MCS Certificate for Solar Panels

Although it’s not strictly required for your solar panels to have a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate, it’s highly recommended.

Government data shows the MCS has certified over a million installations since its launch in 2007 and has around 2,000 registered installers.

But what is an MCS certificate for solar panels, and why is it essential when installing a solar system? Here’s everything you need to know about MCS certification for solar panels.

Quick Takeaways:

  • An MCS certificate guarantees quality, safety, efficiency, and performance standards.
  • You must have an MCS certificate to qualify for incentives like the SEG.
  • An approved installer will issue the certificate to you directly within ten days of commissioning the system.

What is the MCS Certificate for Solar Panels?

The MCS certificate is a mark of quality that ensures small-scale renewable electricity technologies like solar panels and their installations meet the required safety, performance, and efficiency standards.

The MCS guarantees quality, certifies, and provides consumer protection for microgeneration installations and installers.

The certificate proves that your solar system design, installation, and commissioning are done to the highest standard using certified products by an accredited installer.

The MCS helps raise standards for products and installers and gives consumers confidence in investing in low-carbon energy technology products.

Why is the MCS Certificate for Solar Panels Important?

The MCS certificate is a vital accreditation to look out for if you’re considering installing a solar system for various reasons. These include:

Consumer Protection

Like any other industry, the solar market has product quality and installation practices variations.

The MCS assures that the certified installers and products adhere to recognised industry standards.

It allows you to confidently invest in solar technology, knowing that your system will deliver as promised and ensure you get the most out of your investment.

MCS certification also ensures adherence to a consumer code beyond minimal consumer law obligations.

It reduces the risk of poor work or installation errors, and if any issue arises with the installation or product, MCS resolves it impartially and fairly.


Approved MCS products are thoroughly tested to meet the stringent requirements set by the MCS and ensure they meet safety standards.

Installers also undergo rigorous vetting processes to ensure they can offer a service up to standard and install your solar panels with safety in mind.

It eliminates guesswork and ensures that the solar panels have regulatory safety marks and that the installer carries regular audits, making them more reliable and safer than those without MCS certification.


MCS is a mark of quality for both the product and installation. MCS-certified solar panels are manufactured with high-quality materials and perform to a certain standard.

To help foster a positive image and accelerate adoption, the MCS sets and enforces rigorous standards to ensure that quality concerns don’t hinder the adoption of renewable technologies.

Installers also undergo a comprehensive process involving assessments by an approved body to gain membership, ensuring they meet high levels of expertise, competency, and quality.

Financial Incentives

An MCS certificate qualifies you for specific government incentives and financial benefits like the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

The SEG is a government-backed initiative that pays you for exporting surplus energy back to the national grid.

According to Ofgem, your solar panel installation and installer must be suitably certified to be eligible, and you can provide an MCS certificate to demonstrate this.

Such incentives allow you to offset the cost of the installation gradually. You can earn a quicker and maximum return on your investment and make solar energy more financially viable.

Can You Use an Installer Without an MCS Certificate for Solar Panels?

Using an installer without an MCS certificate is possible but highly discouraged.

A non-certified installer may not adhere to the same high standards as MCS Certified ones. This can result in substandard installations that are less efficient, unreliable, and potentially unsafe.

If anything goes wrong, you’ll have fewer recourse options since consumer protection codes don’t bind non-certified installers. Resolving issues may be more complicated and involve incurring extra costs.

You’ll also not be eligible for incentives like the SEG, meaning you’ll miss out on benefits that can make your solar installation more profitable and affordable.

How Do You Get an MCS Certificate for Solar Panels?

Your solar system installation must meet various requirements to qualify for an MCS certificate. These include:

  • Commissioning by an MCS-certified installer or installation company
  • The panels should be MCS-certified products
  • The commissioning date should be after 15th July 2009

The installer will issue the certificate to you directly within ten days of commissioning the system.

The MCS can also generate a copy of the certificate on behalf of the installer if they’re no longer MCS-certified or trading. In such cases, you must provide proof of ownership and pay an admin fee of £36, which includes VAT.

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How Do You Check If a Certificate for Solar Panels Exists?

You can check whether the MCS certificate exists by calling the MCS Helpdesk. You’ll need to provide the complete address where the solar system is installed and sufficient proof of ownership.

You can use any one of the following documents to prove ownership:

  • An invoice marked paid to the installer
  • An original invoice with bank statements showing full payment
  • A letter from a solicitor stating you’re the system owner
  • An email or letter from a housing developer stating the panels came with the property purchase and aren’t leased
  • A fitting and fixtures list that includes solar panels and the property’s Land Registry.

Can an MCS Certificate for Solar Panels Affect Warranty?

Yes. Many manufacturers only offer a full warranty or guarantee if your solar system is installed and commissioned by an MCS-approved installer or installation company.

If you use a non-certified installer, you may only qualify for a minimal product warranty of around 12 months.

Additionally, many insurance providers will only cover solar systems under home policies if installed by MCS-certified professionals.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an MCS-certified solar installer is crucial when installing solar panels in your home or business.

It can ensure the installation meets the necessary standards and that the installer possesses the technical expertise and competence to do the job effectively.

This guarantees your solar panel system’s quality, performance, and long-term success.

Sources and References