants or other incentives available
for the work and agree whose responsibility it is to apply for the grant. If it
is the consumer's responsibility, the member will inform the consumer where to find
the relevant information about procedures and deadlines. If members are permitted
to apply for the grant on the consumer's behalf, they must first provide the consumer
with full information as to the source of the grant, and the terms and conditions
that apply to it. Where the successful award of a grant is essential to the consumer's
agreement to proceed with the installation of an energy generator, this should be
specified as a condition in the contract. Where no such grant is forthcoming, for
whatever reason, the consumer will not be held to the contract.
Where a contract is dependent on the consumer receiving a grant, members should
not require any deposit to be paid until such time as the grant has been approved.
5.6 Pre-contractual information
Before the contract is signed, members will provide consumers with certain relevant
information, in addition to that described in sections 5.4, 5.5, 6.2 and 8 of this
Code. This includes:
- the member's name, address, telephone, email and website details;
- information about any after-sales services, guarantees and warranties;
- where relevant, specific details of the fuel sourcing, usage and storage arrangements
that the system will require (see section 8.2 below); and
- details of any requirement for regular servicing that the system will require (see
section 8.4 below).
Finally, members must provide consumers with a
leaflet describing this Code They should inform consumers of the complaints
handling procedures in the Code, including the arrangements for conciliation and
independent arbitration (see sections 9.2 and 9.3 below).
6.1 Terms of business
Members will have clear, unambiguous terms of business that do not disadvantage
consumers. Members will ensure that they carry out their contractual obligations
without excluding their liabilities. All terms must conform to the Unfair Terms
in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading
Regulations 2008 ('CPRs'). (For further details of relevant Acts and Regulations,
see section C11 below.) The scheme administrator has developed
a set of model contract terms. All terms of business must be effectively
communicated in writing to the consumer and form part of the quotation (as set out
in section 5.4 above).
The written terms of business must include details about:
- cancellation rights (see section 6.2 below);
- payment methods, timing and deposits (see section 6.3 below);
- guarantees (see section 8.1 below); and
- information on after-sales support (see sections 8.3 and 8.4 below).
These terms will not affect the consumer's legal rights under national or international
law (including, but not limited to, those shown on the attachment C11). There are
more details on consumers' legal rights under the heading 'your rights' at
If someone else will install or supply other services under the contract, members
must tell consumers what work they will do. The member will make clear to the consumer
that they are responsible for the activities of these other contractors, and that
the consumer should inform the member if there are any problems. Members must ensure
that any sub-contractor, third party, or person carrying out work on their behalf
upholds the same standards as are set out in this Code. Members will inspect any
subcontracted work, once completed, and be responsible for any problems that might
arise as a result of it.
6.2 Cancellation rights
Members will give consumers seven working days to cancel the contract without
penalty (the 'cooling off period') after they have signed the contract. Before the
contract is signed members must explain how the consumer can cancel the contract,
give the name and address of the person to contact in this event, and provide a
such as this one.
Members should keep a record of cases in which consumers cancel together with the
reasons. Members who fail to give the consumer written notice that they can cancel
the contract may be committing a criminal offence.
The cooling-off period of seven working days stipulated in this Code reflects
a reasonable standard of practice given that the relevant legislative provisions
differ depending on how and where the sale takes place. (See section C11 below for
more details of the different cooling-off periods required in relevant legislation.)
In the event that legislation requires a longer cooling-off period then this should
take precedence over the requirements of the Code.
Members will not start to install the system during the cooling-off period. If this
cannot be reasonably avoided, for example in the case of the consumer stipulating
a very tight timescale, then the consumer must notify the company in writing of
this requirement and the reasons for it. In such a case, the member will make the
consumer aware of the consequences of starting to install the system before the
end of the cooling off period should they later decide to cancel the contract within
the time allowed. The member will keep a record of any instances in which they start
to install the system within the cooling off period, and the reasons why.
If work has already started before the contract is cancelled, and so long as the
company provided the consumer with the requisite information before the contract
was signed, the consumer may be responsible for the costs of goods and services
already supplied, and of making good the property.
Members must set out clearly in the contract the conditions and costs that will
apply if the consumer wants to cancel after the cooling off period. Members will
only be entitled to retain a consumer's funds in respect of specific costs they
have reasonably incurred.Conditions must comply with the Unfair Terms in Consumer
Contracts Regulations and the relevant section of the Cancellation of Contracts
made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008.
