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Installers urged to act before FiT solar deadline

Installers looking to move into the solar energy market are being urged to apply now for Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation or risk losing out on an expected surge in sales.
A rise in demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is expected due to the Government's plan to reduce its Feed In Tariff (FiT) financial incentive rate from April next year.

Joe Martin from the Green Energy Training Centre (GETC) in Merseyside said that as MCS accreditation can take from up to four to six months, time is running out for installers to undertake the solar PV training required. Mr Martin, said: 'Currently the Feed In Tariff has a set rate of money paid back to consumers, guaranteed for the next 24 years. However, this will be reduced each year - starting in April 2012. Therefore installers looking to move into the solar market should get their MCS accreditation now or risk losing out on the expected surge in solar PV sales as the April deadline looms.'

Mr Martin said that in the rapidly growing solar energy industry, installers and products that carry the MCS mark are sure to be seen as the preferred option in the market place. This is because solar PV systems must be MCS accredited in order to qualify for the FiT.

'As soon as an MCS approved solar installation is registered, the end user is guaranteed to earn around 41p for every kilowatt hour of electricity produced, for the next 24 years. From April this is likely to drop by around seven per cent. Therefore we are expecting a clamour from consumers wanting to get the maximum rate on their solar panels. For installers to benefit from this increase in demand they must gain MCS accreditation sooner rather than later or risk missing out.

'At the GETC we run a comprehensive three-day BPEC accredited solar PV course which qualifies tradespeople to apply for MCS certification. This will give installers the best chance to take advantage of the boom in solar PV sales.'

The GETC was launched in April to meet the need for training and skills in the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector. Kitted out with the latest microgeneration technology from industry leaders Stiebel Eltron, installers train on the most cutting edge solar PV and heat pump products available on the market.

Mr Martin added that consumers who are considering investing in solar PV are taking more of a risk by waiting, as the industry is unsure of the percentages the Feed In Tariff rate will drop year on year.

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18 October 2011

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