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MCS deadline for registering legacy renewable heat systems - an update

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 October 2013 at 10:29 am

Tomorrow is the deadline by which people who have installed a renewable heating system since 15 July 2009 must ensure that it is registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) if they want to receive the renewable heat incentive.

Yet, a quick check this morning reveals that MCS still hasn't published the promised guidance for getting a system certified if your original installer has gone out of business. Conversations last week with MCS and DECC indicate that the deadline will be extended for those in this category. 

Here is what a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said:

"We’ve seen some of the comments on your blog about the October 22 deadline for MCS registrations and appreciate the concern this may have raised with some domestic owners of renewable heat systems. It’s quite a complicated situation but perhaps we can explain the background.

"The MCS scheme was launched in April 2009 to set standards for the installation of microgeneration systems in the UK. There are two parts to MCS certification – the installation and product schemes. When MCS was launched there were very few products on the MCS approved list, as manufacturers needed time to carry out the required testing. During a transition period MCS allowed certain products to be included on the MCS product register that had been certified under the previous Clear Skies scheme. Installations still had to be carried out by an MCS installer and the product had to be specifically registered as a “transition product” by MCS. This transition period ended in December 2010 since which date all installers and products have needed to be MCS certified.

"The RHI was announced in July 2009 and it’s always been DECC’s intention to allow MCS renewable heat installations from that date to be eligible for the domestic RHI. Since the introduction of the MCS installations database in August 2010 it has been a requirement that installations be registered on the database within 10 days of commissioning. The data from MCS suggests that some installers have been taking considerably longer than this to register installations. With the advent of the domestic RHI, MCS has decided to enforce the 10 day rule to protect consumers. All MCS installers were informed of this change in July and of the October 22 cut-off date, which is to allow them time to register any outstanding installations. MCS will be providing details shortly on what consumers need to do to register MCS installations that were previously not registered on the MCS database.  We can assure you that DECC wants those consumers who are eligible for RHI to get access to the incentive. Registering all the existing MCS installations may take time but it should be completed for the launch of the domestic RHI in spring next year."

The following update was added to the MCS website on 5 November 2013

On 21st October 2013, MCS announced that it would be developing a process for customers who do not have an MCS certificate for reasons such as their installer is no longer trading or MCS certified. We are continuing to work on this process and further details will be published on the MCS website News and Events page once available. 

The process to be published is likely to involve MCS collecting information regarding the site and product installed, and processing this information on behalf of the installation company if they are no longer able to do so.

Additionally, there will be further guidance for MCS Installation Companies who have failed to register an installation within 10 working days of a new system being commissioned. MCS certified installers have been required to register installations within 10 working days of commissioning since August 2010.

MCS is not yet accepting information regarding unregistered installations but continues to advise customers and installers to monitor the MCS News and Events page for further updates.  MCS is not expecting the implementation of the new processes for a further 4-6 weeks at the earliest.


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

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6 comments - read them below or add one


SteveG-01Comment left on: 10 September 2015 at 12:50 pm

Do you know of any companies who are willing to retrospectively certify installations?

I have fully functional GSHP & Solar Thermal installations compliant with MCS requirements

Installer failed to register, due to his MCS registration renewal lapsing.!!!

I've had no joy chasing the registration.

Is there an insurance policy available to cover the 'risk' elements that deter current MCS accredited companies from getting involved with existing systems?

Could a householder sign a disclaimer to keep liability for costs for future problems/repair issues?

Thanks In Advance

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 29 October 2013 at 8:57 am

@martini I suggest you contact MCS to see if your heat pump was registered as a 'transition product' as mentioned in the quote from DECC above.

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martiniComment left on: 28 October 2013 at 6:31 pm

I had a ground water source heat pump installed in 2010. The installer was MCS certified but not the equipment. I gather that 'equivalent certification' may be accepted but do not know what this means. My equipment has European certification including ISO 9001, ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 18001:2007.  I live off the gas grid and installed a heat pump to replace an oil boiler. The house is also very well insulated.  I feel that i should be able to claim the RHI but am worried that I will miss out.  Can you advise me on 'equivalent certification' or will this be announced later?

Thanks, Martin.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 October 2013 at 9:11 am

Tom That's correct. If you have an MCS certificate for your renewable heating system you do not need to re-register.

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tomfromfifeComment left on: 27 October 2013 at 8:33 am

I have a GSHP installation that was installed, commissioned and registered in 2010 and I have the MCS Installer Certificate. The certificate was emailed to me from . The company who installed and commissioned the GSHP has since gone out of business. I assume that as my system is already registered I do not need to re-register because the installers are out of business. Can anyone confirm this?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 21 October 2013 at 3:23 pm

Here's an update from MCS. Still no news for those whose installer has ceased to trade.

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