Government announces plant to expand certification scheme following a trial project run by the BRE

The government has announced the expansion of a quality mark scheme for green energy products, such as solar PV, biomass and micro wind, and their installers.

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) builds upon a two-year pilot run by the BRE. 450 installers and 30 product manufacturers took part in the trial. Now the government wants to open the scheme up to a wider pool of certification bodies beyond the BRE.

The Department for Business and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) set the scheme up to underpin its Low Carbon Buildings programme. Successful applicants for the fund will need to use both products and an installer certified under the MCS.

“Other initiatives, such as the proposed stamp duty land tax relief for new zero carbon homes, are also likely to use MCS in the future,” the scheme web site adds.

Concurrently, the government announced it was also looking for a new administrator for the scheme as a two-year contract with the BRE ends next month.

Energy minister, Malcolm Wicks, said the scheme was important to help consumers live a greener life: “Households, businesses and communities can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions by generating their own electricity or heat from renewable energy sources. It is important that [they] can rely on the MCS to oversee this is (sic) being done responsibly.”

E.ON’s head of innovation, Charles Bradshaw-Smith, added that widening the process would reap cost dividends: “Opening up the scheme … should not only help reduce costs for installers and manufactures, but ensure a right balance between delivering standards to protect consumers and helping the industry meet the costs of robust certification.

“We look forward to certification agents and Competent Persons Schemes offering one stop shops for installers and manufacturers and reducing barriers in the microgeneration sector.”