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Deadline to register your renewable heat installation looming

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 24 September 2013 at 9:15 am

The government has issued a deadline for registering renewable heat installations under the microgeneration certification scheme (MSC).

The deadline, of 4pm on October 22, 2013, applies to all renewable heat installations made since July 15, 2009.

If you believe your installation has yet to be registered, then now is the time to act.

After the deadline installations will not be eligible for registration and owners will not therefore qualify to claim domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments when the scheme starts in spring 2014.

If your installation is registered you will have received an MCS Installer Certificate (pictured) with your unique installation number.

If you don’t have this certificate you should contact your installer as soon as possible to check that the registration has taken place, and to request a copy of the certificate.

You will need this certificate when you come to fill in your RHI application next spring.

Installations that are eligible for the RHI, providing they are MCS-registered and the installer is MCS-accredited, include air-to-water heat pumps, biomass boilers and wood pellet stove with a back boiler, ground and water source heat pumps and solar thermal (hot water systems).

See also this blog for more information

More information

YouGen guide to the renewable heat incentive

From the blog

How do I claim the domestic renewable heat incentive? (Sep 2013)

Domestic RHI: your questions answered (July 2013)

What the domestic RHI means for heat pumps (Oct 2012)

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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11 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 21 October 2013 at 9:58 am

Here's a statement from DECC about the deadline and Clear Skies equivalence.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 15 October 2013 at 2:33 pm

Latest update:

I've just spoken to MCS - they say that the 22 October deadline is for those people who can contact their original installer. If your original installer has gone out of business, then the system for getting your heating system accredited will be published this week I hope (I was told it was due to go up today, but wasn't quite ready to). Keep an eye on the news section of the MCS website, which is where it will be published. We'll be checking regularly too, and will update you here as soon as we know more.

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Jeff B

Jeff BComment left on: 14 October 2013 at 11:20 pm

A little bit of news. I spoke to a gentleman at the MCS help line this afternoon and although he could not say with certainty, it seems that the guidelines for legacy installations could be out this week. It seems likely that the October 22nd deadline could be extended for folk like myself whose installers have gone out of business and who are finding it impossible to find MCS accredited installers (accredited since 2009 BTW) who are willing to re-certify existing installations. More twists and turns ahead I think!

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 14 October 2013 at 9:37 am

Hi Mark 

I am on the case, but waiting for responses from various people. Will report back if there's any progress...

There's more information in this blog


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Mark Brown

Mark BrownComment left on: 14 October 2013 at 8:04 am

On Friday 11th Oct Gemserve have kind-of answered the question about why there is nothing written down about Clear Skies to MCS equivalence. "At this stage our committees are in the process of finalising the details regarding the process for legacy installations that have not yet been registered on the MCS Database and there should be something published early next week." So we shall wait and see but clearly they are enforcing decisions in advance of making them? Or am I being too pessimistic?

Of course the problem here is that they announced that we all had to chase MCS Certificates at the end of August - apparently telling nobody - then gave an arbitary deadline of 22nd October 2013. This has been very badly thought through if they haven't even decided what the MCS equivalence policy is. DECC were separately advised twice in consultation that Clear Skies has to be honoured. Just Google the term "clear skies mcs equivalence RHI" and do a bit of digging online like I have.

Come on YouGen - please tackle this issue! We have uncovered a shambles and it deserves more publicity. I know Jeff is writing to everyone including his MP about the rough treatment the 2009 pioneers are getting. Extending the RHI catchment period back to July 2009 was to honour the RHI for anyone who installed on the assumption that they would qualify. Doing so under Clear Skies in 2009 was/is perfectly reasonable. Doing otherwise is deeply unethical.

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Jeff B

Jeff BComment left on: 10 October 2013 at 12:06 am

Mark - I share your frustrations completely as I have been/still am going through a similar process with Gemserve. I suggest you write to the minister for energy (Michael Fallon) at the DECC and to your own MP to highlight this issue. When I get a minute I intend to do that too! So far I have literally spent hours writing emails to, and phoning, Gemserve, the DECC, The Energy Saving Trust and various MCS accredited installers (as well as posting on this forum).


