MCS: What Does it Mean?

If you’ve spent any time researching renewable energy options online, you’ve probably come across the acronym ‘MCS’.
  • Posted by Emily Jade
  • 4 min read (588 words)
  • Last updated 02 Nov, 2023

MCS: What does it mean?

If you’ve spent any time researching solar panels, solar PV or any other renewable energy options online, you’ve probably come across the acronym ‘MCS’.

What is MCS?

MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

MCS certification is an internationally recognised quality and safety scheme for small-scale renewable energy technologies. This includes solar PV and solar thermal panels.

It’s a quality mark: MCS membership demonstrates adherence to recognised industry standards, highlighting quality, competency and compliance.

What does MCS mean for me?

Choosing an MCS certified installer gives you peace of mind.

Prior to MCS, the domestic renewables market was somewhat unregulated, and customers had little protection – relying solely on the legal system.

Since 2008, MCS has been ensuring compliance with UK safety and quality standards.

MCS now oversees all installation aspects, including:

  • Warranties
  • Consumer Rights
  • Workmanship
  • Contracts
  • Products

Choosing an MCS member as your solar PV installer can make it significantly easier to get a SEG (Smart Export Guarantee) tariff. The SEG is a UK government policy which requires energy suppliers to pay customers for any electricity they generate from renewable sources and export to the grid.

For a solar PV installation to be MCS certified, it must meet the following criteria:

  • The installation must be performed by an MCS certified company
  • All products used in the installation must be MCS certified

What standards do Solar installers have to adhere to?

In order for an installer to become MCS approved, they are required to pass various tests. The key requirements for installers of solar PV are:

  • Capability of designing, installing, commissioning and hand-over of solar systems
  • Providing technical information to customers prior to installation, including performance estimates and product data sheets
  • Complying with all relevant consumer and electrical legislation
  • Ensuring that the building meets local and safety regulations
  • Completing thorough and up-to-date risk assessments
  • Following Manufacturers’ instructions
  • Ensuring the solar array is easy to maintain and safe

In addition to this, all products used in the installation must also meet regulations, including:

  • Components must be built in compliance with the latest IET Code of Practice for Grid-Connected Solar PV Systems
  • Solar panels must be MCS certified
  • All components of the solar installation must be fit for purpose

Are HeatElectric a MCS certified installer?

YES - HeatElectric’s MCS registration number is NAP-61821.

Do I need MCS certification if my supplier is Octopus?

The Octopus website states (as at November 2023) that "Your renewable technology must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or equivalent."

This means that you can either have an MCS certified installation, or provide evidence that your installation meets MCS standards.

To simplify the process and ensure compliance, the most straightforward approach is to have your installation carried out by an MCS accredited company.

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