There are different bodies in the UK who act as regulators for the solar industry. If you are a solar installer then you will need to be registered with one or more of the regulating bodies. For solar photovoltaic installations it is essential that you have an MCS accreditation. From the perspective of a potential customer looking for a solar installation company you need an installer that is registered under the microgeneration certification scheme otherwise you will not be eligible for the feed-in tariff grants.
The MCS certification scheme was set up in order to provide certification and accreditation to solar photovoltaic system installers and to solar photovoltaic equipment. It is an EN45011 certification scheme that once certified gives access to the feed-in tariff grants for microgenerators.
In order to become an MCS installation company you will first need to be a member of the REAL assurance scheme. As an installer who is MCS accredited you will be able to provide your customers with an MCS certificate to show that the installation has been registered on the MCS database. This will enable the customer to claim the governments feed-in tariff payments.
This scheme was set up by the Renewable Energy Association in order to create a body that could provide consumers with confidence in their members as competent renewable energy installers. The Renewable Energy Assurance scheme is backed by the office of fair trading.
Installers need to first become a REAL member before they can register under the MCS scheme. By joining this scheme the installer is agreeing to abide by the consumer code and follow the consumer code and best practices.
Among other remits NICEIC can provide training to gain MCS registration. You can also join to become an approved contractor. This is a non-profit organisation that acts as an independent regulator rather than being a trade organisation. As a NICEIC approved contractor you are showing that you meet their standards.
As a consumer looking for an electrical contractor choosing one that is registered with the NICEIC means that you will be getting an electrician that works to high standards with the priority on safety. Look for the NICEIC logo and registered members are listed on their site.
NAPIT are also a body that represents professions such as electricians and microgeneration installers. In a similar way to the other bodies they offer a quality benchmark that both professionals and consumers can recognise. A work guarantee scheme is offered to members as well as advice and training.
Look for the NAPIT logo on the installer's website or literature. Using a NAPIT affiliated member provides a quality assurance guarantee.
A solar installer will need to be a registered at the very least with both the Renewable Energy Assurance Scheme and the micorgeneration certification scheme. This is to ensure that the solar photovoltaic system that the company installs can be certified and registered with the MCS and therefore claim the solar power grants through the feed-in tariffs.
In general being accredited gives the customer reassurance that they are using a certified and professional company. Accreditation shows that as an installer you are qualified to do the job safely and correctly and that any work undertaken has some level of guarantee or warranty under schemes such as NICEIC and NAPIT.
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