Grant UK’s G-CERT Scheme – an installer’s perspective
Earlier this year, Grant UK launched a new scheme designed to help engineers unlock all the benefits of a Grant renewable heating system for their customers. Here, we catch up with AJK Services to discuss their thoughts on the G-CERT Scheme.
In January, Grant UK launched G-CERT, a new scheme through which Grant can certify renewable installations for MCS accreditation on behalf of the engineer fitting the appliance. For installers who join and become a sub-contractor under G-CERT, they can access customers wanting to claim RHI payments on their new renewable heating system, thus potentially increasing their customer base. Furthermore, the end-user benefits from the peace of mind that comes with efficient and effective compliance with MCS installation standards.
AJK Services are G-One Accredited Installers based in Tidworth in Wiltshire. With over 12 years experience of fitting renewable heating appliances, AJK Services were members of Grant UK’s previous renewable initiative, the Grant Accredited Pathways Scheme (GAPS), and the move to G-CERT was an obvious choice for Joe Hackford and Jamie Quantick, who both work for AJK Services. “It was a natural progression for us to join G-CERT from GAPS”, writes Joe. “Having been MCS accredited for a number of years, we wanted to continue to install RHI eligible systems for our customers.”
In addition to delivering MCS compliant and RHI eligible installations for the end-user, the G-CERT Scheme offers numerous benefits for the installing engineer. Through G-CERT, Grant UK acts as the MCS accredited organisation, assists with heat loss calculations, product selection, DNO application (when applicable), and risk assessments. An engineer from Grant UK’s in-house team also attends site to commission and sign-off the installation with Grant UK supplying the Handover Folder for the end-user. Grant UK will also complete all of the necessary notifications and registrations. In brief, under G-CERT, engineers can install RHI eligible systems without needing to be MCS accredited, saving them time in the office and enabling them to be on the road helping their customers.
Joe continues: “At first, I was a little daunted by the concept of the G-CERT Scheme as I thought we, as a company, could lose some control over our work. With Grant UK looking after so much of the administration, a lot of the paperwork was taken out of our hands. But joining G-CERT has been a great decision for us, with Grant delivering a complete package for AJK Services from the product through to support.”
AJK Services install a number of renewable heating products, including Aerona³ air source heat pumps and Grant hot water cylinders. Joe finds Grant products easy to work with and install with the additional support offered through G-CERT adding to the appeal of Grant’s product offering. “The help that AJK Services have received through G-CERT has been amazing,” Joe comments.
Through G-CERT, Grant UK will look after the paperwork that is required for MCS compliance, something which can be off-putting for installers looking to become MCS accredited themselves. “With MCS accreditation, there is so much office-based preparation and paperwork that needs to be completed,” Joe continues. “Not only is this an onerous job, but it reduces the time that we can be on the road seeing our customers. Under G-CERT, Grant delivers a complete package to help the installer, enabling engineers like me to spend less time doing desk-based work. G-CERT certainly makes MCS compliance a lot easier.”
A key feature of the G-CERT Scheme is the service of one of Grant UK’s in-house engineers attending site. A site survey involves Grant visiting site with the installer and thoroughly scoping out the job. Joe found this of great benefit when he completed a recent installation of a 16kW Aerona³ heat pump with a 300 litre Grant MonoWave cylinder. “I cannot stress enough the importance of a site survey – it pays off in dividends for all parties involved. For this heat pump install near Andover, John Williams, one of Grant UK’s in-house Technical Surveyors, visited site to discuss the installation with myself, the homeowner, the builder and architect. Having this technical support throughout the installation process, both on site and from Grant UK’s office, was brilliant.”
The average costs of MCS certification, including the initial fees for becoming accredited and the annual maintenance fees, can be quite high for companies. G-CERT offers installers an alternative route to delivering MCS compliant installations at a reduced cost, with a standard fee for each job. While this cost saving is attractive, for Joe and Jamie, the level of technical feedback and backing that is offered by Grant to G-CERT installers is more appealing for AJK Services.
“The extra back-up that is available under G-CERT is invaluable,” writes Joe. “Knowing that we had a manufacturer behind us throughout the whole installation gave both us and the end-user great confidence. Whenever we had a query, the response rate from Grant UK was very efficient – we would send a question into their office and someone would reply to us by close of play that same day. When it came to the Handover, John explained everything so clearly – it was excellent having a leading manufacturer represented on site by one of their own engineers, something which gave the homeowner reassurance.”
The well-known benefit of MCS compliant installations is the financial incentive of RHI payments. What can often be overlooked are the high standards of workmanship that are delivered as a result of MCS compliance. MCS approved products, such as the Aerona³ heat pump, must meet specific energy efficiency requirements and MCS installing engineers must install and work within the parameters of high guideline standards. Meeting these MCS regulations ensures that quality installation practices are achieved.
Joe found that Grant UK’s level of service through G-CERT was incredibly thorough. “Grant UK made sure that every step of the process was completed before proceeding further. Every box was ticked ensuring that AJK Services adhered to the necessary guidelines at all times. Karen’s attention to detail in the Grant UK office helped keep the project on track.”
Delivering greater assistance for installers is one of the driving forces behind the G-CERT Scheme. Grant UK always has engineers in mind, whether it is incorporating their feedback into product development or making technical help readily available. G-CERT offers installers the opportunity to work closely with a leading heating manufacturer. “G-CERT allows engineers to build a strong working relationship with Grant UK, something which is of huge benefit to installers,” Joe comments.
During the Scheme’s first ten months, over fifty companies have signed up to G-CERT and become sub-contractors. Interest has been high from engineers who want to install MCS compliant systems without having to operate MCS Management Quality Systems. AJK Services are pleased with their decision to join G-CERT.
“This new Scheme from Grant UK has made achieving MCS compliance much easier for us,” concludes Joe. “Joining G-CERT was relatively easy – yes, paperwork is involved and, from our previous MCS experience, we were prepared for this, but the support delivered by Grant has significantly helped AJK Services both on site and in our office. As a G-CERT installer, I am looking forward to working with Grant UK on our future renewable installations, giving our customers all of the benefits that can be achieved by installing greener heating solutions.”