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A UK homeowner's guide to solar accreditations

Last updated on 13 December 2023

Overwhelmed by acronyms? Worried about warranties? This article will help you navigate which solar accreditations are important and why.

Photo of author Juliet Mance

Written byJuliet Mance

So, you're considering buying solar panels for your home? That's great news! Solar power is a fantastic way to save money on your energy bills, gain energy independence, reduce your carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment!

But with so many accreditations out there and logos and acronyms galore, it can be really overwhelming trying to figure out what it all means, let alone which ones are the most important and why.

Well, fear not - Sunsave is here to help! In this article, we'll demystify UK solar accreditations and explain why they're essential for ensuring quality and safety in the installation of solar panels.

Let's dive in!

MCS: The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

MCS is a certification scheme for microgeneration technologies, including solar panels. It's a UK-wide accreditation, and companies who are MCS certified must follow strict guidelines, including the use of approved products and installation techniques.

MCS provides the industry recognised Standards for both the certification of renewable energy products and their installation. To achieve MCS certification for the installation of renewable energy products, an installer is required to belong to a Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) approved Consumer Code, such as HIES (which we go onto to talk about in more detail below).But the most important thing to know is simply that upon completion of your solar installation, an MCS certified installer will provide you with an MCS certificate; this is your all important proof that your installation has been designed, installed & commissioned to the highest standard using only MCS certified products by an MCS certified installer.

You'll want to keep this safe as should you ever want to move house, it'll give your potential buyers the assurance they need that everything has been carried out professionally, and to the highest standards.

HIES: The Home Insulation & Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES) is a Consumer Protection Organisation.

HIES is an accreditation scheme for companies who install renewable energy systems in homes.

HIES and MCS work together hand in hand to ensure a high quality solar installation process for consumers. While MCS certifies the quality of solar panels and the competence of installers, HIES (Home Insulation & Energy Systems) makes sure the companies installing solar panels treat you fairly and professionally.

To be HIES certified, companies must:

  • follow safe working practices
  • complete installations to the highest standards, and
  • come with comprehensive guarantees which are underwritten with specialist insurance

If you see the MCS logo, you know that the installer has met the necessary technical, quality, and health and safety standards. For this reason, we would always strongly advise you to only consider solar installers who are a member of HEIS.

As George Clarke, an accomplished architect, TV presenter, and HIES Ambassador says:

“Using a member of HIES gives you the trust, confidence and peace of mind you deserve”

Trustmark

Trustmark is a government-backed scheme that recognises tradespeople who have been independently assessed as meeting high standards of professionalism and customer service.

Companies who are Trustmark certified have been thoroughly checked, and you can have confidence in the quality of their work.

EPVS: The Energy Performance Verification Scheme

EPVS is a scheme for companies who carry out Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Renewable Energy Performance Certificates (REPCs) for homes. EPVS-accredited companies must demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out these certificates accurately and efficiently.EPVS work closely with their accredited installers to protect consumers from receiving incorrect performance estimates or running costs by auditing the contractual paperwork to ensure it meets our certification standard.

Essentially, EPVS look out for consumers, making sure they're being treated fairly and not misled. As transparency is one of our core values here at Sunsave, we really value EPVS' role in the solar market and work very closely with them.

Approved Code Trading Standards (ACTS)

The Approved Code of Trading Standards (ACTS) is another government-backed scheme that provides a code of practice for traders to follow. The code covers everything from customer service to health and safety, and it's designed to protect consumers.

Companies who are Approved Code certified must demonstrate that they follow good business practices and treat their customers fairly. So, if your installer is a member of ACTS, it's a sign that they are committed to providing a high standard of service and that they follow best practice in their work

NAPIT: The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers

NAPIT is a trade association for electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, and micro-renewables industries. Companies who are NAPIT certified must meet high standards of competence and technical knowledge.The NAPIT logo is a sign that the installer is a qualified professional who has been trained to a high standard and is committed to providing safe and effective installations.

Summary

So, there you have it – the most important solar accreditations in the UK. If you see these logos, you can be confident that you're working with a trusted and reliable professional who will provide a high-quality installation.

By choosing a company that's accredited by all of these schemes, you can have peace of mind that your solar panels, inverter and battery will be installed to the highest standards of quality and safety.

Hopefully after reading this, you’re feeling empowered to continue your solar exploration knowing that by choosing a company with these accreditations - you’ll be in safe hands. And if you're looking for a trusted, accredited company for your solar panel and battery installation, then look no further than Sunsave! Our team of experts are fully accredited and committed to delivering top-notch solar solutions for UK homeowners, just like you.

And you’ll see from our independent reviews that we don’t just do things ‘by the book’, but we do our best to go over and above to deliver the best solar experience we can.

Ready to explore solar with Sunsave? Calculate your savings to get started!

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Sunsave Group Limited (company number: 13741813) and its affiliates, Sunsave UK Limited (company number: 13941186) and Sunsave Energy Limited (company number: 13952135), together trading as “Sunsave”, provide renewable energy systems and finance and are registered at 23 Ansdell Terrace, London, W8 5BY. Sunsave Energy Limited (FRN: 979494) is a lender authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Sunsave UK Limited (FRN: 977566) acts as a credit broker and can introduce you to a panel of lenders for the purpose of arranging finance. Sunsave UK Limited is an appointed representative of Product Partnerships Limited (FRN: 626349) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and registered at Suite D2 Josephs Well, Hanover Walk, Leeds, LS3 1AB.