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Mark Brown

Mark BrownComment left on: 9 October 2013 at 1:19 pm

I have only come back to this thread today to read the comments. I have spent the last two days battling with Gemserve (MCS agent) but they are completely intransigent about Clear Skies equivalence to MCS. Despite the fact I have located NO formal written advice on the matter from either Gemserv, DECC or Ofgem it seems Gemserve refuse to honour any post-July 2009 install done under Clear Skies. To add insult to injury my installer was Blue Skies registered during the install before swapping to MCS just three weeks later. However as his commissioning certificate says Sept 2009 and not Oct 2009 Gemserve stubbornly refuse to allow me to get the Boiler re-commissioned. They will not let me even get it re-commissioned by the Econergy the UK KWB Dealer who were present during the original 2009 commissioning! Unbelievable. Completely inflexible. We have got no credit for doing everything in our power to qualify. Gemserve are sticking to their guns with the excuse that they wish to stimulate the market to use MCS installers in future. Can someone please lend me a time-machine...

Gemserve also attempted to justify themselves on the basis that Clear Skies was for the LCBP grants and therefore we don't deserve RHI. This seems absurd as LCBP grants are the equivalent of RHPP grants not RHI payments.

Gemserve seem to have no desire to honour the spirit of the RHI details announced in 2009. Their attitude is that anyone installing in 2009 should have had a crystal ball and should have known the precise domestic RHI requirements 4 years in advance. This is a massive injustice as MCS replaced Clear Skies during 2009. They should be equivalent and honoured as the same.

The LCBP grant barely covered 10% of our install cost. We installed with the intention of qualifying for Domestic RHI and (as far as we were concerned) didn't put a step wrong. A Clear Skies installed with certified equipment. What could possibly go wrong? If we had installed just one month later we would qualify. What a lot of jobs-worth nonsense. I am very disillusioned.

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Jeff B

Jeff BComment left on: 2 October 2013 at 4:11 pm

Tasha - further to my post of yesterday, just to say that I have sent a message to the MCS myself today using the "send us a message" facility on their website. In the message I described my dilemma and mentioned that my main source of info has been a couple of websites on the Internet. I think the more messages they get about this, the more likely they are to realise that this arbitary cut-off date of the 22nd October and the lack of publicity thereof is causing some problems!

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 2 October 2013 at 10:14 am

Hi guys. Thanks for your comments. Let me look into this and I'll get back to you. Tasha

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Jeff B

Jeff BComment left on: 2 October 2013 at 12:15 am

Mark Brown - you are not alone! I heard about this deadline just 2 days ago. I do my best to keep up to date with green energy matters but IMO this has been kept pretty quiet (I wonder why that could be....!). I am in a similar position to you, in that although in my case the installer was MCS approved, the company went into liquidation about a year ago. On top of that, the manufacturer of my solar (thermal) panels, Filsol, has also gone bust. At least the manufacturer of my wood pellet boiler, Nordic Bioenergy, is still in business as far as I know!

I assumed that I had to do nothing until the RHI scheme came into operation next year. However I now find that the certificate I have is not an official MCS certificate but rather just a commissioning certificate. So I now have just 3 weeks to try to get this sorted. Fortunately I have been able to trace one of the directors of the defunct installation company and he is in touch with MCS on my behalf. I am not entirely sure what information they will require but hopefully the commissioning certificate will provide the main evidence they need to issue the MCS certificate. I understand that I have to show the SAP calculations – I guess this can be done retrospectively as nothing has changed with regards the fabric of the house; also I need to provide the serial numbers of the equipment (that’s the easy bit).

From a telephone conversation I had with a lady at the MCS they are aware of these sort of difficulties. I suggest you contact them without delay (see their website for contact details) and ask for advice.

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Mark Brown

Mark BrownComment left on: 30 September 2013 at 3:34 pm

I am disappointed to learn this - indeed this is the first  I have heard of it. My KWB was installed in August 2009 by an installer who was Clear Skies accredited not MCS. He has now moved out of the business and has never had MCS. I will need a retrospective Certificate from another installer but how would I go about this and is it allowed?

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