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MCS why bother?

Now, as a heat pump distributor I understand the MCS scheme and its foibles and have to deal with it on a daily basis. For the uninitiated its simple - MCS is a scheme where the design application and installation of renewable technologies is scrutinised to insure that the standard is high and the installation and design is correct.
Just to spice it up, it also has a number of procedures you have to adhere to all of which involve lots of paperwork. Getting MCS accreditation for your company is a long and expensive process; it will cost more than £2,000 to get accredited. If that's not enough, to get a bit of kit onto the MCS list it torture - it takes months, factory visits, two weeks of testing and thousands of pounds.
So why bother with MCS in the first place? The answer is simple. Until a year ago, MCS heat pump installers got a grant of £1,500 towards the installation. This was scrapped in April 2010 to save money; now it will be replaced by a new scheme called the RHI.
RHI is an over-complicated scheme rumoured to be starting in June 2011, but now almost certainly not till later. It is a grant that will contribute towards your heating run cost. Just to clarify the current position, we don't yet know when it will come in, we don't know how to claim it, we don't know what kit qualifies, we don't know how much it will be and we don't know how to calculate it. Apart from that we know everything about it.
There will be a grant one day maybe.
It has always been everyone's understanding that, to qualify for the RHI, you will have to have the kit installed by an MCS installer. I note with interest this from the MCS website:
The Renewable Heat Incentive will provide cash back to individuals, business and communities for renewable heat generation. The Government has indicated that it might be linked to MCS products and installers.
What a waste of time - the RHI MIGHT be linked to MCS, I'm glad I bothered with the paperwork.
If this is the action of the greenest Government ever, then heaven help us; next they will be charging students tuition fees!
Posted by Graham Hendra 11 February 2011 10:57:17 Categories: Graham's Gossip


By Graham Hendra
11 February 2011 11:00:17
After today's announcement that air source installations will receive a paltry 850 quid if installed by an MCS contractor, the MCS scheme is as good as dead. No right-minded contractor will bother now. The admin costs associated with MCS will absorb the whole subsidy anyhow.
By David
11 February 2011 10:59:17
With reference to J Chapman s reply I did consider a very similar option to his until I did my own calcs. The outcome was to increase the level of insulation to such an extent that we required much less energy to heat the building and to install an LPG boiler and solar HW panels supplemented with a wood stove.
A ground source heat pump would have taken 33 years to pay back in savings compared to the LPG boiler(not taking into account any subsides) on the increased level of insulation compared with 11 years if current Building Regs level of insulation was used.
An air source heat pump was looked as a cheaper alternative but I came to the conclusion that come winter time the cop would be so low as too be uneconomical to run.
Taking this to its logical solution the less heat input required the less sophisticated and therefore cheaper the heat source will be. Whilst this may not help J Chapman, others considering a similar scenario may wish to consider my conclusions. I would also like to learn if others do indeed share my view.
By J Chapman
11 February 2011 10:58:17
Graham - this is very interesting reading. I am up late at night 'googling' due to an MCS related problem. As new build home owners we did plenty of research last year and decided upon the new Sanyo CO2 9KW Airsource unit (which is not MCS). At the time we needed to commit, we could find no combined supplier/installer offering this product. We therefore ordered our complete system (heat pump, thermal store, solar thermal, UFH) from a non-MCS supplier who designed the whole system. Now we come to install it and we are finding it near impossible to find an installer who will - they all want to install what they are affiliated with, Mitsubishi etc). The few that will consider installation and certification under MCS are quoting v high. We were hoping that by installing the Sanyo using an MCS installer, we could, maybe - depending on what the Government do with RHI - claim retrospectively. We are now beginning to wonder if it is worth the bother. Could you please tell us where you received the information that the RHI might be linked to MCS? It would help in our final decision.
Thank you!
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