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Microgeneration scheme set to expand

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is set to become more flexible as new organisations are encouraged to take on the task of being official certification bodies.

Organisations wanting to become MCS certification providers are being urged to attend an information session organised by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has approved plans to open up the scheme to more certification providers from September as part of efforts to give industry more options when seeking approval for products and services.

It is hoped the operators of Competent Person Schemes and certification providers operating in related sectors will be interested in attending the session on Tuesday August 12.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulator Reform is also looking to appoint a new administrator for the scheme who will work on updating and maintaining standards while working alongside certification bodies to ensure the scheme works as effectively as possible.
The administrator will be barred from being a certification body and will not be paid for undertaking the role.
The deadline for applications to become the administrator is August 29 and application documents can be obtained from Alison Bailey at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, 1 Victoria Street. London SW1H 0ET.
Charles Bradshaw-Smith, head of innovation at E.ON and an industry representative on the MCS Steering Group, welcomed the move: “Opening up the scheme, something which had been a long term aim and is now being realised, should not only help reduce costs for installers and manufacturers, but ensure a right balance between delivering standards to protect consumers and helping the industry to meet the costs of robust certification.

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

MCS was developed to give consumers more confidence about using green energy products and installers.

For the first two years MCS has been operated by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) which developed the scheme structure and established product and installation standards.

At the moment only installers and products which are MCS certified can access funding through the Low Carbon Building Programme and it is expected that MCS will be used to distinguish who will receive future Government incentives for renewables.

So far 450 installers and more than 30 product manufacturers have been approved.

Organisations interested in becoming certification bodies must email:

Standards have been set for the following products:
Heat Pumps, solar Thermal, Solar Photovoltaic, Microwind and Biomass

Standards are being finalised for:

Hydro Turbines, Combined Heat and Power and Fuel Cells