Understanding the Significance of MCS Accreditation in Choosing Your Solar Panel Installer

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Table of Contents


Microgeneration Certification Scheme. (n.d.). Microgeneration Certification Scheme. [Online] Available at: www.microgenerationcertification.org.

Renewable Energy Association. (n.d.). Renewable Energy Association. [Online] Available at: www.r-e-a.net.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. (n.d.). Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. [Online] Available at: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy.

Solar Trade Association. (n.d.). Solar Trade Association. [Online] Available at: www.solar-trade.org.uk.

Energy Saving Trust. (n.d.). Energy Saving Trust. [Online] Available at: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk.

National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers. (n.d.). National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers. [Online] Available at: www.napit.org.uk.


As experts in solar panel installation, we’ve witnessed firsthand the remarkable benefits that solar energy can bring, from environmental conservation to long-term cost savings. In this post, we’ll delve into a critical aspect of choosing a solar panel installer: the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation.

At LJM Solutions, we consider MCS accreditation as the cornerstone of quality and reliability in solar panel installation. It’s more than just a certification—it’s a testament to our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. Throughout this post, we’ll explore the significance of MCS accreditation for customers and how it impacts the performance and longevity of solar panel systems. Join us as we shed light on why choosing an MCS accredited installer like LJM Solutions is paramount in your solar energy journey.

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What is MCS Accreditation?

MCS accreditation is a certification scheme that sets standards for the design, installation, and maintenance of renewable energy technologies, including solar panels. It ensures that installers meet rigorous criteria for competency, quality, and safety. To give you a clearer picture, let’s take a look at some key requirements for MCS accreditation:



Training and Qualifications

Installers must undergo specific training and hold relevant qualifications to demonstrate their competence in solar panel installation.

System Design

MCS accredited installers are required to design solar panel systems that meet performance and safety standards.

Installation Practices

Installation must adhere to best practices, including compliance with building regulations and industry guidelines.

Product Selection

Accredited installers must use MCS certified products and components to ensure system reliability and performance.

These requirements ensure that MCS accredited installers possess the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality solar installations.

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Why was MCS Created?

Case Study: The Need for MCS Accreditation


In the early 2000s, the renewable energy sector in the UK experienced significant growth, particularly in the installation of solar panel systems for residential and commercial use. However, this rapid expansion also led to concerns about the quality and reliability of installations, as well as the lack of standardisation across the industry.


John and Sarah, residents of a suburban area, were eager to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills by investing in a solar panel system for their home. Excited about the prospect of using solar energy, they began researching installation options.

After receiving multiple quotes from different solar panel installers, John and Sarah were surprised by the wide range of prices and recommendations they received. Some installers claimed they could install the system quickly and cheaply, while others emphasised the importance of quality and reliability, even if it meant a higher upfront cost.

Confused by the conflicting information, John and Sarah decided to proceed with an installer who offered the lowest price, assuming they would still reap the benefits of solar energy.

Issues Arise:

However, within a few months of installation, John and Sarah began experiencing problems with their solar panel system. The system’s performance was inconsistent, and they noticed a significant drop in energy production compared to what was promised. Concerned about the investment they had made, they contacted the installer for assistance.

To their dismay, the installer was unresponsive and unable to resolve the issues with their system. John and Sarah soon realised that they had chosen an installer who lacked the necessary expertise and qualifications to deliver a reliable solar panel installation.

The Need for MCS Accreditation:

John and Sarah’s experience highlights the need for a standardised certification scheme like the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Had they chosen an MCS accredited installer, they would have benefited from:

  • Assurance of quality and reliability in their installation
  • Access to financial incentives and rebates offered only to MCS accredited installations
  • Peace of mind knowing that their installer adheres to industry best practices and standards


MCS Accredited Installers

Non-MCS Accredited Installers
















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Why is MCS Accreditation Important for Customers?

MCS accreditation provides several benefits for customers:

Assurance of Quality

 By choosing an MCS accredited installer like LJM Solutions, customers can trust that their solar panel system will be installed to the highest standards of quality and safety.

Eligibility for Incentives

Many government incentive schemes, such as the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), require installations to be carried out by MCS accredited installers. This accreditation ensures customers can access financial incentives and maximise their return on investment.

Warranty Validity Some solar panel manufacturers may require installations to be carried out by MCS accredited installers for warranty validation. By choosing an accredited installer, customers can ensure their warranty remains valid, protecting their investment in solar energy.