6.3 Deposits and further advance payments
If a member requires the consumer to pay a deposit when the contract is signed,
this will constitute a reasonable percentage of the estimated overall costs of the
work as set out in the contract, for example 15 per cent. It should not exceed 25
per cent under any circumstances. Members will only use this money for work under
the contract, for example for purchasing goods. Members will repay it promptly if
the contract is cancelled in line with the conditions set out in section 6.2 of
this Code. This is a very important requirement of the Code.
If the member subsequently requires a further advance payment to be made by the
consumer, this must constitute a reasonable percentage of the overall costs of the
work and will only be used for work under the contract, for example for purchasing
goods. Under no circumstances can the deposit and the further advance payment, taken
together, exceed 60 per cent of the estimated overall costs of the work. Members
can only require a further advance payment no more than three weeks before
the agreed delivery date of all the goods to be installed. Members will set out
clearly in the contract the amount and timing of all payments required.
Members must place the deposit and the further advance payment, if required, in
an account specially set up in the consumer's name (such as a 'client' or other
third party account). This must be separate from those accounts linked to the member's
own credit and banking facilities. Guidelines for setting up and administering these
arrangements are available from most banks. The money in this account should only
be used with the consumer's consent. (This can be obtained in advance when the consumer
signs the contract.)
In this way, if the member falls into receivership, administration or bankruptcy
before the contract has been completed, the consumer will be able to recover his
or her money. In such a case the money held in the special account should either
be refunded to the consumer or passed directly to another member who has agreed
to complete the contract in line with section 9.5, below.
The scheme administrator launched the Deposit and Advance Payment Insurance Scheme
in November 2010. All members are required to take part in it unless they can demonstrate
that they already have equivalent cover in place. Members will continue to keep
consumers' money separate from the money in their own bank accounts as set out above.
Where a member uses a consumer's money, paid in advance, to purchase goods, and
where those goods are delivered to the member, the member will hold the goods on
trust for the consumer and will keep them separate from its own goods and those
of third parties. The member will keep such goods properly stored, protected, insured
and identified as the consumer's property. The consumer should be able to inspect
or repossess the goods at any time. The legal title to those goods, or the proportion
of them that has already been paid for, should pass directly to the consumer. In
this way, if the member falls into receivership, administration or bankruptcy before
the installation takes place, the goods will remain the consumer's property.
6.4 Timetable and any preparation the consumer needs to do
The timetable for carrying out the work will be confirmed when the contract is agreed.
In setting out the timetable, members will show flexibility, and take into account
the consumer's preferred working times and dates, and ask if there are any 'critical
Members will define clearly any preparation the consumer needs to do. If the timetable
depends on this work being done, the member must let the consumer know (for example,
by stating 'two weeks after receiving planning approval').
If any time-related bonuses or delay damage clauses will apply, they will be clearly
set out in the contract and agreed when the contract is agreed. They must comply
with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
7 Completing the order
7.1 Responsibility for the work
Members who enter into the contract may do on-site work themselves, or subcontract
it to someone else. In either case, installation work must be carried out by an
installer who is certified to the relevant MCS installer standard described in section
All those involved in completing the order must be aware of, and keep to, the conditions
of, the Code. They must also meet the general business standards described in section
4 above, including the requirement for suitable insurance cover.
7.2 Design, delivery and installation
A final design for the energy generator should be produced before installation work
starts. Designs must use only products that have been MCS certified, as described
in section 2.3 above. For products that are in transition, this should be made clear
to the consumer.
If a site survey has not already been carried out, before starting the work the
installer must validate the designs through a site survey and health and safety
risk assessment. (It is not necessary for the installer to make a separate site
visit to carry these out.) If the site is not suitable for installing the system,
the installer must explain the reasons in writing to the consumer, cancel the contract
and refund any deposit or advance payment in full. If members intend to charge consumers
for the design work, the charge must be reasonable and they must make this clear
to consumers beforehand.
Before the work starts, the member must provide the consumer with designs that show
where the main system will go, and any alterations to the property or services such
as electrical and heating systems that will be needed. The design must be specific
to the consumer's property, and any schematic design must be amended to show which
elements will go where in the specific property where the energy generator is being
installed. The consumer must approve these. If, as a result of this information
being disclosed, the main system differs from that on which the quotation was based,
the member must draw this fact to the consumer's attention in writing. The member
must allow them to cancel the contract if it no longer corresponds to their needs,
and have any deposit or part payment refunded.
The member must also explain to the consumer in writing about any disruption to
facilities or services which may happen during the installation work, and any work
that may be needed to put things right. Members must make sure that the installation,
if carried out on their behalf, is in line with the standards and good practice.
