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Office of Fair Trading to probe insulation market

Watchdog to investigate consumer complaints and allegations of anti-competitive behaviour ahead of the Green Deal

The Office of Fair Trading will investigate the £700m home insulation market ahead of the launched of the government’s Green Deal.

The OfT is concerned about the high number of consumer complaints. Last year Consumer Direct, a government-backed advice service, received almost 3,000 complaints about solid and cavity wall insulation.

It is also concerned that deals between businesses can mean competitors cannot buy as much insulation as they want which restricts the supply to consumers.

The OfT has been working with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to ensure the markets for energy efficiency products work properly when the Green Deal  is launched.

The watchdog will also monitor compliance with the law across the home insulation sector.

Those wishing to submit evidence are requested to do so before 2 May. The OfT wants to publish the findings in July.

Nisha Arora, director in the OFT’s services, infrastructure and public markets group, said: “The government’s proposed Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation policies are likely to increase the take-up of energy-efficiency measures, so it is important that we examine the home insulation market now to ensure that it is working well for consumers.”

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