MCS Certification is a quality and safety scheme that is recognised internationally. Renewable energy technologies such as solar PV and solar thermal panels require certification. In the UK, most people opt for MCS-certified solar panels installed by MCS solar installers.

An MCS certification provides a warranty for the enhanced safety and high quality of renewable energy products. Solar panels are a huge investment, and choosing the wrong product wastes money. The same goes for solar installers, who might do the wrong job.

Installers with MCS certification will ensure their quality and excellence of work.

The below guide talks about the importance of MCS certification and how an installer can get MCS certified. It also contains names of the different Certification Bodies that will conduct the assessment for the certification.

Key Takeaways

  • MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certification is crucial for both renewable energy technologies and installers in the UK, offering quality assurance and reliability.
  • Microgeneration technologies, such as solar panels and heat pumps, are essential for reducing carbon footprints and energy bills in homes and offices.
  • Customers prefer MCS-certified installers for their assured quality service, consumer protection, access to financial incentives, and high competency standards.

What Is MCS?

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is a microgeneration technologies scheme that offers quality assurance. The MCS Service Company Ltd. operates under the trading name MCS.

Technologies that MCS has accredited are of the highest standards both in terms of efficiency and safety.

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) provides the MCS certification. However, it is independent of the government.

The MCS certification is not just for technologies but for installers as well. Whether you are an installation agency or a professional installer, the MCS certification provides proof of your competence. It signifies their reliability and will provide the customers with peace of mind.

What Does It Mean By Microgeneration Technologies?

Solar Panel InstallationMicrogeneration technologies are those renewable energy systems that work on a small scale. They are used for generating electricity or heat in a house or an office. These systems are used as an alternative to traditional grids or even alongside them.

Microgeneration technologies include micro hydro, micro-wind, solar panels, micro CHP, biomass boilers, and heat pumps. These technologies are installed in houses that do not completely rely on the grid or off-grid.

People have been understanding the importance of microgeneration technologies and using them to achieve a low carbon footprint. It helps reduce their energy bills and has an overall environment-friendly impact.

What Are The Products That Require Certification By MCS?

The MCS certification covers three microgeneration technologies. They are equipment for heat-generating, electricity-generating, or co-generating (both electricity and heat). Some examples of such products are –

  • Solar photovoltaic cells
  • Biomass
  • Small wind turbines
  • Heat pumps
  • Solar thermal

Why Do Installers Need MCS Certification?

Several PV installers are opting for MCS certification to enter the UK market. Users can get several financial incentives for installing products with MCS certification. Hence, more people are looking for products and installers with MCS certification.

The certification offers protection and guarantees warranty, safety, etc., to the end-user.

Why Would Customers Choose MCS Certified Installers?

In the UK, customers are more prone to choosing MCS-certified installers than their local uncertified installers. If you are considering the benefits of MCS certification for your business growth, below are some reasons.

Assured Quality Service

MCS certification provides quality assurance, and customers know the installation will be under the MCS warranty. However, this is only possible if they hire the services of an MCS-certified installer. Having an MCS certification assures the customer of your service quality.

Consumer Protection

MCS focuses on providing ample protection to its consumers. Each installer certified by MCS has to follow consumer protection standards. Hence, consumers can take action against the installer if needed. They can register complaints that will be addressed promptly.

That is the reason consumers feel comfortable using MCS-certified installers.

Quality Products

Solar Panel InstallerIf the customer chooses MCS-certified installers, they know the products will also be certified. That means they would receive quality products along with quality service. These products will have warranty coverage and must adhere to the MCS Standards.

The products that the customers choose will function for a long time. Similarly, the installation job will be good, and the customers will not have to worry about faulty work.

High Competency

MCS-certified installers have to meet competency standards to get the certification. Therefore, customers know that the individuals coming for the product installation are good at their work.

The competency standard requires individuals to showcase their skills and performance in their selected field. Hence, there will be no question of poor quality work or unsafe installations.

What Do You Need To Become an MCS Certified Installer?

