Certification bodies associated with Solar Thermal Systems
The main UK quality assurance scheme for low-carbon and renewable energy technologies is the DECC-supported Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). It is through MCS that solar thermal systems must be registered in order to be eligible for RHI payments and the RHPP. Your installer should help you with this process.
It is therefore essential to ensure that your solar thermal installer/supplier is accredited by an MCS-appointed certification body. MCS-accredited companies must conform to rigorous quality and safety standards and meet Office of Fair Trading (OFT) requirements. They should also offer you a written estimate of the likely energy output of the installation.
All renewable energy products are examined by certification bodies against MCS manufacturing and testing standards. The MCS also has an industry Code of Practice and can investigate complaints on behalf of consumers.
For more information, visit the MCS website:
Reputable renewable energy installation companies should also be a member of Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL). Membership of REAL indicates that a company has signed up to its Office of Fair Trading-approved Consumer Code, which ensures high service standards before, during and after the installation of renewable energy technology. Members of REAL will not, for example, employ any ‘hard sell‘
sales techniques to induce a quick decision. Any sub-contractors engaged by installation companies must also comply with REAL codes of practice.
Details of the code of practice and a list of REAL scheme member companies can be found on their website:
REAL is a subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), a not-for-profit trade association which promotes renewable energy technology use. Visit their website at http://www.r-e-a.net/
Many UK solar energy manufacturers, suppliers and installers are members of the Solar Trade Association (STA). Affiliated with the REA, the STA works closely with the DECC on many policy areas, including: FiT/RHI schemes, planning permission, and installer accreditation.
Visit the STA website at http://www.solar-trade.org.uk/