They must follow the specific conditions set out in the relevant MCS installer standard
linked to the Code and described in section 2.3 above.
Members must tell the consumer about any changes to the agreed timetable as soon
as possible before the work starts. In this case, the consumer will be given the
opportunity to agree a new start date. In the case of major delays, which would
take the completion date beyond a critical completion deadline, the consumer may
be offered different, but equivalent, products so long as they are MCS certified.
If a member makes a significant change to the agreed, specified delivery or installation
date set out in the contract, the consumer will be entitled to cancel the contract
and receive a full refund of any deposit or advance payment. This is in line with
the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. To continue with the work, the member
will need to issue the consumer with a new contract, including a new cooling-off
period. (This does not apply to changes that result from events beyond the member's
control.) If no delivery date has been specified, the goods and services should
still be provided within a reasonable length of time. Members should make consumers
aware of their rights under this legislation. If a delay is the responsibility of
the consumer, for example if they have not got the permission they need in time,
the member will use their best endeavours to arrange a new start date that is convenient
to both of them.
7.3 Testing and commissioning
When the work has been completed, the system should be fully checked and tested
in line with the MCS installer standard. Any test results will be recorded on a
commissioning record (in a form approved by the scheme administrator), and this
will be signed by an authorised signatory to confirm the work is satisfactory.
When the work has been completed, the member will give the consumer a copy of this
commissioning record together with relevant conformity certificates and guarantees.
The member will also give the consumer full operating and maintenance instructions,
along with a full description of the system. All the documents provided must be
written in plain English and, in the case of vulnerable consumers, the information
provided should be appropriate to any particular needs they may have.
8 After-sale activities
Before the contract is signed, members will provide the consumer with a number they
may call or the address of a local office or showroom they may visit should they
have any queries after the contract has been completed. In this way, members can
ensure that any enquiry is dealt with in an efficient and friendly way, preferably
by someone specifically appointed for such a task for, example, a consumer services
Manufacturers' and installers' guarantees are intended to protect consumers if there
are any faults with the energy generating system. These are needed by law. Guarantees
must not limit the consumer's legal rights under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts
Regulations 1999. Members must explain to consumers clearly and in plain English,
both in writing and verbally, the terms of the guarantee being offered as well as
its duration. They must also explain in what ways it goes beyond the consumer's
legal rights. Guarantees must be transferable to the new owner in the event that
the consumer moves home.
Goods supplied by members should be of a satisfactory quality, including in their
appearance and finish. They should be fit for any purpose for which such goods are
commonly used, and free from minor defects. Members will make sure that consumers
are offered, at no extra cost, a guarantee against manufacturing faults in any goods
supplied. This guarantee should be in line with any conditions set out in the product
certification schemes described in section 2.3 above.
Members will also make sure that consumers are offered, at no extra cost,
a guarantee against any faults as a result of the installation process and
workmanship applied. This guarantee should be in line with any conditions set out
in the relevant MCS installer standard described in section 2.3 above. In the event
that the installer falls into receivership, administration, or bankruptcy during
the term of the installer's guarantee, there need to be arrangements in place to
ensure that the guarantee will be honoured. One way of doing this would be for the
consumer to buy an insurance-backed guarantee linked to the Deposit and Advance
Payment Insurance Scheme described in section 6.3 above.
Members may offer consumers a guarantee that the output of the system will not fall
by more than a certain amount from the predicted level. (For example, the guarantee
could say that 'output should be no less than 80% of the predicted output over a
year'.) If they do so, members must make clear what the conditions of the guarantee
If members offer consumers any extended guarantees or additional warranties, members
must tell consumers that these are optional, and set out clearly who is offering
it, what the extra costs are, and the main benefits.
If a fault develops at any time, then the consumer is entitled to certain remedies
by law. Details of these are set out in the relevant acts, including the Sale of
Goods Act 1979, the Sale of Goods and Services Act 1982 and Sale and Supply of Goods
to Consumers 2002. If a fault is confirmed within the guarantee period, the consumer
is entitled to additional protection. In the event of a fault developing, the member
will offer the consumer a range of remedies, including to:
- correct the fault on site, if this is practical and in line with the guarantee offered;
- provide replacement or extra equipment to restore the system to its original condition
and make good any alterations that have been made;
- pay a refund that is at least equal to the full value of that part of the system
that is faulty. (Members are encouraged to offer higher refunds than the strict
minimum to recognise the inconvenience to the consumer.)
