GOGLA Consumer Protection Code

GOGLA is leading the initiative to develop a Consumer Protection Code for the off-grid solar sector with the aim of safeguarding impacts and respecting rights of consumers. The Code establishes the de facto industry standard for consumer protection that adds value to off-grid solar companies, investors and other stakeholders.

GOGLA Consumer Protection Code of Conduct

The Consumer Protection Code consists of a set of principles and an assessment framework to enable companies to measure, demonstrate and improve their practices, and provide investors and other stakeholders with a framework to promote good practice. The Principles represent the minimum standards of practice consumers should expect from an off-grid solar company.

Call to Action

GOGLA believes that widespread industry action on consumer protection is required to accelerate market growth and mitigate sector risks. We encourage off-grid solar companies to commit to the Principles, and for investors and other stakeholders to endorse the Principles.

Making a commitment or endorsement to the consumer protection principles is a significant step, but only the start of enhancing the standard of consumer protection in the industry. GOGLA is leading a process to develop a measurement framework to enable in-depth and systematic company assessments, due for completion in early 2019.

Principles

The Principles are the minimum standards of practice consumers should expect from an off-grid solar provider.

The Consumer Protection Principles have been defined by GOGLA’s Sustainability Working Group with contributions from companies, investors and other stakeholders.

transparency Transparency

  • Providers share clear and sufficient information on the product, service, payment plan and personal data privacy practices to enable consumers to make informed decisions.
  • Providers share relevant and timely information before, during and after sales.
  • Providers communicate in a language and manner consumers can understand.

responsible sales and pricing Responsible sales and pricing

  • Providers take adequate care to ensure consumers can afford to pay for the product and / or service without becoming overburdened.
  • Providers ensure consumers' characteristics are taken into account in the price, payment structure and fees of the product and / or service.

good consumer service Good consumer service

  • Providers ensure availability of technical and after-sales service support, including warranty and post-warranty service for a reasonable period of time.
  • An accessible, effective and timely mechanism for complaints and problem resolution is in place.
  • Providers instruct consumers on proper use and care, and any health and safety risks, related to the product usage or disposal.
  • Providers consider measures to enable continued operability of the product in the event of the failure of the company.

good product quality Good product quality

  • Providers ensure the product / system is appropriate, good quality, safe and performs as advertised.
  • Providers ensure the user interface / payment platform is appropriate for consumers.
  • Providers take reasonable measures to ensure product longevity (including ease of operation and maintenance, repairability and durability).

data privacy Data privacy

  • Providers apply good practices and comply with relevant laws and regulations governing consumer data privacy.
  • Providers ensure that consumers consent to the collection, use, retention and sharing of personal information.
  • Providers only collect, use, retain and share personal information that is necessary for the stated consumer service and business needs.
  • Providers ensure consumer data is kept secure and confidential.

fair and respectful treatment Fair and respectful treatment

  • Providers ensure fair and respectful treatment of current and prospective consumers, with adequate safeguards in place against corruption and abusive treatment.
  • Providers promote inclusive practices and do not discriminate, for example, by gender, religion or ethnicity.
  • Providers seek consumers’ views and feedback on the design and delivery of the product, service and payment plan.