Griff Thomas, MD for GTEC, discusses a simple change to Octopus Energy’s Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) which marks a significant shift for consumers and, potentially, electrical installers.
To get money back from solar PV you need an MCS certified system installed … until now.
Octopus Energy, which is leading the charge when it comes to competitive export rates for electricity, has made a small but significant change to its terms for the SEG.
Under Clause 5.8, it now states that installations can be self-declared as being compliant by an installer or the consumer meaning that there are options other than an MCS Certificate to allow consumers access to Octopus Energy’s SEG.
Any savvy electricity generating end user will recognise that, at the moment, Octopus is the energy provider of choice. And now, by simplifying access to its attractive tariffs, the average electrical contractor can potentially get going with solar PV without spending time and money on MCS certification.
A move to get the market moving
This change will alleviate the backlog created by installers who may be trained to install PV but haven’t been able to access the market due to their lack of MCS certification.
In fact, you could argue that the strict adherence to MCS certification might have hindered market growth and innovation by limiting entry to only a select group of certified installers. Octopus’ new approach acknowledges that many skilled contractors without MCS certification can competently handle renewable technology installations.
While MCS still serves as a valuable benchmark for professionalism and quality in the sector, and some consumers may still prefer working with MCS-certified installers due to their established reputation and expertise, clause 5.8 signals a potential decline in the relevance of MCS certification for solar PV, which does not currently benefit from government-backed funding.
If we are going to meet the UK is to meet its net zero targets, we need processes in place that ensure successful renewable adoption without obstruction.
Training is always essential … poor installs will only serve to knock consumer confidence.