Members must not seek to limit the consumer's legal entitlements in the event of
a fault developing, for example by disguising the availability of a number of remedies.
8.2 Fuel supplies
For any energy generators that use fuel (such as a biomass boiler), the supplier
is not normally responsible for the ongoing supply of fuel, unless this is covered
in the contract (in which case 8.3 below would apply).
Members supplying these systems should give the consumer specific details of the
fuel properties, and the likely fuel usage, and instructions for delivery and storage.
They should make sure that enough fuel will be available and, if asked, give details
of possible fuel suppliers.
8.3 Maintenance and service agreements
Members may offer ongoing maintenance and service agreements to consumers, as well
as providing fuel or other goods. The conditions of any agreement must be clearly
set out in line with the relevant parts of sections 4, 5 and 6 above, and they must
explain the cancellation procedure.
Charges for these services must be reasonable in relation to the cost of the original
contract. Members must tell consumers what these charges are likely to be before
the contract is agreed.
8.4 Service and repair
This section applies to work carried out to existing energy generators, whether
under guarantee or otherwise.
Members must agree charges and conditions with the consumer before any work is carried
out. All work should be set out in a written quote before it is carried out, in
line with section 5.4 above. If repair work is being carried out by some-one other
than the installer, this person should offer a separate guarantee for the repair
work. Members should not charge consumers for remedies or repairs that would be
likely to be considered by the Courts as reasonable in the light of faulty services.
Members must make clear to the consumer before the contract is signed if there is
any requirement for regular servicing. In case of a change of ownership of the property,
any regular servicing arrangements must be transferable to the new owner.
9 In case of problems
9.1 Consumer complaints procedure
The expertise of members together with the high standards of service set out in
this Code should ensure that the overwhelming majority of to the energy generators
supplied and installed under the scheme are free from manufacturing or installation
faults. Occasionally, however, problems can and do occur.
This scheme has been set up with the intention of providing a means of complaint
resolution that should be cheaper, faster and more effective than court action.
Nothing in this Code prevents the consumer from seeking a legal remedy to their
complaint, if they consider this to be the more appropriate action.
If a consumer wants to complain about the standard of service they have received,
or about any other aspect of the contract, they should use the following procedure:
- the consumer must tell the member he or she agreed the contract with about any complaint
they have as soon as possible, and no later than three months, after they have
first noticed the problem;
- as soon as reasonably possible after receiving the complaint, and at most within
20 working days from receiving the complaint, the member will arrange to inspect
- where a consumer is without heating or hot water as a result of the situation that
has led to the complaint, the member will arrange to inspect the system within 24
hours of receiving the complaint;
- the member will consider the details of the complaint and report the findings clearly
to the consumer within seven working days from this inspection (if there is a possible
safety issue arising from the complaint, the member will report back as a matter
- the member will try to find an agreed course of action to resolve the complaint
speedily and effectively to the consumer's satisfaction;
- if the consumer is not satisfied with the remedy offered by the member, they may
notify the scheme administrator using this
pdf complaint form or
- the scheme administrator will log the complaint and acknowledge receipt of the notification
within three days;
- the scheme administrator will contact the member to request a report on the situation;
- the scheme administrator will request the member to explain how they intend to resolve
the complaint speedily and effectively;
- if a complaint cannot be sorted out through the above procedure, the member or consumer
can use the conciliation service set out in section 9.2, below;
- members will not take action through the courts without first trying to solve the
problem through the conciliation service, except in the way expressly set out in
The consumer may use a consumer representative or observer to help deal with a complaint.
In this case, members must co-operate fully with this person. In the event that
the complaint is of a technical nature the scheme administrator will seek the consumer's
consent for the details to be shared with the relevant MCS certification body and
the relevant trading standards department.
9.2 Conciliation service
The scheme offers a conciliation service that can be used in the unlikely event
of complaints not being sorted out amicably between the two sides. This service
aims to reach a non-legal solution to the dispute in a reasonable timescale. It
is also available to trading standards departments, consumer advice centres, citizens'
advice bureau and similar organisations to help them sort out any complaints involving
a member. There is no extra charge for using this service. Members will always agree
to use it if a consumer wants to do so. The conciliation process will work as follows:
- anyone wanting to use the service will enter the details of the matter on the conciliation form
(they should then send the form to the scheme administrator;
- members should arrange for someone to help vulnerable consumers to fill in the form);
- within seven working days the scheme administrator will inform the other people
identified in the form as being involved in the dispute;
- those people will send any relevant information to the scheme administrator as soon
as possible, but in any event within 10 working days;
- the scheme administrator will appoint a suitably-qualified independent expert (or
experts) to consider the matter (this person may or may not be linked to the panel);
- the independent expert will review the written evidence in the light of the consumer
protection legislation in force, and may discuss the details and possible solutions
with the people involved;
- if convenient for both parties, a face-to-face or 'proximity' mediation process
will be arranged;
- after considering all the evidence, either written or from the mediation session,
the expert will recommend what he or she believes to be a fair and workable resolution
of the complaint;
- both sides will do their best to comply with the conciliator's recommendations which
will be put into practice and the complaint closed without recourse to any further
- if the conciliator's advice is not acceptable to either side, they must explain
why to the scheme administrator.
