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Sat April 04 2020

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Scottish quality scheme for green energy installers

24 Jun 11 A new certification body has been set up in Scotland to combat green energy cowboys.

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing presents father and son Graham and Jamie Miller of West Coast Electrical with their MCS certificate
Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing presents father and son Graham and Jamie Miller of West Coast Electrical with their MCS certificate

Scots planning to install green energy technology in their home or office can now make sure they choose a properly qualified local installer that is registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

The Construction Licensing Executive (CLE) will be responsible for administering the quality assurance scheme.

As an increasing number of households and businesses install microgeneration technologies to save money and ‘go green’, the new scheme is designed to give reassure consumers that the job will be done properly.

Focusing especially on Scottish electrical, heating and plumbing companies, CLE has been funded by the Scottish government. The MCS is designed to enable installation companies to demonstrate to customers their competence to install green energy products including micro wind turbines, biofuel systems and heat pumps. Companies certified under the scheme must demonstrate they have the quality systems and technical competence to install microgeneration technologies to a consistently high standard.

Any household or business looking to take advantage of clean energy cashback schemes such as feed-in tariffs or the recently announced renewable heat incentive will have to make sure the microgeneration products and installers they use are approved to the new MCS standard in order to qualify.

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The Scottish government sees the installation of micro-renewables as a key component for meeting the legally binding target to reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by 42% from 1990 levels by 2020. Wider use of the technology will also have a significant role to play in meeting the Scottish government’s separate target that 100% of Scotland’s electricity needs should be met by renewable sources by 2020.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing presented certificates to the first two Scottish companies to achieve MCS certification. These are Dundee-based plumbing firm John Clarkson, which successfully achieved certification to install solar thermal products, and Strontian-based electricians West Coast Electrical, which can now demonstrate its competence to install micro wind turbines under the scheme.

Commenting on the scheme’s launch, Mr. Ewing said: “With the introduction of the Feed-In Tariff and the forthcoming renewable heat incentive, there has never been a better time to invest in micro-renewables. Financial support for green energy technologies is available through the Scottish government’s home renewables loans schemes and it is crucial that we have a robust and skilled industry that is ready to meet demand and that builds a reputation based on competence, quality and consumer protection. The Microgeneration Certification Scheme, delivered by CLE, will give Scottish consumers an exceptionally high standard of installation and contribute to building a thriving low carbon economy for Scotland.”

The Scottish Building Federation is one of five trade associations in Scotland approved by the CLE to act as a licensing scheme operator. SBF Chief Executive Michael Levack said: “SBF has been campaigning long and hard to encourage the installation of carbon-saving technologies into many more Scottish homes and offices to make them greener and more energy efficient.

“CLE Scotland does really valuable work to improve our industry’s reputation for doing work to a consistently high standard. Schemes such as these are also an important tool for exposing the rogue traders who fail to meet the high standards our customers rightfully expect. Hopefully, this scheme will encourage more households and businesses to have installed the technologies we need to green our built environment.”

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