Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Quality mark gives consumers confidence in going green
A fully-fledged quality mark scheme has been established to give consumers confidence in the standards they can expect from green energy products and installers.
Building on a two year development phase, Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has approved plans to open up the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to a number of certification providers to give the industry more options when seeking approval for products and services.
Plans have also been approved to appoint a new administrator for the MCS. The initial two year contract with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) comes to an end this September.
The MCS aims to build a sustainable microgeneration industry based on quality and reliability, to provide consumer confidence that products and installers meet, and continue to meet, robust standards.
Nearly 450 installer companies and over 30 product manufacturers have already registered under the development phase of the scheme. Certification gives companies permission to display the MCS logo to promote services or on their microgeneration products. It will be important for the industry to have wider access to certification providers as the sector develops significantly in response to the UK's ambitious green energy programme.
Organisations will also be able to register as a certification body, alongside BRE Global Ltd.
Malcolm Wicks said:
"The Microgeneration Certification Scheme has made good progress over the past two years. It is important the vital work carried out by the Building Research Establishment and industry led steering group is continued under a new administrator.
"I look forward to other certification bodies joining the MCS to deliver reliable installations for microgenerators across the UK.
"Households, businesses and communities can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions by generating their own electricity or heat from renewable energy sources. It is important consumers can rely on the MCS to oversee this is done responsibly and effectively."
Charles Bradshaw-Smith, E.ON's Head of Innovation, and an industry representative on the MCS Steering Group said:
"Opening up the Scheme, something which had been a long term aim and is now being realised, should not only help reduce costs for installers and manufacturers but ensure a right balance between delivering standards to protect consumers and helping the industry to meet the costs of robust certification.
"We look forward to certification agents and Competent Person Schemes offering one stop shops for installers and manufacturers and reducing barriers in to the microgeneration sector."
Notes to Editors
1. In September 2006, BERR (then DTI) contracted the Building Research Establishment to set up and run the MCS for the first two years. This was necessary to put in place scheme structures, develop product and installation standards and to work towards UKAS accreditation which was achieved in May this year.
2. Competent person schemes were introduced by the Government to allow individuals and enterprises to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations as an alternative to submitting a building notice or using an approved inspector.
3. All certification bodies will need to be UKAS accredited or to be working towards accreditation under the guidance of UKAS within a 12 month time frame. BERR will be providing more information on how this will work in practice at a meeting for certification bodies on 12 August 2008 at 1030am. Certification bodies should email Paul Rochester to confirm attendance: email@example.com
4. Further information about MCS is available at: http://www.ukmicrogeneration.org
5. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets and it works to secure, clean and competitively priced energy supplies
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