9.3 Independent arbitration
In exceptional cases in which the conciliator's advice is not acceptable, either
side has the right to ask for the matter to be referred to the independent arbitration
service. Neither side is required to refer the dispute to independent arbitration,
and may choose to deal with the matter in other ways, including taking legal action.
However, if the consumer requests that the matter be referred for arbitration, the
member must accede to the request.
The scheme administrator will appoint a suitably-trained independent expert (the
'independent arbitrator') to carry out the arbitration process. The arbitration
process will work as follows:
- if possible, both sides should first have gone through the conciliation service
(as described in section 9.2, above), though this is not an absolute requirement
of the arbitration scheme;
- if a dispute is referred to the independent arbitrator, both will pay
an initial fee equivalent to the County Court Fee (this fee will be refunded to
the consumer if the independent arbitrator finds in his or her favour, or recommends
- the forms and other documents, including a summary report, from the conciliation
process will be sent to the independent arbitrator;
- the independent arbitrator will give both sides the opportunity to provide evidence
to back up their case and decide whether a site visit or product tests are required,
and how they will be funded;
- any further costs will be explained to both sides and divided between them, as the
independent arbitrator may decide;
- after considering all the evidence, the independent arbitrator will send the decision
to both sides and the scheme administrator.
An award made under the independent arbitration service shall be final and binding
on both the consumer and the member. They may only challenge it only on certain
limited grounds under the Arbitration Act 1996. If the arbitrator makes a decision
in favour of the consumer, the member must refund the fee in addition to any award
that may be made.
9.4 Disciplinary procedures
Members have given a legal undertaking on joining the scheme that they will follow
If any member is suspected of not following the Code, the panel will investigate
the matter quickly and fairly. The panel may appoint a subcommittee (the 'Non-compliance
Panel') to monitor cases. At least half of the members of the subcommittee will
be independent, as will the chair. The panel may arrange a special meeting of the
non-compliance panel in cases where it appears that a member has not complied with
an aspect of the Code.
The procedure for handling cases where members are suspected of not having complied
with the Code is as follows.
- Evidence that a member has broken the Code may come from:
- complaints from consumers;
- an analysis of conciliation and arbitration outcomes;
- the results of compliance monitoring, customer satisfaction or mystery shopping;
- information provided by us or the scheme administrator.
- The Non-compliance Panel will investigate the case within 20 working days of the
scheme administrator being told about it.
- The Non-compliance Panel will recommend the action to be taken according to (d)
to (h) below, and tell both sides and the scheme administrator.
- The Non-compliance Panel will tell both sides if the Code has not been broken.
- If there has been a minor incident, the Non-compliance Panel will give the member
advice on how to put right any fault and prevent it from happening again.
- If there is a more serious incident, the Non-compliance Panel will take the action
described in (e) above and issue a written warning.
- A severe incident, or three or more written warnings (the third being a final warning),
may lead to suspension of membership of the Code. In these cases, the Non-compliance
Panel will tell the company what they must do to restore their membership within
a certain timeframe.
- If the member is required to be re-audited, the member will be expected to pay a
reasonable fee for this that will cover the costs of the auditor's time.
- Should the organisation's membership be restored in this way, the Non-compliance
Panel will closely monitor the future behaviour of the company for a given period
known as 'the probation period'.
- In extreme cases, including cases of gross misconduct, of persistently failing to
follow the Code and to sort out any problems, of taking any action that would damage
the scheme's reputation, of failing to pay the membership fee within a reasonable
time of being invoiced or of making a false declaration on joining the scheme, members
may be expelled from the scheme.
If the member is not satisfied with the outcome of these proceedings, the member
may appeal against the decision. The panel will appoint an independent expert to
hear the appeal. Members who decide to appeal against a decision will have to pay
a fee, which will be refunded if the appeal is upheld.A member that is suspended
from the Scheme will still be expected to participate in the conciliation and arbitration
processes if the dispute was pre-existing and had been notified to the scheme administrator.
