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Generating renewable energy

Consumer protection

We recommend that you choose a certified system and a certified installer when installing a home renewable energy system.

Hiring an accredited installer

Both your renewable energy system and its installer will have to be accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for you to be eligible for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

For advice on certified products and installers available in your area:

In the UK:

In Scotland:

See our blog on tips to avoid rogue traders and installers for more advice on hiring a reputable installer.

Consumer protection schemes

The schemes listed below help to protect consumers with renewable installations. They also:

  • provide consumers with a seven-day cooling-off period regardless of the method of sale
  • explain certain information to consumers both in writing and verbally
  • give realistic estimates of the likely performance of the product in a way that can be understood by consumers
  • provide a workmanship warranty for a minimum of two years

Please note: the information above has been provided by the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC).

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)

The UK Government has worked with industry to develop the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), to ensure the quality of renewable technology installations and products. The scheme sets industry standards for installers of small-scale renewable energy technologies. It demonstrates that an installer can install to the highest quality every time, using products that have met rigorous testing standards.

To check that your installer is MCS certified, search for them on the MCS website or call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 if you live in Scotland.

It is mandatory for all MCS members to be registered with a Trading Standards Institute (TSI) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS).

Presently the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC), the Home Insulation and Energy System Contractors scheme and the Glass and Glazing Federation consumer code are the only TSI registered schemes available.

Solar Keymark

Supported by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, Solar Keymark certifies compliance of a product with the relevant European standards and is the official European benchmark for solar panels and systems.

Products that have been certified under Solar Keymark should also be eligible for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC)

The Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) was set up by the Renewable Energy Association. It operates under the CCAS run by the TSI. The aim of the RECC is to ensure that consumers wishing to install a small-scale renewable heat or power generation system for their home have the necessary confidence and service standards so they can make an informed choice.

The code sets out high standards in relation to consumer protection and requires installers to provide protection for deposit payments and workmanship warranties. It also ensures that MCS-certified installers ​are forbidden to use high-pressure selling or inducement to force quick buying decisions.

The Home Insulation and Energy Systems Contractors Scheme

The Home Insulation and Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES) ensures that consumers are dealt with professionally, courteously, and sympathetically. Any product installed by HIES members must be fit for purpose, installed professionally, and come with comprehensive guarantees that are underwritten with HIES approved specialist insurance, providing consumers with a high level of protection and peace of mind.

HIES also allows consumers to have a free access to robust dispute resolution and therefore, free mediation, free independent inspections to assist with installation or product malfunctions (at HIES discretion), and free access to the Ombudsman to help resolve any issues that may arise.

To that end, HIES scheme rules and code of practice is a stringent set of rules and a ‘Modus Operandi’ that members must adhere to at all times in their dealings with consumers. The code has been approved by the Trading Standards Consumer Code Approval Scheme (CCAS).

Helpful resources

  • Details on consumers' legal rights in the consumer rights section on the UK Government website

    Find out more
  • Search the MCS product directory to find certified installers and products

    Search now
  • Once you have installed your renewable energy system, please leave a review of your installer on the Renewable Installer Finder

    Renewables installer finder