Griff Thomas, GTEC’s MD and one of Britain’s foremost renewables experts, discusses Octopus’ recent change to clause 5.8, which means consumers no longer need to have an MCS certified pv system to access the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).
Griff caught up with Gordon Routledge from eFixx to explain why this change is so significant for both homeowners and the electrical industry.
Opening up the Solar PV market
After a brief overview explaining the origins of MCS - the scheme that, until now, installers and their installs had to be certified under in order for their customers to access the SEG - Griff explained why Octopus’ shift is so significant, allowing the opening up of the mass pv market to all electrical contractors.
Gordon highlighted that there are two ways of looking this change, and some may argue that by removing the requirement for MCS quality is diminished.
Solar PV is already mainstream
Griff’s position is that the electrical industry at large is not as heavily regulated as renewables. Solar pv is already part of the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations, something that all electricians must cover to join a Competent Persons Scheme (CPS).
We have got to a point where pv should be part of the average installers’ workload, not considered something ‘extra’. Electricians are already installing smart homes without additional regulations.
MCS is stalling the PV roll-out
MCS is off-putting for many, with the time and cost involved and some of its requirements, well outside that average installer’s remit.
Gordon added that this change was a smart move by Octopus, effectively incentivising electricians to fit solar just for Octopus.
Griff agreed, stating that he expects all energy providers to follow suit. Energy providers need to use consumers homes as virtual power plants in order to balance the grid, ultimately leading to cheaper electricity for all. MCS is currently stalling this process – it takes around six – nine months to gain certification.
Octopus want as many contractors as possible fitting solar pv now.
Advice for consumers choosing a Solar PV installer
It’s not just electricians that watch eFixx, clued-up consumers also use the channel to gain knowledge. Gordon asked Griff’s advice on what end-users should be looking for when choosing a solar pv installer:
- Get three quotes.
- Choose a contractor who’s a member of a CPS, which means they’re up to date with the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations.
- Choose a contractor who can do the DNO paperwork. This is essential for accessing the SEG.
Have your say!
Gordon closed the video by asking the eFixx audience what their opinion is? It’s a topic that’s bound to court some controversy! Watch the video and have your say.
eFixx will be catching up with Griff again in a few weeks’ time.