DISCLAIMER: Our partners no longer take appointments for homeowners looking to benefit from the Feed-in Tariff, which is due to end on 31st March 2019
The MCS scheme assesses solar installers and solar panels to provide reassurance for homeowners looking to harness solar energy.
To qualify for the lucrative feed-in tariff scheme you must use an MCS accredited installer.
You can get a free solar panel quote from a local MCS installer by filling in the form above.
MCS Approved Solar Panel Installers
Solar panels are a financial investment so you want to know that the people creating and installing your panels offer a high standard of service. MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) is a sign of quality work. MCS is awarded by an independent body to companies that show consistently high standards of solar panel manufacture and installation.
The MCS scheme assesses and certifies both the solar panels and the people who will install them. Launched in 2008, with the support of the department of Energy and Climate change (DECC), MCS has continued to provide reassurance to thousands of homeowners throughout the solar panel installation process.
How does the MCS accreditation scheme work?
In order for a company to attain MCS status they must apply to one of the number of bodies certified to carry out an MCS assessment by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS). There are many industry and customer set standards that the company must prove they meet before they can be awarded the certificate.
To become an MCS approved installer a company must also be members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC). The RECC is supported by the Trading Standards Institute and has a strict criteria that all their members must meet. To become RECC members companies must undergo online training to learn what is expected of them and must also agree to be continuously monitored to ensure their standards remain high.
Finding an MCS accredited installer
It is very important if you are considering installing solar panels on your home that you find an MCS accredited installer to complete the process. One of the ways to do this is through the Installer Search on the MCS official website. You can find the form here, simply select ‘Solar Photovoltaics’ and enter your postcode. Always look out for the MCS logo on the websites and documents of solar panel installers as only certified installers can use this logo.
Alternatively you can enter your postcode at the top of the page to get a free quote from a local installer. The Eco Experts only work with MCS approved companies who have a proven track record of delivering quality services. The Eco Experts also work with many big brand names who have a comfortable place in the solar panel industry and will likely be around for as long as your solar panels!
Questions to ask your installer
Quality installers will be happy to answer any questions you have as they understand that ‘going Solar’ can be a big decision. Here are some things you should ask your installer before you decide to use their services:
Are you MCS approved?
The first and most important thing to ask any installer is whether they are MCS accredited. If you choose to hire a company without MCS approval, not only will you have no guarantee of quality, but you will also not not qualify for Feed-in Tariff payments.
Will you send someone to assess my house?
The company should never offer you a quote over the phone. They should send out a surveyor who will assess the structure, angle and position of your roof to determine if it is suitable for solar panels. They must then provide you with a performance assessment that is specific to your home.
What size system will I need?
A standard family home should need no more than a 4kW system. We advise having a basic understanding of the best size for your circumstances before meeting with the installer; you can learn more about this here.
How much will installation cost?
Installation costs should be included with the solar panels in one complete quote. We recommend always getting at least three quotes to compare. You can use the form at the top of the page to get a quote from an MCS approved installer in your local area.
How much deposit will I have to pay?
Never pay more than 25% of the quote price as a deposit. If the installer does ask for more than 25% this may be a sign they are a bad installer (more about this below).
Will I receive a handover pack? What will be included?
After installing your solar panels the company should give you a handover pack. This pack will include the MCS certificate needed to apply for the Feed-in Tariff.It will also include operation and maintenance information and your warranty.
Are you part of the PV CYCLE scheme?
Members of the PV CYCLE scheme will ensure that your panels are removed and recycled at the end of their life without charge.
Signs of a bad solar installer
There are many quality solar panel installers in the UK who adhere to high standards with pride. However, as with all sectors there may be those who do not have your best interests in mind. Here are some signs of a bad installer:
Not MCS approved
It cannot be stressed enough how important MCS approval is. Without it you will not qualify for the generous Feed-in payments that the government offers homeowners who produce clean energy through solar panels.
Quote over the phone
As mentioned above, to receive a legitimate quote for solar panel installation, an assessment must be conducted on your house by a qualified surveyor.
A company should never pressure you into signing a contract. Legitimate companies will survey your house, offer you a quote and then give you time to think about it before you sign any contracts. It is a very bad sign if a company offers you a discount for signing on the day.
The company should always offer you their quote in writing so that you are protected against further costs. They should also give you a handover pack at the end of the installation. Check before you agree to a contract that you will receive both of these things.
Outstaying their welcome
The sales person or surveyor should not remain in your house for a long period, after the survey is complete, trying to sell you their product. A quality company will give you their quote and leave to allow you time to consider it. Similarly, the average installation of solar panels should only take one or two days. Be cautious if a company has quoted for many days work or if they take longer than one or two days to complete the work.
Hopefully you will not encounter any of these problems as many solar panel installation companies are well regarded and offer a quality service. However, if you are worried that a company is not working to satisfactory standards please contact us and we will investigate and, if necessary, remove them from our approved list of companies. You can also file a formal complaint with MCS or the the RECC.