A letter from one of our readers, David Farrer

Dear Sirs,

While I believe we are all aware that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) are great schemes for much larger companies since it has swiftly eliminated most of the smaller enterprises, it has yet to be successfully explained why the MCS system is required at all. Certainly nothing like it is required in other areas of industry and as a consequence, the largest number of installers, for example those working independently or in small businesses, are lost to the RHI and the renewables industry in general.

From the MCS website there appears to be a total of 2,339 installers currently registered and this number is declining every month. The unnecessary high cost of joining and remaining in the MCS club, coupled with the intrusive nature of the system and the increased man hours to comply with the paperwork involved, serves only to push the price up to the end user, negating any grant incentive.

All these new schemes only ever appeal to much larger firms who start up and are gone again in a few years, hence the requirement for the installation insurance. Workmanship is often poor, prices high and avenues limited so please explain to me why this ‘incentive’ to encourage the uptake of renewables is being hampered so badly?

There are 8,000 OFTEC registered oil technicians and over 120,000 Gas Safe registered installers, according to their respective web site figures, many of whom, like myself had taken renewables and BPEC qualifications, but there simply isn’t sufficient interest in renewables from customers to make the RHI and MCS worthwhile. The costs remain too high for the payback and the blame for that should, in no small measure, be laid squarely at the doorstep of those who maintain the ludicrous MCS and RHI schemes.

If the UK government is serious about renewables then it needs to open the door to all qualified installers, without barriers, or financial hindrance. So either scrap the RHI and MCS to allow this area of the industry to flourish, or lets stop kidding ourselves that RHI is anything more than an elite club put in place by those with a vested interest in keeping fossil fuel revenues going as long as possible.

Essentially nothing has changed. The majority of installers and small firms are still sidelined from the renewables industry and nobody has listened to the overwhelming evidence and opinion given from those sectors in the last consultation. Of course the main stakeholders wanted to keep the scheme (all to themselves). The whole thing stinks.


David Farrer
David A. Farrer Ltd