Monday 15 September 2014

The MCS Hoard

So here's an interesting thing about the Microgeneration Certification Scheme  (MCS)

The MCS is supposed to be self-funding, with fees applied on a 'per-registration' basis with these fees currently set at £15 per registration.  MCS installation companies also pay £110 annual fee, collected through the Certifying Body that accredits the installer.

Gemserv administers the scheme, and its latest annual report show that MCS has a surplus of £6.6m at the end of March 2014.

Indeed, the surplus grew in the most recent financial year by £1.3m, so this is not purely an artefact of the dash for PV of late 2011.

Figures for the number of installations the registered on the scheme database are available from the MCS website and show this:

So there were 122 thousand installations in the same period that the scheme ran a £1.3m surplus, corresponding to £10.65 of surplus per installation.
All this begs the question, why?  Why is the scheme building up such a large surplus, when its terms of reference are to be no more than self-financing?  What's all this money for?  How does MCS anticipate spending it within its terms of reference?
I'm personally not against accumulating some money from each installation if it's spent for the good of the whole industry, but just saving it up for a rainy day?  What use is that to anyone?
How would you spend it if you were in charge of the MCS?  Would you just lower the registration fee, or would you be happy to keep paying the extra, were the money to be spent on something useful.  Write in the comments below...