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Futureproof boss says installers could start ‘removing boilers’ over unpaid bills

Published on June 30th 2014

The row over installers going unpaid for work done under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme escalated today (June 30) with a leading industry figure saying boilers could be taken back.

Last week, Adam Mitchell, the Managing Director of Futureproof, revealed that installers had not been paid for “thousands” of boilers fitted under the ECO – in many cases up to six months ago.

Mitchell said installers are being punished for the “good faith” they placed in the Government’s much vaunted carbon reduction initiative.

He said the decision by Ministers to extend the deadline for hitting ECO targets had resulted in energy companies stopping passing funding down to Green Deal Providers who, in turn, told installers their funding had run out.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) responded to Futureproof’s revelations, saying: “It is unacceptable that some installers are not being paid promptly for their services – but contractual arrangements are a commercial matter between the parties concerned.”

Today, Mitchell said he was “astonished” by the complacency of Ministers in failing to take action to protect installers.

Mitchell said: “It is astonishing that Ministers are happy to pass the buck to others and say the problem lies in commercial contracts installers have with providers.

“This problem has been going on for six months and the situation shows no sign of changing. Unless Ministers get a grip of the problem, and quickly, there is every chance that the ECO scheme will be best remembered for putting hundreds of installers out of business.

“Boilers and other ECO products fitted by installers – and not paid for – are technically still owned by the installers which means they are within their rights to demand that they are returned by consumers.

“It means we could end up with a situation where installers start knocking on the doors of some of the most vulnerable people in society asking for access to remove their boiler.

“I made it clear last week that Futureproof is happy to work with the Government to find a solution to the problem, but rather than pick up the phone and start a constructive conversation, it seems Ministers would prefer to pass the buck to others.”

The Futureproof network, launched in October last year, enables installers to make the most of the Green Deal and ECO. By joining the Futureproof network, installers can take advantage of many benefits, including PAS 2030 certification; Cloud workflow management system, national trade supplier network for materials and lead generation.