NHBC demand MCS certification of heat pump installations
There has been something strange going on in the world of heat pump installations. The UK government estimates 72,000 heat pumps were installed in 2022, however approximately only 30,000 of these were MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified.
Despite being the only UK quality standard for the design and installation of heat pumps, there is a widely held view that MCS certification is only worth getting involved with where there is access to grant funding like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). The only new builds eligible for the BUS scheme are custom self builds. With no available grant funding available for new developments, there has been little uptake of MCS certification, and therefore no quality standards are being applied in the very industry that is seeing the largest increase in heat pump installations.
With new Part L building regulations driving the requirement to install heat pumps and not boilers, this focus on quality has never been more important. These recent changes include a 31% reduction target in carbon dioxide for domestic properties compared to previous standards, as well as requiring high-efficiency alternative renewable systems like heat pumps to be considered before construction begins.
You can read more about the recent changes to part L here.
Accurate design and a high-quality installation, of both the heat pump and its heating distribution, is the only way to ensure the homeowner will be warm and enjoy low heating bills. This approach will also avoid costly and time-consuming post sale warranty issues.
The National House Building Council (NHBC) provides almost 80% of new home warranties, and clearly sees the importance of MCS certification. Section 8.2 of the new 2023 standards, provides comprehensive guidance for “Low or Zero Carbon” (LZC) technologies and MCS certification of the heat pump installation as part of the handover requirements. Section 8.2.17 Handover requirements confirm the new requirements for MCS certification to be provided with customer handover documentation.
As well as becoming important for NHBC, MCS certification gives homeowners added peace of mind about their new home’s heating system. Homeowners can be sure that they have a high-quality product and installation that will effectively and reliably meet their heating needs.
The good news is that many heat pump manufacturers and radiator and underfloor heating suppliers will provide a suitable design to get specified for the project. The challenge is then to ensure the heating system installations are completed to a high standard, meeting the heating requirements laid out in the design.
This is where our Heat Pump Go MCS Umbrella Scheme for developers can help. Abode Heat can provide a flexible low cost MCS Certification service where we will work alongside you and your preferred plumbing and heating contractor to ensure heat pump systems are correctly sized, and are installed and commissioned to both MCS and manufacturer guidelines. This ensures that property sales are not delayed, as all warranty information and homeowner handover documentation will be provided at the right time.
Abode Heat are already providing MCS certification for developers who see the value in ensuring their heat pump installations meet MCS standards. Here is what one of our developer partners has to say:
“As we were new to Air Source Heat Pump installations, we found the advice given on the design, specification and installation both informative and reassuring that we were going to meet the high standards required.”
As a team, Abode Heat have been designing and commissioning both ground and air source heat pumps since 2006 and are dedicated to upholding the high standards MCS set. If you have a specific project you want to discuss or want to learn more about our MCS Umbrella Scheme for developers, contact us on 0333 577 9292, or you can use our contact form below and one of our team will give you a call back.