09 October 2023
MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) has today published the outcome of their latest consultation. Following strong support, it unveils plans for the future development of the scheme which is set to transform the small-scale renewables sector.
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 has 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 will take ownership of complaints and dispute management for the sector. Importantly, they’ll move to place safeguarding consumers at the heart of the scheme, MCS will launch an industry first project, proactively contacting every consumer with an MCS certified installation to measure satisfaction.
MCS CEO, Ian Rippin, said, “I want to sincerely thank all those that have contributed to the proposed changes to MCS. I have personally read every response and value all of the feedback we have received. I’m pleased to see that the majority of our proposals were endorsed, and we have started work to move forward with these. Some proposals won’t be taken forward as the sector has made it clear they don’t fully address the challenges we had highlighted in the consultation, but we will now work to find different solutions to better address these issues.
“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.