Where an organisation ceases to be a member, the organisation will immediately:
- stop describing themselves as being a member of the scheme;
- stop using the REAL Assurance Scheme logo; and
- not hold themselves out in any way as being connected with the scheme.
9.5 Completing the contract
In cases where contracts are not completed, for example because the member has gone
into receivership, administration or bankruptcy, the consumer may contact the scheme
administrator to ask for the remaining work to be completed. The arrangements for
refunding any deposit or advance payment to the consumer are set out in section
In these cases, the scheme administrator will contact the member or official receiver
to find out the facts. If it is confirmed that the consumer needs help to complete
the contract, the scheme administrator will work out the design status, the availability
of the goods needed, and the funds and goods available from any deposit or advance
payment made by the consumer in line with section 6.3 above.
The scheme administrator will then use its best efforts to find another member who
is prepared to complete the contract, if possible under the conditions of the previous
contract or, if not, under any other conditions that may be agreed with the consumer.
If possible, the scheme administrator will put forward another member within 20
working days of being informed.
10 Monitoring performance
The scheme administrator will assess how effective the Code is in delivering higher
standards to consumers. The scheme administrator will carry out the following monitoring
and auditing measures, and report the results to the panel:
- assess feedback from consumers obtained through consumer satisfaction surveys;
- analyse cases it is aware of in which members have not kept to the Code;
- carry out regular audit compliance checks of members' performance;
- analysis of conciliation and arbitration cases; and
- carry out 'mystery shopping' exercises to judge members' performance.
The scheme administrator will publish the results of this monitoring in an annual
report, which it will make available to members, the Office of Fair Trading and
other relevant organisations, and also publish it on the website. The report will
include plans for improving consumer satisfaction levels and the contents of the
Code. The panel will then consider them and take any appropriate action.
A Glossary and definitions
This document uses the following definitions.
Any form of representation including oral representations made in connection with
a trade or business in order to promote the supply or transfer of goods and services.
Such representations could include those made during or after the sale.
An organisation or individual working on behalf of a member of the REAL Assurance
Manufacturing, performance, testing and other technical standards or engineering
Codes related to supplying, installing, testing or using renewable or small-scale
heat and power generators, referred to in this Code or forming part of the Microgeneration
Certification Scheme procedures.
The independent organisation described in D7 appointed by the scheme administrator
to carry out independent arbitration as defined below.
An independent means of binding complaint resolution that is cheaper, faster and
more effective than court action
The Renewable Energy Association
Nominated employees who are trained in using the Code and authorised to sign on
behalf of a member any quote, commissioning record or other document.
The Consumer Code set out in this document, together with any sections, which refer
to the Code in the handbooks shown in attachment C4.
A service that aims to reach a non-legal solution to a dispute within a reasonable
timescale free of charge.
The scheme's conciliation service described in section 9.2 above.
An order accepted by a member for supplying or installing a renewable or small-scale
heat and power generator to a consumer, as defined below.
A private person who seeks to buy or lease goods or services from a business or
Individuals who are in the paid employment of a company who is a member of the REAL
energy source or convertor
A particular type of renewable or small-scale heat and power generator such as solar
heating, wind power or biomass (wood) boilers.
Any renewable or low carbon small-scale heat and power generator, at the consumer's
premises. (This may include systems mounted on the roof or the structure of a building,
or those mounted nearby within the consumer's grounds.)
Equipment or hardware forming part of a renewable or low carbon small-scale heat
or power generator.
Guidance for members or consumers provided from time to time by the scheme administrator.
The independent arbitration procedure described in section 9.3.
An organisation or person installing a renewable or low carbon small-scale heat
and power generator in or at the property of a consumer, as defined above.
The MCS installer standard set up to show that listed installers have the ability
and expertise to fit, test and commission renewable and small-scale heat and power
generators to the standard set out in relevant government programs.
The document given to a company to confirm they have been accepted onto the scheme,
showing any specific technologies or energy sources covered.
The scheme's listed mark, shown on the cover sheet of this document, which must
be used by companies who are members of the scheme.
Any registered member of the scheme.
The panel appointed to monitor the development of the Code, at least half of whose
members, including the chair, will be independent of the industry.
An item of hardware forming part of a renewable or low carbon small-scale heat or
The MCS product standards that exist to make sure that products are suitable to
be installed as renewable or low carbon small-scale heat and power generators, as
required by relevant government programs.
