MCS quality assurance at heart of new £2 billion green homes grants

THE latest government update opening the new Green Homes Grant scheme up to domestic renewable technology installations including Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal, places MCS certified contractors at its core to ensure quality. 

The new Green Homes Grant scheme will primarily support households to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and to install low carbon heating systems. 

National scheme MCS is a standards organisation and a mark of quality; creating and maintaining standards that allows for the certification of products, installers and their installations. MCS certifies low-carbon products and installations used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources. 

The initial announcement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the £2 billion Green Homes Grant on 8 July. The scheme forms part of a wider £3 billion green package in England to help the economy recover from the pandemic. Thousands of homeowners are to be given vouchers of up to £5,000 to spend on energy-saving home improvements, with low-income households eligible for vouchers of up to £10,000. 

The vouchers will help pay for energy efficiency improvements, that will help cut energy bills and potentially save families hundreds of pounds per year.  

A statement from the Department for Business, Energy & Industry (BEIS), said consumers will be able use an MCS certified contractor to carry out renewable energy efficient measures in and around their homes. They will be able to use the vouchers to install an air source or ground source heat pump or solar thermal as primary improvement measures. For installations to be eligible contractors must also be registered with Trustmark, the government-endorsed scheme for tradespeople 

The voucher scheme also extends to other energy saving home improvements including solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulationdouble or triple glazing/secondary glazing (when replacing single glazing), upgrading to energy efficient doors and hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls. 

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS said: “It is of utmost importance that MCS certification is required under this new scheme as we continue with the drive to push up standards, quality and consumer protection. I am pleased that MCS contractors will have the opportunity to participate as choice is widened for consumers. We are working closely with both government officials and Trustmark to ensure that our contractors are fully supported as we prepare for this to launch and we will share more information as we receive it. 

He added, “We lobbied hard in our Clean Heat Grant consultation response to demonstrate the value of Solar Thermal as a credible renewable heat source. So, to see its inclusion, alongside heat pumps really validates the feedback from our stakeholder community and opens up options for consumers who want to choose renewable energy as their heat source. 

The new Green Homes Grant scheme is due to launch in September and is available until the end of March 2021.