The row over installers going unpaid for work done under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme escalated today (30 June), with Futureproof managing director Adam Mitchell saying that boilers could be taken back.

The Futureproof network, launched in October last year, enables installers to make the most of the Green Deal and ECO. Mr Mitchell recently revealed that installers had not been paid for “thousands” of boilers fitted under the ECO – in many cases up to six months ago.

He said the decision by Ministers to extend the deadline for hitting ECO targets had resulted in energy companies ceasing to pass 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, Mr 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 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.”