Bold new future in the works as new directors take reins of MCS

Three new directors have taken the reins of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and have immediately set to work on establishing a “new vision” for the scheme’s future.

Earlier this month Gideon Richards, who’d served as the MCS’ interim chief executive, stood down from the MCS Service Company having spent more than ten years in the scheme’s involvement.

The scheme is currently in the midst of its legal novation towards charitable status and three new independent directors will now complete this process, expected early in the new year.

The change in leadership at MCS, still technically under the ownership of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been described as a “precursor” to the complete transition to charitable status with three directors now in place to take charge of a newly-created management company.

Those three directors are Chris Roberts, formerly of Poweri Services and now founder of Rock Clean Energy; Catrin Maby, former Severn Wye chief executive and prominent researcher of energy in buildings; and ex-National Energy Foundation chief executive Tim Lunel.

Upon standing down from the scheme’s leadership, Richards said he was grateful to have been involved.

“It is gratifying to see that the stance taken by myself and my colleagues in developing the scheme has helped to increase consumer trust and confidence in the microgeneration sector and has been recognised as delivering a robust and useful framework for other parts of the building services industry,” he added.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Chris Roberts said that the new leadership would set to work on establishing a new vision for the scheme.

“We’re obviously grateful for the work Gideon has achieved, and now there’s a lot of work to do to prepare the scheme for a post-novation world.  

“We’re at the beginning of the process of developing our thoughts and plans and a new vision for the future and we will communicate that when novation goes through.

“What we’re keen [for] is that we create this vision and plan for how the scheme can protect consumers and add real value to the industry in a post-subsidy world,” he said.

One area that will need to be addressed is the current confusion surrounding previously proposed increases to the installation fees it charges installers to accredit feed-in tariff solar systems.

MCS proposed to increase those fees in late August to keep the scheme “sustainable” but, following a considerable backlash from installers, postponed the increase at the last minute pending further analysis.

That decision has now been on hold for three months and, when questioned by SPP earlier this week, an MCS representative said the matter was still being discussed by senior management.