Thousands of energy customers had their free insulation installations cancelled at the last minute after the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme came to an end. Were you affected by the cancellations?
Over the past six months we’ve had more than 80 Which? members contact us to complain that they signed up for free insulation that was cancelled at the last minute.
Billy’s experience with a cancelled insulation installation is a typical example:
‘I arranged for free loft insulation and, after four weeks of clearing out my attic, the company cancelled the day before it was due to come. I was absolutely furious – I had done so much work and had a written agreement. I think that entering into a contract and then cancelling it is wrong, especially when it’s done the night before.’
The members who got in touch had signed up for free insulation under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (Cert) scheme, but had their appointments unexpectedly cancelled when the scheme ended.
Under Cert, energy companies were legally obliged to promote energy efficiency measures to households, including insulation, to reduce CO2 emissions.
More than 34,000 households had their free insulation cancelled late last year, according to the Insulation Industry Forum. Problems arose as companies booked in too many free insulation offers in a rush to ﬁll their Cert quotas before the December deadline.
Let down by the Cert scheme
The scheme was set up by the government, monitored by the regulator Ofgem, and run by the energy companies, who then got insulation companies to install the measures.
Some have told us that their insulation company cancelled, others that it was their energy company, and some say that their local authority failed to do the job. John told us about his experience:
‘I contacted my energy company about the free insulation scheme and got a letter stating that cavity wall insulation would be done in December. The installation did not take place and when I rang up I was told it was cancelled. I didn’t get a clear idea of who cancelled and why, but was fobbed off. I was quite angry and said that at the least if the installation was cancelled someone should have the courtesy to let me know.’
We think it’s unfair that customers have been let down by this scheme and haven’t been able to get the insulation they were promised. That’s why we will push the government to make sure that this doesn’t happen again when the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme ends in 2015.
Thank you to everyone who has already sent us their story. We want others to share their experiences – have you managed to get your free insulation? If so, how did you do it?