A year of positive highlights for MCS with plenty more in the pipeline  

Ian Rippin, CEO at MCS, reflects on a strong 2023 in the industry and shares his insights as he looks forward to more positive outcomes in 2024.  

MCS reflects on 2023 achievements and sets sights on a promising 2024.

A big highlight for us was finalising the plans of a complete structural redesign of MCS and sharing it with the public. The redevelopment of the scheme has been a number of years in the works and will put the consumer at the heart of everything we do, as well as make MCS easier and more accessible for contractors.  

It was helped enormously by the contractors, government officials, and industry experts who responded to our six-week public consultation. We received over 100 official responses and almost 1,500 informal responses, and 53% of them came from contractors, which was the audience we were most keen to hear from. Our proposals received broad industry support, and we now have the makings of a plan to ring in the “new MCS” in 2024. 

There were some disappointments along the way this year, not least the delay in the publication of the Future Homes Standard consultation.  

Currently, our homes account for around 17% of all UK CO2 emissions, and the Government is aiming to introduce new Building Standards for new homes built from 2025. We are asking that these new Building Standards require a meaningful deployment of solar panels on the roof of all new homes and include heat pumps and battery storage systems as the default.  

By mandating for smart homes, we would be ensuring homes have lower energy bills and are able to contribute energy back to the grid. It is vital that any renewables deployed in homes must be installed to the appropriate MCS standards, which are essential to ensuring consumer confidence in renewable technology. 

It is therefore critical that this work isn’t further delayed, and planning to introduce the requirement from 2025 already risks missing our shared national net zero goals by 2050. The consultation on current Government proposals must be launched as soon as possible to capitalise on the positive position of the industry to deliver on decarbonisation ambitions. 

A recent survey of MPs by The MCS Foundation shows that 81% believe homes should be built to a high energy efficiency standard that won’t require retrofitting later. Seven in ten MPs (69%) believe all new homes should be built with solar panels on their roofs, and nearly the same number (67%) believe all new homes should have electric vehicle (EV) charging. The survey shows there is also majority support for mandatory heat pumps for new homes. 

A reason to celebrate our certified installers’ milestone 

The best news for the renewable energy installation sector in 2023 was undoubtedly seeing more certified installations of renewable energy and heating technologies in UK homes and businesses than any other year in our history.  

It is encouraging to see so many people turn to home-grown energy to protect them from the impact of rising energy costs and secure energy independence as well as reduce their carbon impact. This demand from consumers was driven by a response to the cost-of-living crisis in part, but also by the development of supportive Government policies. 

The amendments to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme announced in 2023 was a welcome addition to support UK homeowners looking to decarbonise their heating. It was also promising to see the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme perform well in its first full year.  

These schemes are making low-carbon heating more affordable and more accessible for the average consumer. This has been reflected in our data, showing confidence in renewables grow across the board as more people invest in future-proofing their homes.  

Preparing for 2024 

Ultimately, we are happy with how the year has played out and are content that we controlled the controllables. If we could have had one thing, it would be more time; we would have launched our consultation and subsequent change plans sooner, but we’re still proud that we hit our target date, given how much work was needed from everyone to get it to fruition. 

Given the trajectory we have seen in 2023 and the reach boost to Government incentive schemes, we project another bumper year for renewables in 2024. As energy prices are showing no signs of falling and we creep ever closer to 2050, we expect more and more people will turn to homegrown energy. 

If we were granted one wish next year, it would be to roll out a smooth, successful date launch of the new MCS scheme, designed to support contractors and consumers. 

With the help of government support, we would like to see more incentives for consumers hoping to invest in renewable technology. Still, we would be encouraged to see a more comprehensive policy package, including signalling that heat pumps are the right choice for low-carbon heating and inclusion of certified renewable technology in the Future Homes Standard to ensure all new UK homes are built fit for the future. All this backed up with credible, trustworthy marketing campaigns promoting the benefits of renewable energy and heating technology, would be our wish for the new year. 

Welcoming our first apprentices! 

One of the most exciting things to take place next year is to welcome the first apprentices on our newly launched Low Carbon Heating Technician apprenticeship. Supporting learners to develop a dedicated low-carbon skillset from day one will be a major shift in how the industry educates its tradespeople. Our newly appointed Sector Skills Managers will support the rollout in colleges while collaborating with local authorities, educational establishments, and employers on a series of other skills projects.  


We have every reason to feel proud at what we’ve achieved in 2023 and excited about more to come next year. Collaboration has been the key part in all of this as we continue to work with our people across the business, industry, government and more importantly our installer community, who are growing month on month.