Green Deal Quality Mark 'misused' by more than sixty firms
The Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body has had to write to 64 companies that have been using the Green Deal Quality Mark without authorisation.
Of these, 55 have removed or amended the mark, and the ORB says it is working towards ensuring that the nine remaining organisations remove the mark accordingly.
One of the concerns surrounding the government’s flagship retrofit scheme was that rogue traders would use the Green Deal to mis-sell products.
In October last year, 20 industry bodies including the Federation of Master Builders and the Chartered Institute of Building urged the government to tackle the risk of rogue traders.
TrustMark chairman Liz Male told Construction News the industry should not be surprised at the relatively high level of logo misuse in the early months of the scheme, and that TrustMark continues to encounter such issues since its launch in 2006.
“Green Deal was such a highly anticipated initiative, and many firms have felt they must establish themselves in the market as quickly as possible,” she said. “Mistakes will have been made, and it’s not going to all be the fault of rogue traders.”
“Green Deal ORB need to keep the pressure on – policing a logo is a time-consuming tasks, but it’s vitally important for credibility and protecting trust in the brand.”
Green Deals increase:
It emerged this week that 36 Green Deals had been signed so far under the scheme, under which the government aims to have 10,000 deals signed by the end of the year.
The figure refers to “pending” Green Deal plans, which have been signed and installation is under way, but not a single plan has yet been completed.
Assessments have also risen to 44,479 as of the end of June, compared with 30,962 at the end of May.
Meanwhile, a survey produced by the ORB has also found that 80 per cent of market participants are SMEs, allaying some fears that the scheme would disproportionately benefit large companies.
The survey was published in the ORB’s first annual report, which also found 191 instances of non-compliance, including misuse of the Quality Mark, misrepresentation of a company’s role and alleged breaches of the Code of Practice.
A total of 119 of these were resolved at the time of writing, with 72 issues remaining which the ORB is working to resolve.
No sanctions have so far been imposed on Green Deal participants.
The ORB is responsible for commissioning of other organisations to investigate breaches and for implementing redress decisions made by the secretary of state.
Defining an SME as a firm with fewer than 50 employees, the ORB found that 83 per cent of authorised Green Deal installers were SMEs.
This compared with 80 per cent of authorised assessors, 67 per cent of authorised providers and 76 per cent of applicant providers.
The survey was issued in June 2013 to authorised and applicant companies, with 248 responses received – a 16 per cent response rate.
Most market participants were also involved in other activities, with employees spending less than 50 per cent of their time on Green Deal activities.