When choosing an installer for Solar PV, its worth finding out if your installer is MCS accredited.
Some of the benefits to choosing an MCS accredited installer:
- You can claim for the smart export guarantee
- You will have a specialist that is an experienced competent installer
- You will have consumer protection insurance
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a government obligation for larger suppliers to offer an export tariff that pays customers for excess electricity that they send back to the grid from renewable technologies such as solar panels. It ensures that small-scale generators are paid for the renewable electricity they export to the grid. The SEG replaced the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme which ended on 1 April 2019.
What does MCS accredited mean?
MCS or Microgeneration Certification Scheme is a mark of quality that relates to microgeneration technologies. Both the products installed and the installers themselves, can have MCS accreditation. Technology which has MCS accreditation has been approved as meeting these high standards and will operate both safely and efficiently. The MCS is certified by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Using a MCS certified installer ensures that equipment meets good standards of performance and that installers are technically safe and competent. MCS accredited PV installers have relevant experience and is competent in the specialist areas required to install Solar PV. These are invaluable skills when it comes to PV installation. There are processes involved with installing Solar PV, that only a specialist would know how to manage (such as applications to the District Network Operator). MCS carry out rigorous assessments as well as a comprehensive annual audit.
UKAS accredited Certification Bodies certify installers that demonstrate the competence required to fulfil MCS Standards. This is done on an ongoing basis and they undergo annual surveillance visits in order to retain their membership.
Going with a MCS accredited installer means choosing the highest quality of service. Members are approved and audited to ensure this is maintained.
When it comes to Consumer Protection Insurance there are various options an installer can use. This might include insurers that offer:
- No excesses
- Fully transferable
- Up to 25% of deposits protected
- Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
If MCS have approved the installers choice of insurer, you are in safer hands.
Deposit Protection Insurance and Insurance Backed Guarantees are required as part of MCS standards. Deposit Protection Insurance provides protection against the loss of the customers deposit payment, where the contractor has collected the deposit payment but has ceased to trade. Insurance Backed Guarantees are where the customer has cover against any defects in the workmanship or defective materials installed as part of the Solar PV.
As well as offering deposit protection and Insurance Back Guarantees, MCS accredited installers are required to be member of a consumer code.
Consumer Codes are organisations that promote consumer interests, by setting out the principles of effective customer service and protection.
Your MCS Installer’s membership of a Consumer Code, means that they need to go above and beyond minimum consumer law obligations, as the Codes set a higher standard of consumer service delivery and protection.
By displaying the RECC logo, Tethys Energy signal we have agreed to abide by the high standards set out in the Consumer Code, following the consumer journey from start to finish, and in the Bye-Laws. Both the Code and the Bye-Laws dovetail with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installer standards.
MCS advise to make a decision based on three quotes. Trust your instincts and go with a good value quote with an installer you feel you can trust. Before you sign any contract you should have received a performance assessment specific to your property.
As well as MCS accreditation Tethys are a 4.9* Which? Trusted Trader – an endorsement scheme which recognises reputable traders in the home improvement and motor industries. This scheme is an extra method of vetting, through an initial period of checking that Which? carry out, followed up by detailed customer reviews listed within the Which Trusted Trader site and ongoing checks. Which? do more than just check references and qualifications. Every business that applies is interviewed by an experienced trading standards professional, to make sure that they meet their standards. A team of moderators use a range of resources to then make sure that the reviews meet the user-generated content terms and conditions.
For more information about the SEG see Ofgems Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) | Ofgem