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How to complain about your Green Deal energy efficient home improvements

This advice applies to Scotland

Did HELMS (Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Ltd) sell energy efficient home improvements to you?

HELMS are now in liquidation but we believe scammed some of their customers who now face higher energy bills, missing building warrants and other problems. To find out whether you were scammed, check HELMS and Green Deal concerns and complaints

Do you have the Green Deal

Unsure whether you have the Green Deal? Please see our page on Green Deal funding for energy efficient home improvements to find out. You can also use that page to check if you were scammed by a Green Deal provider.

The Green Deal complaints process

You can complain about the Green Deal if:

  • you have an issue with the credit agreement, the payment plan or the warranties - a warranty is a written promise by a company that, if you find a fault in something they have sold you within a certain time, they will repair it or replace it free of charge, this should be part of your paperwork. If you want to read more about warranties please go to our page Claim using a warranty or guarantee
  • you were misled or lied to about the Green Deal costs and savings
  • you were sold inappropriate products for your property and now do not get the benefits you were expecting
  • the standard of work or products were not acceptable.

Step 1 – complain to the Green Deal provider

In the first instance you should complain to your Green Deal provider and try to resolve your dispute with them. You should follow the complaints process of your Green Deal provider.

Did HELMS (Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Ltd) sell energy efficient home improvements to you?

HELMS are now in liquidation but we believe scammed some of their customers who now face higher energy bills, missing building warrants and other problems. To find out whether you were scammed, check HELMS and Green Deal concerns and complaints

Make sure you explain what your particular problem is and what you need done to resolve the issue.

Your Green Deal provider’s contact details should be on your energy performance certificate (EPC) or the contract and paperwork you received from them when the work began. Alternatively your energy supplier will be able to tell you who the Green Deal provider is.

The Green Deal provider should respond to your complaint within 8 weeks. If your Green Deal provider does not respond or does not satisfactorily deal with your issue you can go to step 2. 

If your Green Deal provider no longer exists you can go to step 3. 

Step 2 - get a letter of deadlock

A letter of deadlock says that you and the trader have been unable to agree on a solution to your problem.

If your Green Deal provider does not sort out your problem to your satisfaction, or rejects your complaint or does not respond to you within 8 weeks you can ask them for a letter of deadlock. You should ask for this in writing. We have produced an example letter here [Word 16 kb].

You can use the letter of deadlock to help take your complaint to the next stage - the Ombudsman Services. If your Green Deal provider does not respond to the letter of deadlock request within a reasonable time, you can still take your complaint to the Ombudsman Services.

Step 3 - contact Ombudsman Services

You can contact the ombudsman appointed to deal with Green Deal issues if your provider has not resolved your complaint to your satisfaction, or rejects your complaint or has not responded to you within 8 weeks since you complained.

The ombudsman will try to find a solution to your complaint. This can be a financial or a practical action. For example:

  • writing off your Green Deal liability for the credit
  • offering a partial reduction of your Green Deal
  • offering a settlement figure for you to pay and the Green Deal to be cancelled following receipt of payment
  • to reject your complaint.

If there is an issue with the products such as solar panels or boilers, the resolution may be to fix or replace the items.

You can visit the Ombudsman Services website and use their online complaints form here

You should make sure you include relevant information, such as:

  • your name and address and any personal circumstances that you think are relevant.
  • the name and address of the Green Deal provider the complaint is being made about
  • details of what your complaint is about. Include exactly what the company did or didn’t do that it should or shouldn’t have done
  • explain what you have lost in terms of financial loss, inconvenience or hardship
  • explain what you would like the ombudsman to do to put things right, and details of what you have done so far to try to resolve the complaint
  • include copies of any relevant paperwork (where possible), such as letters, emails, invoices or receipts relating to the Green Deal provider. This would include the letter of deadlock if you have one.

The Ombudsman’s contact details are:

Ombudsman Services Energy
PO Box 966
Warrington
WA4 9DF

Tel: 0330 440 1624
Textphone: 0330 440 1600
Email: enquiries@os-energy.org
Website:  Ombudsman Services website

Step 4 – take your issue to the Secretary of State

If you are still not satisfied with the decision, the Secretary of State for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy is the final recourse.

You can write to them using the following contact details and this example letter [Word 16 kb] if you choose.

Green Deal Team
6th Floor
1 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0ET

Email: gdconsumers@beis.gov.uk

Aggressive sales of Green Deal

Most salespeople conduct themselves appropriately, however there are times when salespeople can be intimidating or misleading with consumers. If you have been contacted by a Green Deal salesperson make sure you take time to read, understand and carry out your own research before agreeing to or signing anything.

In order to research what type of energy efficient measures work for you and your home you can contact Home Energy Scotland a Scottish Government programme which provides free and impartial home energy advice.

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