MCS announces plans for future redevelopment

Ian Rippin, MCS’ CEO,

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) has unveiled its plans for the future development of the scheme which is set to “transform the small-scale renewables sector”, according to a statement.

The six-week consultation proposing the redevelopment of the scheme ran from 5 June until 17 July and received hundreds of responses from across the sector. Over 50% of the respondents were installers of renewable energy and heating technologies. MCS have shared a summary of the responses to the scheme consultation and highlighted how this has impacted future plans.

Since the consultation closed, MCS has been working to collate and review feedback to inform and help finalise proposals to redevelop the scheme.

The majority of proposals gained support from respondents across the low-carbon sector including; restructuring the scheme to place consumer protection at its heart, simplification of scheme documents to make MCS more accessible to contractors, refining MCS Installation Standards to become solely technical requirements and removing the mandatory requirement to purchase insurance-backed guarantees (IBGs).

There will be a fundamental shift in how contractors are assessed to gain and maintain MCS certification. MCS will determine how often each contractor is assessed based on a number of indicators of risk. These assessments will, in future, focus on the delivered quality of systems as installed, rather than the quality of back-office paperwork as seen historically.

Other welcomed proposals included those suggesting MCS take a more active, centralised role in dealing with contractors, consumers and complaints. MCS has said it will take ownership of complaints and dispute management for the sector.

Ian Rippin, MCS’ CEO, said: “This process is a first major step forward in the redevelopment of the MCS scheme. When I became CEO five years ago, I pledged to make the scheme stronger, simpler and fairer.

“This redevelopment will be critical in enabling the growth needed in the low-carbon technology sector, making MCS fit for the future and giving people confidence in home-grown energy.”

With strong industry support, MCS will now proceed with the development of the new scheme, Standards and associated documents and processes. These will be published before the end of 2023. Then, following a period of transition the redeveloped scheme will launch in summer 2024.

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