Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group has spoken out against the number of barriers now in place for those looking to achieve Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) product accreditation.
Martyn said: “As if installers’ access to MCS isn’t difficult enough given the sheer volume of prerequisites in place for funding qualification, manufacturers also have to overcome their own set of challenges in getting products tested for compliance under MCS 012 – the scheme’s very own product standard.”
Martyn questioned the need for a new UK-specific solar testing procedure, given the prevalence of the Solar Keymark. He continues: “Despite the fact that the majority of solar products are certified with the Solar Keymark – a Europe-wide quality label for solar thermal – MCS now lists an extensive list of additional requirements over and above what is has already become a harmonised European standard.
“At Worcester, we offer five different solar thermal products, each of which now needs to be tested at an independent test house, to a cost of well over £30,000, in order to gain approval under the MCS’s local requirements.
“The requirement stipulates that to enable the testing to take place, the manufacturer must not only pay for the testing and provide numerous products and ancillary equipment, but they must also build the roof for them to be tested on and disassemble it again afterwards. What is notable here is that the notified body tasked with testing products isn’t equipped with the facilities required to complete the task and is placing the onus back on the manufacturer.
“We have reached a point where the bureaucracy associated with MCS – both for a manufacturer and its products, and the installer – is astonishing. With the renewables market already struggling to meet its potential, should we not be doing all we can to stimulate sales rather than deter them?”