MCS Umbrella Scheme

Welcome to Kensa's information module on the MCS Umbrella Scheme. This module is required learning for the Scheme.

By the end of this module, you'll be able to understand what materials are required in order to request Kensa to accredit your heat pump installation

What's the MCS Umbrella Scheme for?

Kensa's MCS Umbrella Scheme is intended to help installers who are new to heat pumps or who just don't have the resources to manage their own MCS Accreditation.

In order for the owner of a heat pump to claim RHI payments, the heat pump has to be installed by an MCS Accredited installer, and the heat pump itself has to be MCS Accredited.

We know that becoming MCS Accredited, and maintaining that accreditation, can be hard work - especially if you are new to heat pumps or renewable technology in general. We also know that the sector is growing, and it's in everyone's interests to ensure that installations are done correctly, to the correct standards, without making life difficult for installers!

Perhaps you are fitting your first heat pump, or you've installed a different brand of heat pumps before. Perhaps you're thinking about becoming MCS Accredited, but you have an urgent job that needs completing before you can do it.

In that case, MCS Umbrella's for you.

As the name suggests, Kensa can cover the MCS Accreditation on an installation for you.  In order to do so, we ask for certain standards to be met, for proof of your competence as an installer, and for proof that the system has been designed correctly. We'll offer you as much support as you need - our specialist technical support team includes time-served plumbers as well as heat pump technical experts, and we're on the end of a phone if you need us.


What can't we cover?

MCS Umbrella cannot cover:

  • Other MCS Installers' work (even if they have gone bust or walked off a job)
  • Projects that have not been designed with out input from the beginning
  • Projects without the required provenance available (see next part of this module)
  • Projects installed and commissioned prior to July 2014 (i.e., what would have been "Legacy" RHI applications)
  • Projects using multiple heat pumps/cylinders/heat sources unless the system design has been approved by us beforehand
  • We can sometimes cover non-domestic installations; please discuss your requirements with a Technical Sales Executive.

What do we need, and why?

MCS Umbrella Requirements

This seems like a long list, but we can do a lot of this for you, and much of it is common sense! All these items ensure that the system and the heat pump are installed correctly and safely.

  • Signed End User and Installer Contracts - Kensa send these out with your order form. These contracts state that for the purposes of MCS, we are acting as the installer for the job on your behalf, and that you agree to abide by our requirements. The End User contract is there to ensure that the householder also agrees to this arrangement.
  • Proof of competence - Gas Safe or Oftec number. This is so that we know you are a capable plumber or heating engineer. We'll also accept NVQ or C&G certificates.
  • Signed risk assessments - We will supply Risk Assessment sheets for each part of the work you are doing. Please use them to carry out appropriate Risk Assessments, and sign them so that we know you have done this.
  • Part P certificate - Part P is the qualification that shows you are able to do basic electrical works. If you are subcontracting to an electrician, we will need proof of his qualification to do the job - either his 17th Edn certificate, or the completion of works certificate for the whole job.
  • G3 ticket - Proof that you are qualified to install unvented hot water cylinders. We will need to see your certificate or photocard. Just the number alone isn't sufficient.
  • Proof that DNO has been notified - "DNO" is "District Network Operator". This means the company that supply the electrical network to the property (e.g. Western Power). Before fitting a heat pump, you must check that the supply is capable. Often a DNO will ask for a "form A" to be completed, so that they know the heat pump's electrical requirements. We can help with this, and a completed form or a letter from your DNO is sufficient proof for this requirement.
  • Proof that building control have been informed of any "notifiable works" - For work like adding a fused spur to the electrical syste, or installing an unvented cylinder, there is a requirement in Building Regulations that Building Control must be informed. If the installer is appropriately qualified, they should be able to self-certify the works. Please check here to see if this requirement applies to you.
  • Room by room heat losses - These are vital! They make sure the heat pump is correctly sized, and in turn that the ground arrays and heat emitters are also correctly sized. It's quite an involved calculation. Kensa can handle these for you - we will need a full set of dimensioned or scaleable plans and elevations for the building, and U values (we can take these from your SAP calculation, or we can calculate them for you).
  • System information: Rad schedule, towel rails - We need to know what heat emitters are being fitted. If this is underfloor heating, we need a copy of the designs that have been done by your underfloor supplier. If it's radiators, we will need a schedule of what radiators are in which rooms, what their sizes are, and what their outputs are.  If there are any towel rails fitted (even if they are dual fuel or electrical) we will also need to know their details too.
  • UFH drawings - as above. If underfloor is fitted we will need to know what type (screeded, or plated), the pipe centres in each room, and importantly, the flooring used in every room.
  • System schematic - if you are using a standard system, Kensa can supply this. If your system is not standard, we will need a schematic prior to installation, to ensure that the heat pump will function correctly.
  • Star Rating/SPF calculation - Kensa will do this for you, but in order to do it, we have to have all the information described above, relating to the system! We will always let you know if there are any steps you can take to improve the system's performance.
  • Ground array calculations - Kensa will do this for you once we have the results of your heat loss calculations.
  • Ground array layout sketch - We need to know where the ground arrays have been installed. This is to ensure that the spacing is correct, which will prevent over-extraction of energy from the ground. The sketch goes into the clien't handover pack, so that a record is kept in case of future works. A marked-up site plan is fine for this.
  • Photos of system - We have to make sure the system has been installed in line with MCS requirements. We need pictures of the heat pump's flow and return pipework, as this proves that enough space has been left to fit a heat meter, should one ever be required. We also require a picture of the hot water cylinder's label, which should be filled out by hand.
  • Antifreeze samples - These are required to get your heat pump's guarantee, as well as for MCS. We need two samples of the liquid from the ground arrays, taken roughly an hour apart. We will supply you with sample pots and a reply-paid envelope, so that you can send them to us for testing. We will let you know if the concentration of antifreeze in the system is correct or if you need to add some more.
  • Rough costs - Part of the MCS requirement is that we offer you an insurance-backed guarantee. In order to do these, we need an idea of how much the whole system has cost. This includes the equipment, the heating system, the ground works and all installation costs. It doesn't need to be exact.
  • Written confirmation regarding the use of weather compensation - We need a statement from you regarding the control philosophy used on the system. Kensa units are all capable of weather compensation, but we do generally recommend that you either use the controls that have come with your underfloor system, or that you leave the weather compensation disabled for the first 12 months or so of the heat pump's life - so that the property and the system have a chance to settle down.
  • Metering information - if your system is bivalent, non-domestic, or requires metering for any other reason, we will need photographs of the meters which show readings and serial numbers, as well as their calibration certificates.
  • Handover pack - Kensa will compile this for the end user and send it directly to them, but in order for us to do this, we will need to have all of the above items!



What does the end user get?

We will supply the householder/end user with:

Commissioning - We'll help you get the unit set up by phone.

MCS certificate - this, plus the Compliance certificate, is emailed directly to the end user. A printed copy is included in their Handover Pack.

Handover Pack - this pack contains all of the technical information relating to the installation, all manuals, calculations and certificates, and all the information provided for MCS Umbrella. We send this directly to the end user. All this information is also provided on a CD included in the pack.


Okay, let's check... What do I need to send Kensa to get MCS Umbrella covering my heat pump installation?

  • Plans, sections and elevations to do heat losses
  • Proof of my competence as an installer
  • Proof that the electrical supply can manage a heat pump
  • Photographs of the system
  • Proof that the householder's paid me
  • Proof that the old system has been removed
  • a sketch showing where the ground arrays are
  • Copies of the manuals for the heating controls