A HOME renewables firm has set up a new arm to guide Teesside installers through tough accreditation measures.
A growing number of firms are emerging to supply the increasing demand for micro renewables, from solar panels to wind turbines, as Teessiders clamour to receive new cash incentives.
Installers must be accredited under MCS - the Microgeneration Certification Scheme - for their customers to attract new feed-in tariff payments, given to individuals and organisations for generating their own green electricity.
However industry chiefs have lambasted the Government-run MCS as too expensive and difficult for small firms to achieve.
Newton Aycliffe company Revolution Power became one of the first MCS accredited installers three years ago and has now set up UK MCS Made Easy to help others through the process.
Managing director Wayne Richardson says the scheme is a necessary evil.
The MCS system is stringent, and rightly so. There’s a lot of paperwork.
“We worked out it cost us £30,000 if you include man hours and the demonstration system you have to install.
“We realised we could make a separate business out of this. We were worried about competition but the market is going to get big enough. If we don’t do it, someone else will.”
He added: “These technologies are not like installing a standard gas boiler. This is new technology.
“You have to change people’s mindsets.”
The company, which has just completed work on a Middlehaven hostel for vulnerable people, wants to triple turnover in a year and has just recruited project engineer Andrew Greenall.
Mr Richardson has also just been appointed chair of a new, as yet un-named group set up by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to promote the sector.
Meanwhile the EST has warned smaller companies on Teesside could lose out to large multi-nationals when vying for their fair share of work from the burgeoning micro-energy sector.
Malcolm Potter, the EST’s North-east microgeneration co-ordinator, said: “If we stand back and do nothing, larger companies with their economies of scale could come in and sweep local installers to one side. This group will raise the North-east sector’s profile, share good practice, improve purchasing power and raise the competitiveness of the local installer network to help them win at least their fair share of new business.”