The MCS certification is only offered to users who have the below-mentioned elements.

Workmanship Standards

The assessment of MCS installers is done against certain specific standards and the MCS 001 Standard. This will be done for the technology the installer has applied to be certified. A certification board will assess whether your renewable technology installation procedure follows the MCS standards.

The assessment will further be based on the company’s policies and an inspection of their installation site. The agency itself can nominate this installation site. Your choice of Certification Body will guide you in this process.

Please note that there are multiple Certification Bodies, each with prices and timescale for the assessment. Talking to a few Certification Bodies before making the final choice is always better.

Customer Care Standards

Before finishing the MCS assessment, you will need a consumer code approved by a Trading Standards Institute (TSI). You can join the Home Insulation & Energy Systems Quality Assured Contractors Scheme (HIES) or the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC).

Being a member of either of these schemes will ensure that you will diligently follow the consumer protection standards of the Consumer Code. It provides importance to the interests of the consumer and offers self-regulation.

The Consumer Code offers principles for exceptional customer service and optimum protection. It is not just an obligation to the consumer law, but higher standards show the importance of consumers for the installer.

Competency Standards

Each company member will have to showcase their competence to ensure they follow the scheme’s requirements. This goes for the individuals working in different sectors, such as installation, supply, and design.

Each of the workmen associated with the microgeneration system will have to provide proof of their competence.

MCS has detailed competency criteria that focus on the requirements to be fulfilled to certify for the scheme. A company must follow this competency guidance to ensure they succeed in getting the certification.

Management System Standards

MCS Approved InstallerA Quality Management System (QMS) is essential for getting the MCS certification. The certification body will require documented systems and procedures to ensure that your company has followed every Standard requirement.

MCS also offers templates for QMS to help installers document the process in terms of the MCS Standard. It is not mandatory to use the templates, but it can make the work easier for you.

Installers that use another QMS can go forward with their system. Using the templates does not guarantee certification since the focus will be on how well the system has been maintained and completed.

The Certification Bodies for MCS Installers

Certification Bodies are third-party organisations that carry out the MCS certification assessment. These Certification Bodies are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). They can assess the installers and products to see if they match the MCS Standards.

If the Certification Body is not UK-based, it must be certified by an organisation equivalent to UKAS and be part of the Multiparty Lateral Agreement (MLA).

Installers who want to be MCS certified must contact one of the Certification Bodies mentioned below for their assessment. These Certification Bodies are –

  • APHC Certification Ltd. – Solar Thermal, Biomass, Heat Pumps
  • Certsure LLP t/a NICEIC – Micro CHP, Wind Turbines, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Heat Pumps, Solar PV
  • Napit Certification Ltd. – Micro CHP, Wind Turbines, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Heat Pumps, Solar PV
  • Certsure LLP t/a ELECSA – Micro CHP, Wind Turbines, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Heat Pumps, Solar PV
  • Hetas – Solar Thermal, Biomass
  • OFTEC – Solar Thermal, Biomass, Heat Pumps

Each of the Certification Bodies has its official website. You can contact any of these organisations to take your assessment for the MCS certification. If you want, you can contact multiple organisations and see which ones suit you the best.

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Summing Up

MCS accreditation is among the highest certifications for microgeneration technologies in the UK. Installers with this certification will have the chance to grow their business and receive more consumers.

The company’s name would be listed in the MCS database so that customers could see it as a choice when searching for certified and reputed installers. Companies need to go through multiple assessment stages to get this certification. These assessments are done by reputable Certification Boards as listed in the guide.

Installers having MCS certification will need to adhere to the guidelines provided by MCS.

About the Author

Solar Panels Network stands at the forefront of solar energy solutions, driven by a team of seasoned solar engineers and energy consultants. With over decades of experience in delivering high-quality solar installations and maintenance, we are committed to promoting sustainable energy through customer-centric, tailored solutions. Our articles reflect this commitment, crafted collaboratively by experts to provide accurate, up-to-date insights into solar technology, ensuring our readers are well-informed and empowered in their solar energy decisions.