The premises where the renewable or low carbon small-scale heat and power generator
has been or will be installed.
The REAL Assurance Scheme as described in section 2.2.
Renewable Energy Assurance Limited, the organisation we have appointed to run the
The internet site, www.realassurance.org.uk,
where details of the scheme, including the Code, are published.
B Types of renewable energy sources or convertors
This Code covers the following renewable energy sources. (The Code also covers low
carbon small-scale heat and power generators and fuel cells, even where their energy
source is not renewable.)
air-source heat pumps
Systems which collect heat from the surrounding air and feed it into the heating
system of the property.
Fuels produced by crops, plants and trees, in particular logs, wood pellets and
chips. Even though carbon dioxide is released when they are used, they are considered
to be renewable sources because the plants take this carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
Heat generation using biomass fuels, for example, in wood- or pellet-burning stoves
or biomass boilers.
combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (electricity) production using biomass or fossil fuels.
Systems of the size typically used for domestic or small-scale generation are sometimes
referred to as 'micro-CHP'. Units that run on fossil fuels, normally natural gas,
are not classed as renewable.
A cell that produces energy in the form of electricity and heat as long as fuel
is supplied. The fuel is typically a gas, like hydrogen, which may be from a renewable
or a non-renewable source. (Fuel cells are not currently available for use in domestic
ground-source heat pumps
Systems which collect heat from the coils buried in the ground and feed it into
the property's heating system.
Power from the flow of water, for example, in a river, canal or weir, usually collected
by a water turbine. Systems with a capacity of less than 100 kilowatts (the size
typically used for small-scale generation) are sometimes referred to as 'micro-hydro'.
Very small systems with a capacity of less than five kilowatts are also known as
Power produced from solar cells that convert light into direct current (DC) electricity,
which is usually then converted to standard alternate current (AC) power and fed
into the property's distribution system.
solar water heating
Collecting heat from the sun's rays, usually using solar panels in which water is
heated and then circulated to the domestic hot-water system through a heat exchanger.
Power from the wind collected by using a wind turbine, usually involving 'propeller'
blades rotating about a horizontal axis (but some designs use other turbine designs
or a vertical axis). Systems of the size typically used for domestic or small-scale
generation are sometimes referred to as 'micro-wind'.
There are many other renewable energy sources, including wave and tidal power, and
energy from landfill and other biogas sources. Because these sources are not normally
used for small-scale heat and power generators, they are not part of this Code.
C References to other relevant documents.
Most of these documents are available on the website (www.realassurance.org.uk).
They will be updated from time to time. Those marked with an asterisk are being
developed and will be placed on the website as soon as they have been finalised.
C1 Guidance on using the REAL Assurance Scheme logo and other marks*
C2 Guidance on presenting performance predictions*
C3 Guidance on Feed-in Tariffs
C4 Guidance to help consumers choose renewable and low carbon small-scale heat
and power generators http://www.realassurance.org.uk/consumers
C5 Guidance on protection of deposits and advance payments
C6 Model contract
C7 Training on consumer protection legislation
C8 Guidance on the Deposit and Advance Payment Insurance Scheme*
C9 Guidance on MCS installer certification
C10 Guidance on MCS product certification
C11 The laws, guidance and codes that apply
Arbitration Act 1996
British Code of Advertising and Sales Promotion
Business Names Act 1980
Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work Regulations
Companies Act 1980
Consumer Protection Act 1987
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('CPRs').
Data Protection Act 1998
Direct Selling Association Consumer Code
Enterprise Act 2000 (and all the legislation covered by it)
Misrepresentation Act 1967
Ofcom Consumer Code
PhonePayPlus Consumer Code
Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002
Sale of Goods Act 1979
Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
Trade Descriptions Act 1968
Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999
(More details on these Acts and Regulations can be obtained from Consumer Direct:
C12 Details of cooling off periods required in relevant legislation
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) 2000 Regulations (as amended) and E-Commerce
Regulations 2002 - for goods purchased by telephone, mail order, fax, digital
TV, the Internet, consumers have the unconditional right to cancel an order seven
working days after receipt of the goods.
Consumer Protection (Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place
of Work) Regulations 2008 - consumers who enter into a contract away from
business premises have a right to cancel the contract within seven days. In the
case of doorstep selling, members who fail to give the consumer written notice that
they can cancel the contract may be committing a criminal offence.
