Installer Directory
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Janet Richardson

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Jan 09, 2024

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Solar panel certification body and associations

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is the main accreditation body for small-scale, low-carbon, and renewable technologies in the UK such as solar PV, biomass, wind turbines, and heat pumps. MCS certifies, quality assures, and provides consumer protection for microgeneration installations and installers. 

An MCS certificate is proof that your installation has been designed, installed & commissioned to the highest standard using only MCS-certified products by an MCS-certified installer.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) which along with two other departments replaced the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is committed to the scheme. However, this group has an advisory role only, it is not a decision-making body. 

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Although an MCS certificate is not a mandatory or legal requirement for system installation it is proof that an installation has been designed, installed & commissioned to the highest standard using only MCS certified products by an MCS certified installer.

Using an MCS-certified installer not only provides consumers with peace of mind but is vital if they want to benefit from the Smart Export Guarantee or any other grants that come up in the future.  The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) enables small-scale low-carbon generators to receive payments from electricity suppliers for electricity exported to the National Grid, providing certain criteria are met.

MCS-accredited companies must conform to rigorous quality and safety standards and meet Office of Fair Trading (OFT) requirements. They should also be able to provide consumers with a written estimate of the likely energy output of a PV installation.

Many insurance companies require MCS for renewable technologies that are installed at a policyholder’s address. MCS cannot be applied retrospectively which may cause problems when consumers wish to insure their homes. 

Also, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has advised that, as a minimum to avoid the risk of a property being ineligible for a mortgage, both new and existing Solar PV installations must be MCS certified.

MCS and product approval

All renewable energy products are examined by certification bodies against MCS manufacturing and testing standards. MCS also has an industry Code of Practice and can investigate complaints on behalf of consumers. For more information, visit the MCS website: http://www.microgenerationcertification.org/

Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC)

RECC sets out stringent consumer protection standards for businesses that are selling or leasing renewable energy generation systems, such as solar PV systems, to domestic consumers.  Reputable, renewable energy installation companies should be members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) as it indicates that a company has signed up to its Office of Fair-Trading approved Consumer Code, which ensures high service standards before, during, and after the installation of renewable energy technology. Members of RECC will not, for example, employ any 'hard sell' sales techniques to induce a quick buying decision. 

Any subcontractors engaged by installation companies must also comply with Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd codes of practice. REAL carries out a range of certification and consumer protection activities all of which promote renewable energy and the circular economy. REAL’s activities fall under three headings: consumer codes, certification schemes, and other schemes. Details of the code of practice and a list of RECC scheme member companies can be found on their website. RECC is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute as part of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme and is also a Trustmark Scheme Operator. By displaying the RECC logo members are agreeing to abide by the high standards set out in the consumer code following the consumer journey from beginning to end and in the Byelaws. Both the Code and the Byelaws fit together with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installer standards.

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Renewable Energy Association

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) is a not-for-profit trade association that champions its members and promotes a future built on renewable energy and clean technology. REAL is a subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Association of which the Renewable Energy Hub is a member. The REA is the UK’s largest renewable energy and clean technology body representing around 500 member companies. Members can benefit from the latest policy updates, the potential to grow their networks at industry-leading events and training courses as well as play a part in the transition to a zero-carbon economy. 

Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd

Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd carries out a range of certification and consumer protection activities all of which promote renewable energy and the circular economy. REAL’s activities fall under three headings: consumer codes, certification schemes, and other schemes.

Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd has since 2006 taken the core consumer protection criteria first developed by the Office of Fair Trading and applied them to the small-scale renewables sector. In this way, Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd both promotes the sector and protects consumers.

Solar Energy UK 

The UK solar industry body adopted a new name in 2021. The Solar Trade Association (STA) became Solar Energy UK. The organisation has represented solar in the UK for over 40 years as the Solar Trade Association, supporting the rise of two solar energy technologies to the mainstream, first solar thermal, and in the latter two decades solar PV. Solar Energy UK represents over 350 member companies working in the UK energy sector and beyond.

Solar Energy UK works on the frontline of technology and system change to deliver net zero emissions. Its research, policy development, and influence shapes policy and regulation and drives market growth.

Solar Energy UK has strong partnerships across the value chain and is working to increase UK solar capacity to 70GW by 2035.

Members benefit from opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement, and access to member-only resources which include a database of local planning guidance, a league table of energy export tariffs and a business profile in Solar Energy UK’s members’ directory. 

 

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