Power My Home solar panels in the UK.

Wild West solar industry 2.0

The solar installation industry has come full circle, and now eating its own tail.

I’ve espoused for decades that not all solar technologies on the UK solar market are equal. Can the same be said about solar installers with recent changes?

Having personally watched the growth of the UK’s solar industry from an independent standpoint, I’ve witnessed an immature and belligerent embryonic industry transform into today’s confident and world-respected one. A transformation similar to child rearing in pain, sacrifice, and longevity!

This twenty-year-long road to maturity came at the cost of hundreds of solar panel installation businesses going out of business. Of course, there are various reasons for such disappearances, but I do know – many didn’t make the grade.

The keystones to this transformation were the Micro-Generation Certification Scheme (MCS) and the Renewable Energy Consumer Codes (RECC). Times before and after MCS standards were night and day in terms of peace of mind for new solar panel adopters. Customers could expect their technology to meet quality expectations and the installers to meet strict criteria that eventually made the UK’s industry a world standard.

By 2018, the UK’s solar installation industry was attracting the best people and repelling others at a time when solar panels were becoming cool and battery storage options were coming online.

MCS regulations were not perfect. Despite this, the goal to provide a safe working platform (pun intended) for installation businesses and customer confidence in a new PV-orientated marketplace – was achieved.

A classic working example was the Thermodynamic solar panels. A bolt-on panel system for heat pumps. Developed in Portugal, for the Mediterranean marketplace, it didn’t stop people from wanting to sell these systems to UK consumers, despite questionable performance in our geographical location.

MCS ensured Spam folder-level technologies never saw the light of day within the UK marketplace. Likewise, MCS gave installation providers confidence. No installation business wants floods of negative customer complaints after fitting expensive systems.

MCS ensured standards to offer peace of mind to the installer, customer, and industry as a whole.

For better or worse?

Why would a single energy provider want to promote a free-for-all scenario? So, cheap foreign labor can flood the UK market and put established native businesses – out of business!

The Wild West solar industry of the early 2000s was brought to heel by MCS after floods of complaints that reached the dizzying heights of mass media.

Solar panel adopters picked up the pieces of bad installers for years afterward. This situation is rearing its ugly head as Octopus Energy (New World Orderly symbolism) begins squeezing the life out of the MCS accreditation scheme and Britain’s solar-powered future. Global power aspirations are achieved by promoting the lowest common denominator in every aspect of every society.

The UK’s reputation as a leader in installation standards is at risk of being lost forever via dilution – a concern for homeowners who already have to worry about their electric vehicles spontaneously combusting. Speculatively, cheap battery storage devices will inevitably arrive on the scene and could be a conduit for absorbing private property into the BlackRock portfolio as insurance payouts fail.

Solar panel installers who’ve built up fantastic reputations and spent untold amounts improving installation standards over the years will have to compete with Tom, Dick, or Charlotte, who just passed their NAPIT basic competency test for a few hundred quid – according to this new world Octopus!

The UK’s solar industry is being pushed down a dangerously pot-holed road by the same people who brought misery to thousands of customers in a Smart Meter fiasco. Foreign influence is now dragging the UK and its newly renovated solar industry back to pre-2009, and this will be devastating for the industry – if this direction remains unchallenged.

I’ve witnessed the misery and chaos of an unregulated UK solar industry, and this was when public demand was low. In today’s already oversaturated marketplace, throwing unregulated electricians into the mix can only lead to calamity. Calamity quickly leads to a loss of trust. Just ask Tesla cars right now.

We have been here before with legal loopholes. Large investors figured out how to feed from the early PV-incentive funds. Free solar panel schemes from 2013/14 continue to affect people today. Free solar panel adopters discover selling property impossible with third-party gear on the roof. Consequences are just out of line of sight!

Solar installation businesses should support MCS because a two-tier industry will be disastrous for all! Sometimes you don’t realise what you have until it is gone – and too late!

Octopus needs to offer small-scale self-generators a competitive export tariff rate only and leave regulation of the UK’s solar industry to those with fifteen years of experience cleaning it.

If you want to rule the world (or the solar industry), simply topple excellence, support low standards until a point in time when you can rule over the ashes. Octopus aims to transform the solar industry without the responsibility for it.

A better way.

"I've witnessed many fantastic changes, innovations, and installation companies come and go. My fellowship with ethically-minded MCS solar panel installers goes back decades. Today, I offer my experience to ensure you gain real independence from this crazy geopolitical world."

Stuart Lovatt
Power My Home Solar Panels
Sundial House, 44 Panton Road, Chester CH2 3HX.
01244 722 607

Est. 2004.