Battery storage added to the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, to promote consumer protection
• Battery storage deployment set to increase in the renewables sector.
• Renewable Energy Consumer Code, the UK’s longest established Code in the sector, is leading the way in protecting consumers.
• The Code covers within its scope battery storage systems and other products typically sold alongside solar panels.
Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) has today announced that its long-established Consumer Code extends to battery storage systems and other ‘related’ products typically sold alongside solar panels. RECC has registered increased interest in these products from its members, and also, regrettably, a rise in complaints citing mis-selling.
RECC was instrumental in setting consumer protection standards before the introduction of the Feed-In Tariffs, and at its height had 5,500 members.
By following the Code, installers can be confident that they are providing consumers with all the requisite information they need before concluding a sale. Consumers are strongly encouraged to check with their installer, whether they are RECC members, before purchasing a battery storage system. This way, they can be confident that they know what they are buying, and should not have any nasty surprises.
Although there are currently no Government financial incentives for consumer battery storage systems or other related products, RECC encourages all installers to sign up to its Code so that consumers can have all the reassurance they need when purchasing these products. This in turn will give installers credibility when marketing to potential customers as by following the Code regulations you will give consumers peace of mind.
The Code links directly with RECC’s Batteries and Solar Power: Guidance for domestic and small commercial consumers, launched a year ago with BRE National Solar Centre, and available on RECC’s website for free. It also links directly with its installer guidance which supplements the technical guidance drafted by BRE and IET.
RECC is working with some major players in the sector, including manufacturers, suppliers and distributors, to assist them with ensuring that their equipment is properly sold to consumers, thus maintaining the reputation of this industry as it grows. In this way, RECC aims to ensure that only reputable installers approach consumers with offers of battery storage and other ‘related’ products.
Virginia Graham, Chief Executive at REAL said: ‘We think this is a major step forward for consumer protection in this important emerging sector. We know that there is already mis-selling and confusion among consumers, and we are aiming to ensure that this is avoided going forward.’
Dudley Moor-Radford, Managing Director at Moixa Energy Holdings Ltd said: ‘We are very impressed by RECC’s expansion of the Consumer Code to support residential storage. We approached RECC with a view to helping us develop our framework for selling batteries into the domestic sector and have been working closely with them to define our customer charter. As a consequence of RECC’s work, we are confident that we are providing the right communications and commitments to customers, both directly and via our service partners.’
Richard Molloy, Business Development Manager for Energy Storage at Eaton Electric Ltd, said: ‘We believe it is critical to ensure high standards are maintained in the fledgling home energy storage market in order to promote safe installation practices coupled with responsible sales and marketing activities. We fully support RECC in this initiative and we welcome a scheme which helps eliminate rogue installers whilst fostering the growth of a responsible and professional industry.‘
Dr Christian Jardine, Technical Director at Joju Ltd said: ‘We know that batteries are going to be a major energy technology in the coming years. However, in the present policy environment there is only a marginal financial and carbon case for them, and technically the products are complex. With a downturn in the solar market, installers are turning their attention to batteries instead, often aggressively so. It’s a recipe for mis-selling, unfortunately, so we welcome RECC’s guidance wholeheartedly. Maintaining consumer confidence in the short-term will be vital to the long-term success of this market.’
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Notes to editors
• RECC sets out high consumer protection standards for businesses selling and installing small-scale renewable energy generators for domestic consumers. RECC is the largest CTSI approved consumer code within the industry and covers a range of technologies. More information about RECC can be found at https://www.recc.org.uk/
• RECC is administered by Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL), which has been working with a range of partners since 2010 to deliver certification schemes for green gas, bio fertiliser, compost, and compostable packaging. REAL ensures that a range of sector participants are complying with the relevant standards, whether EU, UK or GB-wide, relevant to the products and services they produce. More information about REAL can be found at http://www.renewableenergyassurance.org.uk/
• REAL is a subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Association which is the largest renewable energy and energy storage trade association in the UK.
• Related products are defined as any product supplied which will be connected or linked to the Energy Generator in any way, and includes: battery storage units, voltage optimisers, immersion boosts, remote monitoring devices and others.
• RECC’s Guidance for Domestic and Small Commercial Consumers can be found here http://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/nsc/Documents%20Library/NSC%20Publications/88166-BRE_Solar-Consumer-Guide-A4-12pp-JAN16.pdf
• RECC’s Guidance for Installers can be found here https://www.recc.org.uk/pdf/guidance-on-battery-storage.pdf
• The IET’s technical guidance can be found here, http://www.theiet.org/resources/standards/eesstb.cfm