We recommend that you choose a certified system and a certified installer. Both the system and the installer will have to be accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for you to be eligible under the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme or the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
See our blog on tips to avoid rogue traders and installers for more advice on hiring a reputable installer.
The 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.
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.
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.
The Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) was set up by the Renewable Energy Association. It operates under the Consumer Code Approval Scheme run by the Trading Standards Institute. The aim of 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. The Code ensures that MCS-certified installers:
are forbidden to use high-pressure selling or inducement to force quick buying decisions
To check that your installer is a member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code you can access a member directory on the RECC website or call RECC on 0207 981 0850.
For more information about the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, go to the RECC website.
The Home Insulation & 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 which are underwritten with HIES approves 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).
Other Benefits to consumers using HIES accredited members:
The information above has been provided by HIES.
To check if your installer is a member of HIES call 0344 324 5242 or visit the HIES Website.
There are more details on consumers' legal rights in the consumer rights section of the government's Directgov site.
Once you have installed your renewable energy system, please leave a review of your installer on the Renewable Installer Finder.