MCS Certificate for Solar Panels: What, Why and How?

MCS certified solar installer

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 certified installer to fit solar panels that are similarly accredited by the scheme. If you're wondering "what is an MCS certificate" and why it’s important, we'll walk you through the basics and benefits.

However, if you're in the market for solar panels and are in search of an installer you can trust, our handy tool is the best way to do so. While ordinarily, it can take hours or days to seek out and vet installers in your region, we quickly and easily find you the best ones. You can view up to 4 different quotes from trusted engineers and choose the best price for you. Click the button below to get started.

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What is an MCS certificate?

MCSMCS, 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).



Do you need an MCS certificate for solar panels?

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 and installers

Benefits MCS installers

When installing solar panels, you should ensure that the technology and the installation company are MCS accredited. There are a number of important 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 safer 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. A solar MCS certificate also makes sure that the company installs a system that achieves the highest levels of energy efficiency and performance.

Consumer protection

MCS installers 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 certification is a guarantee that the solar installer and solar panels meet the highest standards. This will allow you to get the most from your solar system for many years to come.

Financial incentive schemes availability

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 cut down on the solar panel UK costs and earn a quicker return on your investment in solar.

If you are eligible for any of the following schemes, you will need to find an installer that you trust. This can be a laborious process that takes hours or even days of research. However, our handy service can save you time and offer you the best prices from thoroughly vetted solar panel installers on our network. Click the button below to receive up to 4 quotes from accredited installers.

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MCS is essential for these financial incentives

MCS grants solar panels

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 in exchange for the surplus 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 your solar panels generate. Energy suppliers set their own prices so it's worth comparing them.

Compare Smart Export Guarantee Tariffs.

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund

Despite being primarily aimed at heating, there are provisions with the SHDF that can help with solar panel installation. Mainly aimed at improving the EPC rating of homes, this particular fund can help with efficiency upgrades that create a more sustainable way of living.

The fund directly aids in installing better insulation, upgrading heating systems, or using renewable energy sources like solar panels. The fund is free of charge but only applies to social housing in certain areas.

Renewable Heat Incentive

Closed since March 2022.

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 successfully made it onto the scheme before March 2019, you'll continue receiving FiT payments until the end of your contract.

How do you get an MCS certificate for your solar panels?

How do you get an MCS certificate

The process of MCS accreditation requires that an installation meets certain requirements. Firstly, it needs to be commissioned by an MCS certified installer and include an MCS certified product. Additionally, the commissioning date must be after 15th July 2009. To qualify for the certificate, all 3 conditions must be met.

Certified installers are required to issue the certificate to the customer directly within 10 days of the commissioning of the system. You can also verify the existence of a certificate by using the MCS helpdesk by referencing the address and technology type. In the event that your installer is no longer MCS certified or no longer working, MCS can issue a certificate themselves (though this will incur an administrative fee).

For any issues involving your MCS certificate (retrieving a copy, amending information, inquiring about documentation, etc.), you should contact your original installer.

Free quotes from MCS certified solar installers

At Solar Guide, we have a network of fully-qualified and thoroughly vetted MCS solar installers from all over the UK. By completing our simple online form, you can get free, non-binding quotes from up to 4 companies in your area. It couldn't be simpler.

Comparing quotes from at least 4 installers will help you find the right person for the job and save countless hours of research. Plus, you'll increase your chances of getting a competitive price. All you have to do is answer a few questions and we can easily find the engineers in your area. Click the button below to get started.

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How to get an MCS certificate?

Your installer can provide you with one. Certified installers are required to issue the certificate to the customer directly within 10 days of the commissioning of the system. This is possible as long as the installation meets certain criteria.

How do you check if my installer is MCS certified?

You can call the MCS helpdesk and inquire about the MCS certifications of an installer. If your original installer is not certified or is no longer operating as an installer, MCS can issue you a certificate (if you meet certain requirements).

Can you install solar panels without MCS?

Yes, you can. While MCS is not mandatory for installations, it does carry certain benefits.

Is MCS a government company?

No. MCS is an independent organization. However, MCS installations are essential to receiving certain government benefits.

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