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MCS has pioneered the installation of small-scale renewable energy technology across Great Britain and while we have been raising consumer confidence to invest in home-grown energy, we’ve also been monitoring uptake over the last 14 years.

This report outlines the journey since 2007 and shows the dramatic change in the landscape for low carbon technologies over the past 14 years. Crucially, it also provides us with insight to shape the future, showcases the many opportunities that are now open to us, and highlights the long-term policy framework needed from government to enable the sector to flourish.

We believe that small-scale renewables must play a crucial role in tackling the climate emergency and greening Britain's homes. Through raising consumer confidence and a supportive government policy framework, small-scale renewables can become the norm, and not the exception.

That’s why we work to create a future where every UK home and business has renewable energy sources installed – supporting the growth of the sector, ensuring quality and helping deliver the government’s commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions.

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In 2008, there were just 43 small-scale renewable installations registered under MCS.

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By the end of 2020, this figure had exceeded 1.2 million

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10m tonnes CO2e saved

Since 2007, MCS installations have saved nearly ten million tonnes of CO2e.

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Equivalent to the emissions from nearly...

Terraced Houses

4.4m homes

(gas fuelled)

500,000 cars

every year for the past ten years

Solar Power Panels

The primary technology installed over the last 14 years is Solar PV, but in recent years we have seen a growth in the deployment of Heat Pumps.

our video

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We’ve found that there are Forests and Deserts of renewable technologies

Forests; areas with the most installations

Deserts; areas with the least installations


South West

6.8%of all properties

162,423 installations

1 in 15 households

East of England

5.7%of all properties

144,175 installations

1 in 18 households

East Midlands

5.5%of all properties

107,829 installations

1 in 18 households


5.3%of all properties

73,527 installations

1 in 19 households

North East

4.9%of all properties

57,846 installations

1 in 20 households


4.5%of all properties

111,906 installations

1 in 22 households

Best Regions - Previous
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Yorkshire & Humber

4.4% of all properties

102,447 installations

1 in 23 households

South East

4.3%of all properties

160,693 installations

1 in 23 households

West Midlands

3.8%of all properties

89,345 installations

1 in 26 households

North West

3.3%of all properties

105,252 installations

1 in 30 households


1.4%of all properties

46,548 installations

1 in 72 households

  • 0.79% Wandsworth
  • 0.79% Lambeth
  • 0.78% Hackney
  • 0.75% Islington
  • 0.73% Camden
  • 0.69% Tower Hamlets
  • 0.61% Hammersmith and Fulham
  • 0.58% City of London
  • 0.49% Westminster
  • 0.30% Kensington and Chelsea

Households with MCS installations since 2008

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Find out more by hovering over each region on our interactive map

Households with MCS installations since 2008

Top ten areas of home-grown energy

To better reflect the extent to which renewables have been adopted in an area, we calculated the number of MCS certified installations as a percentage of the number of households in a local authority since 2008.

  1. Orkney Islands - 20.80 %
  2. Western Isles - 14.95 %
  3. Mid Devon - 14.56 %
  4. Stirling - 14.10 %
  5. Peterborough - 13.04 %
  6. South Cambridgeshire - 12.61 %
  7. South Hams - 12.19 %
  8. Torridge - 12.08 %
  9. Mid Suffolk - 11.44 %
  10. South Norfolk - 11.20 %
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Areas with the lowest home-grown energy

The ten local authorities with the lowest percentage of households with an MCS certified installation.

  • Wandsworth - 0.79 %
  • Lambeth - 0.79 %
  • Hackney - 0.78 %
  • Islington - 0.75 %
  • Camden - 0.73 %
  • Tower Hamlets - 0.69%
  • Hammersmith and Fulham - 0.61 %
  • City of London - 0.58 %
  • Westminster - 0.49 %
  • Kensington and Chelsea - 0.30 %
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Our key recommendations

Based on the data analysis outlined in our report, we have compiled a list of key recommendations and findings for the industry, that outlines our path to achieving the UK’s Net Zero target.

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Learn from successes

Particularly the success of renewables in rural areas

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Set clear, ambitious,
evidence-driven targets

To tackle gaps and drive an increase in installations

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Devise an integrated
package of support

To help households and property owners to access not just any renewable system, but the right system for them and the area they live in

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Continuation of the
redevelopment of MCS

To ensure high standards for the sector and to support new installers to become certified

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Removing VAT on domestic
renewables for ten years

This will reduce costs for consumers and reduce paperwork for contractors. We believe that zero carbon should equal zero VAT

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Changing building regulations so that all new build homes from 2024 have zero carbon heating options

Building regulations are vital in transforming how new homes are built, the energy efficiency measures and how they are heated

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Read our

Media pack, visuals and infographics to use alongside our data

press toolkit

A complete digital version of our data in report form

full report

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About MCS

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MCS is a standards organisation.

We create and maintain standards that allows for the certification of products, installers and their installations. Associated with these standards is the certification scheme, run on behalf of MCS by Certification Bodies who hold UKAS accreditation to ISO 17065.

MCS certifies low-carbon products and installations used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources.

MCS is a mark of quality. Membership of MCS demonstrates adherence to these recognised industry standards; highlighting quality, competency and compliance.

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About The MCS Charitable Foundation

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MCS Charitable Foundation is a new organisation with big ambitions.

Our vision is a world where everyone has access to affordable and reliable renewable energy and low carbon technologies – for the benefit of our environment, our communities and the general public.

As a Foundation we work to increase public confidence, awareness and access to renewable energy and low carbon solutions across the UK. We support education and engagement programmes, fund research and facilitate innovative solutions to drive widespread adoption.

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Contact us

    For media enquiries, please contact Rumpus on or 0161 942 9988.

    Thank you to all the organisations who we have worked with across the years, and who have provided data for this report