What exactly is the Microgeneration Certification Scheme?
You will see across the site that we recommend installing microgeneration products that have the MCS stamp of approval. This is an eligibility requirement both for the Government Feed-in Tariff (FiTs) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI – launching in Spring 2014), but what actually is it?
MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme and this is an internationally recognised quality assurance scheme fully supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The MCS certifies products that produce electricity and heat from renewable resources.
It ensures that any microgeneration or renewable products you install (e.g. solar PV) have gone through a comprehensive assessment ensuring that they are built to a sufficient quality, they perform at an optimal level and they operate safely.
The MCS allows consumers to easily recognise good quality products and be sure that the performance promised by the manufacturer is what you might expect in reality.
MCS certifies electricity generating products up to 50 kW, CHP products up to 50kW and renewable heating products of up to 45kW.
MCS also covers Installers
Apart from using products that have the MCS stamp of approval, you also need to ensure that MCS approved installers have installed them. Making sure you use installers that are MCS qualified will help ensure you receive the money you are entitled to under the Feed-in Tarff, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment and any of the other renewable energy grants.
What Microgeneration products fall under the MCS?
The following renewable products fall under MCS quality assurance mechanism:
- Solar heating collectors (up to 45kW)
- Solar photovoltaic panels (up to 50kW)
- Heat pumps (up to 45 kW)
- Biomass boilers (up to 45 kW)
- CHP boilers (50 kW for electricity & 45 kW for heating)
- Micro Hydroelectric systems (up to 50 kW)
At present, the only other scheme that can be considered equivalent to the MCS is the CEN Solar Keymark Scheme, however this only covers solar heating collectors and it does not cover their installation (e.g. you will need to get the product installed by a MCS certified installer to ensure you are eligible for Government grants and subsidies).
How do I find an MCS accredited Installer
Before you begin your search to find an MCS accredited installer, make sure you understand everything you need to know about the renewable technology that you are trying to install. For ideas on renewable solutions please see our self generation section.
When you have acquired the knowledge in the technology, it is the right time to find an MCS approved supplier. If you go onto the Microgeneration Certification search functionality and find yourself 3 installers. It is important to get quotes so you get the best price for your work.
You will then get the products installed by the MCS approved installer. Once this is complete you should then receive your MCS approved certificate. If you click on the Feed-in Tariff page you will see what you need to do to start claiming your FiT payments.