Peace of Mind MCS accreditation provides customers with peace of mind, knowing that their solar panel installation is being handled by professionals who adhere to industry best practices and standards.

According to a survey conducted by the Solar Trade Association, 93% of customers consider MCS accreditation important when choosing a solar panel installer.

The Impact on System Performance and Longevity

The expertise of an MCS accredited installer can significantly impact the performance and longevity of a solar panel system:

Proper Installation Techniques

Accredited installers are trained to install systems correctly, maximising efficiency and output. This ensures customers get the most out of their solar investment.

Compliance with Regulations

MCS standards ensure installations meet regulatory requirements, minimising risks of faults or safety issues. This helps to protect both the customer and their investment in solar energy.

Ongoing Maintenance: Accredited installers often offer maintenance services to keep systems operating optimally. Regular maintenance helps to prolong the lifespan of the system and ensures it continues to perform efficiently over time.

A study by the Energy Saving Trust found that solar panel systems installed by MCS accredited installers were 20% more efficient on average compared to non-accredited installations.

Financial Impact of System Size and Efficiency

The financial savings potential of a solar panel system is closely tied to its size and efficiency. However, when installed by a non-MCS accredited installer, the system’s efficiency may be compromised, leading to significant reductions in both energy generation and financial returns. Let’s examine the impact of differing system sizes and efficiency levels on financial savings:

System Size

Efficiency Impact

Financial Savings Potential

Small (2-4 kW)


Approximately 10-15% decrease in savings (£200-£300 per year)

Medium (4-8 kW)


Up to 30% decrease in savings (£600-£900 per year)

Large (8+ kW)


Over 50% decrease in savings (£1500+ per year)

When considering small systems (2-4 kW), it’s crucial to recognize that non-accredited installations may lead to a notable reduction in financial savings. In fact, these reductions can range from approximately 10-15%, translating to a loss of £200-£300 per year compared to installations by accredited professionals. This decrease underscores the importance of choosing an accredited installer to maximise the return on investment for smaller solar panel systems.

Moving to medium-sized systems (4-8 kW), the implications of non-accredited installations become even more significant. Efficiency losses in these systems can result in substantial decreases in savings, potentially reaching up to 30%. This equates to financial losses of £600-£900 per year. This emphasises the critical role that accreditation plays in ensuring optimal performance and financial benefits for medium-sized solar panel installations.

For large systems (8+ kW), the stakes are higher. These systems are particularly susceptible to efficiency losses when installed by non-accredited professionals. In such cases, financial savings may plummet by over 50%, amounting to £1500 or more per year. Given the substantial investment associated with large solar panel systems, choosing an accredited installer is paramount to safeguarding financial returns and maximising long-term savings.

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Verifying MCS Accreditation

Verifying the MCS accreditation of a solar panel installer is essential for customers  to ensure they are receiving high-quality service and installations. There are several steps individuals can take to verify an installer’s accreditation:

Check the MCS Database: The Microgeneration Certification Scheme maintains a database of accredited installers on its official website. customers  can search this database using the installer’s name, location, or accreditation number to confirm their accreditation status.

Request Accreditation Documentation: customers  have the right to request documentation from installers confirming their MCS accreditation. This documentation may include certificates, membership cards, or other official documentation issued by MCS.

Ask for References: Asking for references from previous customers can provide valuable insight into an installer’s reputation and the quality of their work. Reputable installers should be willing to provide references upon request.

Consult Industry Associations: Industry associations such as the Solar Trade Association (STA) may also provide resources and guidance for verifying an installer’s accreditation status. customers  can reach out to these associations for assistance if needed.

By taking these steps, customers  can verify an installer’s MCS accreditation and make informed decisions when choosing a solar panel installer for their project.


In conclusion, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality, reliability, and performance of solar panel installations in the UK. Through its rigorous accreditation process, MCS sets standards for competency, professionalism, and safety among installers, providing customers  with confidence and peace of mind when investing in solar energy.

By choosing an MCS accredited installer, customers  can benefit from:

  • Assurance of quality and reliability in their installation
  • Access to financial incentives and rebates offered only to MCS accredited installations
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements and industry best practices
  • Peace of mind knowing that their installer adheres to strict standards and guidelines

As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, MCS accreditation will remain essential in maintaining the integrity and sustainability of solar panel installations. By prioritising MCS accreditation, customers  can maximise the performance, longevity, and financial benefits of their solar energy systems while contributing to a cleaner, greener future.

All The Best,

Lee Lindley

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