The quality assurance scheme, currently owned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) but soon to become a standalone company, is currently consulting on whether to increase the number of onsite surveillance visits and desktop reviews Certification Bodies are required to impose on MCS installers – up to and even beyond 20 a year for larger installation companies.
MCS calculate that each surveillance visit will cost £433.71, which means the total additional cost for any one installation company could rise above an eye-watering £8,000 per technology per year.
In fact, the NAPIT Trade Association estimates that the actual cost could be around 40 per cent higher. This is due to the failure of MCS to consider the lost earnings installers will face as a result of their preparation for and accommodation of surveillance visits – circa £176 for 2 days of their time, as estimated in the consultation (based on payscale estimates).
Commenting on the plans, Chairman of the NAPIT Trade Association Frank Bertie said: ‘Current MCS proposals could sound the death knell for some microgeneration businesses and will cripple others. Under the intended model, the largest companies would face a costly onsite and office surveillance visit almost every other week, up from the single annual visit currently required.’
The news comes in the wake of a government consultation that could see the Feed-in Tariff, a government-backed incentive programme for small-scale renewable electricity generation, reduced by up to 87 per cent.
If you are likely to be affected by any of these proposals, you can respond to the MCS consultation too at: www.microgenerationcertification.org/mcs-standards/consultations
The deadline for submissions is December 4th.
For more information on the work of the NAPIT Trade Association, visit www.napit.org.uk/trade-association/trade-association.aspx