Solar companies – why the MCS Certified bit is so important.

If you’re gathering quotes for a solar panel installation on your property, you’ve probably seen MCS Certified mentioned but what does it mean and should you be worried if your using a company that isn’t MCS Certified?

MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme – It means the company can be trusted to properly, and safely, install your solar panel system and that the resulting completed installation will be eligible for any Government ‘tariff’ incentive payments.

The MCS is internationally recognised quality assurance accreditation – a bit like the Gas Safe scheme for Plumbers and Heating Engineers.

But what if you’ve already had an installation carried out by an installer who wasn’t accredited?

Fear not, all is not lost. There are several installation companies that will out-source the final microgeneration certification to an accredited member so even if your installation has come and gone, all you need to do is get a MCS accredited company to ‘sign-off’ your installation and you’ll be able to use that certificate to apply for the Government Tariffs.

This includes DIY self installed systems.

This article appeared in our weekly homeowner newsletter (dated 18th July 2011). Click here to read the full newsletter.

Legionnaires disease in solar hot water systems – part 2


So yesterday I mentioned how my Father-in-Law was discussing Legionnaires disease being caused by stagnant water in car washer bottles and how I’d seen this article about avoiding Legionella bacteria in solar hot water systems.

Basically, the advice was to make sure you kill off any nasty lurking Legionella, you should be setting your normal hot water system to come on for an hour in the winter when the solar panels might not heat up the water to the required 55 – 60C.

The article on YouGen also advised timing this for the evening to give your solar panels the whole day to raise the immersion tank water as much as possible, cutting down on the length of time you’ll need to fire up your normal heating arrangement for.

Ask your solar panel installer about the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) as accredited installers have to prove they are reducing the risks of such bacterial infections as part of being an approved installer.

Read more by clicking here.

photo credit: kalbara87