MCS Certification for Solar: Is it Worth it?
MCS certification is an internationally recognised quality and safety scheme for small-scale renewable energy technologies. This includes solar PV and solar thermal panels.
There are countless benefits to hiring an MCS installer to fit solar panels also accredited by the scheme. We’ll be going through them all in this article.
What is MCS?
MCs, or the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, is a quality assurance scheme for microgeneration technologies. Technology which is MCS accredited has been installed to a high standard and will operate both safely and efficiently. The MCS is certified by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
What are microgeneration technologies?
Microgeneration technologies are small-scale energy generation systems. They produce heat and/or electricity for a home or business premises. Microgeneration systems such as solar panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers can either be used alongside traditional grid supplied energy or as an alternative.
Microgeneration technology has been popular in off-grid homes or homes which have an unreliable connection to the grid for a long time. However, more people are turning to them to reduce energy bills and cut their carbon footprint.
Benefits of MCS accredited solar panels & installers
When installing solar panels, you should ensure that the technology and the installation company are MCS accredited. And there are a number of reasons why…
Mark of product quality
MCS accredited technology has been tested to ensure it meets the necessary quality and safety standards. Installing MCS-certified solar panels will be more efficient, reliable and safe than those without certification from MCS.
Proof of competence
If the installation company is MCS accredited you can be confident that they are competent to install the technology safely. They’ll also make sure that the system achieves the highest levels of energy efficiency and performance.
MCS offer consumer protection which will protect you in the event that:
- You’ve been given misleading information about the scheme or the renewable technology
- The generation system is underperforming
- Information in the contract and the actual service provided don’t match up
If you have a complaint regarding an MCS installer or product, MCS is committed to resolving it fairly and impartially.
Peace of mind
MCS ceritification is a guarantee that the solar installer and solar panels meet the highest standards. This wil allow you to get the most from your solar system for many years to come.
You’ll be eligible for financial incentive schemes
Only solar systems installed to the highest standards are eligible for financial schemes. This means having MCS certified solar panels installed by an MCS accredited installer.
Schemes such as the Smart Export Guarantee (solar PV) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (solar thermal) can help you to earn a quicker return on your investment in solar.
MCS is essential for these financial incentives
In addition to the consumer protection and peace of mind that the MCS scheme provides, it could also enable you to earn money through your solar panels.
Smart Export Guarantee
Once your MCS solar panels are installed, you can earn money for the energy you’re generating through the Smart Export Guarantee. Through the scheme, energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers will pay a set amount for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by your solar panels. Energy suppliers set their own prices so it’s worth comparing them.
Green Homes Grant
To help with the upfront costs of installing solar thermal, you can apply for a Green Homes Grant. Grants of up to £5,000 are available (£10,000 for low income households) to cover up to two-thirds of your investment in solar. As well as solar thermal, the Green Homes Grant can also be used to other renewable heating systems, such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.
The scheme is currently set to run until March 2022.
Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) rewards owners of technology which generates heat for their property through renewable energy. This includes biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps, air-to-water heat pumps and solar thermal panels (solar water heating). The payments are based on a tariff which is adjusted regularly, and payments are made every quarter for 7 years after the technology has been installed.
A note on the Feed-in Tariff
The government's financial incentive schemes for solar PV, the Feed-in Tariff (FiT), closed to new applications in March 2019.
The FiT rewarded owners of solar PV panels for both the electricity they generated and the electricity exported to the grid. For anyone who succesfully made it on to the scheme before March 2019, you’ll continue receiving FiT payments until the end of your contract.
Benefits of solar
Installing solar panels is a great idea for a number of reasons, including:
- Lower your electricity and/or heating bills
- Make your home more environmentally-friendly
- Zero running costs
- Very low maintenance
- Receive payments through the various grants and schemes
- Won’t need to be replaced for up to 25 years
Plus, you can take your benefits even further by installing a solar battery. A solar battery stores excess energy generated by your solar panels rather than sending it to the National Grid. This allows you to continue using solar energy to power your appliances into the night once the sun has set.
Get free quotes from MCS solar installers
At Solar Guide, we have a network of fully-qualified MCS solar installers right across the UK. By completing our simple online form, you can get free no-obligation quotes from up to 3 companies in your area. It couldn’t be simpler.
Comparing quotes from at least 3 MCS installers will help you find the right person for the job. Plus, you’ll increase your chances of getting a competitive price.