D Contact details and links to other organisations
The scheme sponsor
Renewable Energy Association
91 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8RT
Tel: 020 7981 0850
Fax: 020 7925 2715
The scheme administrator
Renewable Energy Assurance Limited
91 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8RT
Tel: 020 7981 0850
Fax: 020 7925 2715
Consumer protection organisations and agencies
4th Floor, Artillery House,
London SW1P 1RT
Tel: 020 7799 7900
Fax: 020 7799 7901
Trading Standards Institute
1 Sylvan Court, Sylvan Way,
Southfields Business Park,
Basildon, Essex SS15 6TH
Tel: 0845 608 9428
Fax: 0845 608 9425
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:
Office of Fair Trading
2-6 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JX
Tel: 08457 22 44 99
Fax: 0207 211 8800
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)
London SW1P 3GE
Tel: 020 7901 7000
Fax: 020 7901 7066
Advertising Standards Authority
Mid City Place
71 High Holborn
London WC1V 6QT
Tel: 020 7492 2222
Office of Communications (Ofcom)
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 2NQ
Tel: 020 7981 3000
Fax: 020 7981 3333
Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street
London SE1 9HA
Tel: 020 7940 7474
Fax: 020 7940 7456
Tel: 08454 04 05 06
Energy, buildings and technical expert organisations
British Standards Institution
British Standards House
389 Chiswick High Road
London W4 4AL
Tel: 020 8996 9000
Fax: 020 8996 7001
The Carbon Trust
PO Box 89
Tel: 0800 085 2005
Fax: 020 7170 7020
Energy Saving Trust
21 Dartmouth Street
London SW1H 9BP
Tel: 020 7222 0101
Fax: 020 7654 2460
Other industry associations
London, SW1P 1DH
Phone: 020 7901 3000
Fax: 020 7901 3001
37-41 Old Queen Street
London SW1H 9JA
Phone: 020 7393 2752
Energy Networks Association
18 Stanhope Place
London W2 2HH
Phone: 020 7706 5100
Energy Retail Association
1 Hobhouse Court
London SW1Y 4HH
MCS Accreditor and Licensee
UK Accreditation Scheme (UKAS)
21-47 High Street,
Middlesex. TW13 4UN
Tel: 020 8917 8400
Fax: 020 8917 8500
10 Fenchurch Street
London EC3M 3BE
Tel: 020 7090 1000
Accredited MCS Installer Certification Bodies
(Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland only)
The Innovation Centre, NI Science Park
Tel: 0808 141 2020
Building Research Establishment
Watford WD25 9XX
Tel: 01923 664000
CORGI Services Ltd
1 Elmwood, Chineham Park
Crockford Lane, Basingstoke,
Tel: 0800 915 0480
Mansfield Business Centre
Tel: 0845 634 9043
Orchard Business Centre
Tel: 0845 6345626
4th Floor, Mill 3
Pleasley Vale Business Park
Notts NG19 8LR
Tel: 0845 543 0330
Fax: 0845 543 0332
Houghton Hall Park
Tel: 0870 013 0382
Fax: 01582 539090
E Our responsibilities
As the scheme sponsor, Renewable Energy Association (REA) has developed this
Code to help our members achieve high standards and to give consumers peace of mind
when purchasing renewable energy products.
We agree to monitor the Code (either ourselves or through the scheme administrator
or panel members) and to update it regularly to reflect appropriate business practice.
We will also make sure that our members agree to follow the conditions of the
Code. The scheme administrator will publish a list of all scheme members, together
with their membership status, on the website located at
http://www.realassurance.org.uk. We will not allow an organisation who has
not been accepted as our member, but who has agreed to follow the Code, to become
a scheme member. (We will consider naming any such companies on the website.)
We and the scheme administrator will provide the facilities described in sections
8 and 9, above, for the benefit of members and consumers.
Neither we nor the scheme administrator are a party to any contract covered
by this Code. Other than providing the services described in the Code, we cannot
accept responsibility for the performance of members or non-members in meeting the
conditions of a contract. Except as explicitly set out in this Code we, the scheme
administrator or the scheme panel shall have no other obligation, duty or liability
whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise. We shall not be liable to you in contract
tort or otherwise for any direct loss or loss of revenue, business, contracts, anticipated
savings, profits or any indirect or consequential loss however arising. If you have
any concerns about this Code then please tell us using the attached feedback form.
We recommend that consumers take great care in deciding which energy generator
to purchase, and who will install it. (We have set out further guidance for consumers
on what to look for, available on the website at
http://www.realassurance.org.uk.) The scheme administrator would welcome
reports of unusually good or bad experiences with purchasing and installing renewable
or small-scale heat and power generators, as described in this Code.