Solar Energy and Green Building Certifications for Businesses

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Learn the benefits of solar energy and green building certificates for your business. Boost eco credentials and showcase your commitment.

Solar Energy and Green Building Certifications for Businesses

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Sustainable and green building certifications are used to assess and recognise buildings which meet certain sustainability or environmental requirements or standards. Certifications recognise and reward companies and organisations that build and operate greener buildings, thereby encouraging and incentivising them to push the boundaries on sustainability. 

Benefits of Solar Energy and Green Building Certifications

There are considerable benefits to switching to solar energy. The business case for them is strong, with grants often available and returns very likely to be high, often for a relatively modest upfront investment. In addition to this, the reputation of your company will be enhanced by such a visible commitment to renewable energy. And, of course, it’s the right thing to do for the future of the planet. Certification demonstrates a commitment on your part towards renewable energy, and that you’ve had your installation installed by a skilled professional. 

The Differences Between Sustainable and Green Building Certifications

There are important differences to talk about when it comes to sustainable and green building certifications. While green buildings and sustainable buildings both seek to address environmental concerns and promote responsible construction practices, they differ in their scope and approach. 

Green buildings focus on environmental performance and often seek certification through recognised standards. By contrast, sustainable building takes a broader perspective, considering economic and social factors alongside environmental ones. They aim to create structures that are not only eco-friendly but also contribute positively to their community and economy in the long term.

As the demand for sustainable construction practices continues to grow, understanding the distinctions between green buildings and sustainable buildings has become crucial for making informed decisions that align with our collective goal of a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future. Certification is the best way of ensuring quality control and high standards within the solar industry. And it’s something that you can use to amplify your green credentials, too. 

Solar Certifications in the UK

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is the main accreditation body for small-scale, low-carbon, and renewable technologies in the UK such as solar PV, biomass, wind turbines, and heat pumps. MCS certifies, quality assures, and provides consumer protection for microgeneration installations and installers. 

Green Building Certifications in the UK

Fitwel – which is an acronym for ‘facility innovations towards wellness environment leadership’ – is a healthy building certification system that focuses on improving the lives of occupants and local communities. Developed in the USA by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration, it provides valuable insights on designing and operating healthier buildings.

Understanding MCS and Fitwel Certifications

What is an MCS Certificate?

An MCS certificate is proof that your installation has been designed, installed & commissioned to the highest standard using only MCS-certified products by an MCS-certified installer. Please note that an MCS certificate is not a mandatory or legal requirement for system installation.

How Do You Get an MCS Certificate?

Your installer should issue your MCS certificate within ten working days of your installation being completed. You can check whether an MCS certificate exists by calling the MCS Helpdesk. 

How Can You Verify if the Equipment Is MCS Certified?

You will need to know the technology type of the system and the full address (including postcode) of where the system is installed. If you have never received a certificate, if you require a copy of your certificate or, if you require an amendment, you should contact your original MCS certified installer in the first instance to request this. If your original installer is no longer MCS certified or is no longer trading, then the MCS Helpdesk Team will support you with your certificate query.

What is Fitwel Certification?

Fitwel building certification considers the multiple ways that a building impacts the health and well-being of its occupants. It is particularly well suited to existing buildings, providing opportunities for engagement with customers to choose the strategies that best apply to the occupants of that project.

How Do You Get Fitwel Certification?

Fitwel accreditation uses specific scorecards – each with its own in-depth project-type requirements – which depend on the type of project that is being certified. A Fitwel scorecard comprises strategy requirements assessed under 12 themes noted below and points are scored each time the design makes provision for strategy requirements. The process takes around twelve weeks to complete and starts with registration. Full details are available on the Fitwel website

How Can You Verify if a Building is Fitwel Certified?

Fitwell holds a list of registered and certified projects from around the world which you can use to check whether a building is certified or not.

Who Regulates Solar Panel Companies in the UK?

The Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) are also known as Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets). It’s the UK government regulator for the electricity and natural gas markets and serves to protect consumers’ rights, ensuring they benefit from a greener environment. As part of this role, GEMA administers renewable energy schemes on behalf of the government.

How Do I Find Out if My Solar Panels Are Registered?

If you are planning to install an energy device in your home or small business, you are required to register your energy device with your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), the company that is responsible for bringing electricity to the property where you are installing the device.

Registering your energy asset is critical to reducing the risk of local blackouts, which can result from too many unknown assets turning on or off at the same time. To determine your relevant DNO, you can visit the Electricity Network Association’s (ENA) website and enter the postcode of the installation site.

Solar energy and green building certifications for businesses can be useful tools in terms of your commitment to a more sustainable future. This isn’t only a matter of principles. The reputation of your business will be enhanced, and in a business environment in which environmental credentials are more profitable than ever, you could reap rewards from going that extra step and having them certified after you’ve had them installed!

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