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Got a feed-in tariff complaint? You may need this guide!

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 February 2012 at 7:53 am

I know from the number of questions we get about it, that working out who's responsible for what in the feed-in tariff isn't always easy. DECC (the department for energy and climate change) obviously realises it too. As part of it's latest consultation it's asking for feedback on an 8 page leaflet outlining dispute resolution processes for microgenerators.

Yes, you read that right. It's 8 pages long. But then there's all the energy companies, Ofgem, MCS, REAL, MCS certification bodies, the Energy Ombudsman, the Central FIT register, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Gemserve, manufacturers, distributors, installers and last, but not least, DECC itself on the list of people you might want to complain to.

I'm tired just thinking about it. It's no wonder we often get questions asking us who to complain to.

The leaflet is being consulted on, so if you want to comment you can download it here. The closing date is 26 April 2012. If you can't be bothered, here's a summary:

Complaints about your feed-in tariff supplier (energy company that pays you the FIT)

1. Direct to the energy company
2. If you do not have a satisfactory outcome after 8 weeks you can to to the Energy Ombudsman (domestic customers & micro businesses only).

If your complaint is about your entry on the Central FIT Register, your first port of call is your energy supplier.

Complaints about Ofgem

This may be about installations judged not to meet FIT criteria, or being unfairly struck off the FIT Register.

1. Write to the Renewable Generation Manager, Environmental programmes, Ofgem, 9 Millbank, London SW1P 3GE
2. If this doesn't result in a mutually satisfactory outcome, escalate the complaint by writing to Ofgem Complaints, Operations division, at the address above.
3. Then write to the Senior information risk officer at Ofgem.
4. If you're still unhappy contact the Parliamentary ombudsman.

Complaints about the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)

Contact Gemserv by email.

Complaint about an installer

1. Direct to your installer
2. If it is not resolved, contact the certification body that accredited your installer
3. You can escalate the complaint by approaching the REAL Assurance Scheme

If it's about the sales process, you might want to make REAL your first port of call.

Complaint about a product / equipment quality

1. manufacturer or distributor is what the DECC leaflet says - I'd be tempted to start with my installer
2. the certification body for the product, which you'll find on the MCS website

Complaint about FITS policy

Straight to DECC on this one: 3 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2AW.

Which all makes me even more convinced that you should select your installer very carefully. Look at the customer feedback on YouGen. Ask for local references from previous customers. Make sure they are current MCS and REAL members, and check out our guides to how to choose an installer.

Illustration by Dushan Wegner

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Comments

1 comments - read them below or add one

tparnell39

tparnell39Comment left on: 27 February 2012 at 2:05 pm

I think the solar FIT cuts have been to drastic. They should have been tethered off slowly. Do you see the industry recovering? Also other initiatives like electric van grants are done, and others slashed. Electric cars are too expensive and will be years before they will be universally accepted. They should have at least invested in bio fuels rather than fully electric. Then also cutting solar, which I think is more beneficial to the industry.

 Take a look at our blog:

http://www.northernalliance.co.uk/government-solar-fit-cuts-the-hidden-risks/ 

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