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Renewable Energy Consumer Code encourages Code Sponsors to join national approval scheme

Posted 24/03/17

Businesses are being urged to join one of the UK’s most robust and trusted consumer codes of practice schemes after the total amount it protects topped £50 billion per year. 

The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) is a growing family of sector-specific consumer codes, each sponsored by an industry body and vetted by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI). 

The scheme differs from many peer-review sites because those trading under it have made a public pledge to go above and beyond consumer law. 

For example, all businesses operating under the scheme must engage in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which allows customers to assert their rights without the expense of going to court. 

The scheme is especially popular with businesses concerned with big-ticket household items, such as cars and double glazing and even housing itself, with specific codes for tenants and home owners.   

CTSI is always ready to welcome more codes of practice to the scheme and is urging trade associations and similar bodies that are committed to reducing consumer detriment to come forward.   

The Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) operates a code aimed to guarantee a high quality experience for consumers wishing to buy or lease small-scale energy generation systems for their homes. 

The Renewable Energy Consumer Code logo is a sign that the contracting and installing company has agreed to abide by the high standards set out in the Consumer Code.RECC members are businesses that sell or lease small-scale renewable, low carbon heat, or power generation units and have agreed to comply with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code. 

The Code dovetails with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), an important quality assurance mechanism that certifies installers and products in the sector, a requirement for consumers if they want to claim the Government incentives around renewable energy. 

Virginia Graham, CEO of RECC said: "RECC is approved by CTSI who took over responsibility for CCAS from the Office of Fair Trading in April 2013. RECC was first approved in 2007. We bring our years of experience in the renewables sector to promote high standards of protection for consumers; and simultaneously to promote the reputation of our members and the wider sector.

"In 2016 RECC received back a number of Customer Satisfaction Surveys. The results show that the majority of consumers who provided feedback were positive about their experience with RECC members. 80% of consumers rated their overall experience as 5/5 or 4/5 indicating they were very satisfied or satisfied." 

Adrian Simpson, CTSI’s consumer codes and business education expert, said: “It can be difficult for consumers to find a trustworthy trader that they can rely on. 

“But CCAS members are committed to delivering high levels of customer satisfaction and engaging in dispute resolution, in the unlikely event something does go wrong. 

“The scheme also helps businesses stand out from their competition by allowing them to display the codes approval logo, a clear message to consumers that they are a trader to be trusted.” 

CCAS has more than 40,000 businesses operating under 24 codes of practice covering sectors as varied as carpets, cars and new home warranties. Some of the sponsors include The Motor Ombudsman, Bosch Car Service, RAC, The Property Ombudsman and the Institute of Professional Willwriters. 

It was launched by CTSI in 2013 as part of a wider government review of consumer legislation and replaced a scheme operated by the defunct Office of Fair Trading.                                                                                                                 

For more information about current code sponsors visit https://www.tradingstandards.uk/commercial-services/code-sponsors 

To become a code sponsor visit https://www.tradingstandards.uk/commercial-services/approval-and-accreditation/the-consumer-codes-approval-scheme



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