This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Installing renewable energy equipment in homes and businesses has evolved rapidly in the last fi ve years. Richard Forrest-Smith, chief underwriting offi cer at the Electrical Contractors’ Insurance Company (ECIC), explains how insurance considerations have also adapted


lectrical contractors undertaking renewable energy installations will have noticed that it is becoming a mainstream area of work. As a result, contractors are needing to fi nd ways of demonstrating their credentials in an increasingly competitive marketplace. While moving into green technologies may be considered

a daunting prospect for some contractors, others have embraced the challenge and found new ways of working with other contractors in the building services industry. Indeed, solar energy installers require a sophisticated skill set combining three separate fi elds: electrical installation, roofing and mechanical services. The combination of electrical, mechanical services and roofing involves an amalgam of new risks, which naturally requires an insurance company that is familiar with all three.

New working Due to the increasing demand for solar panels, many electrical contractors have begun accessing roof areas in a way they would never have expected at the beginning of their careers. The Electrical Contractors’ Insurance Company (ECIC)

has advised and insured ECA and other electrical installation contractors for more than 35 years, and is now seeing an increasing trend towards involvement in green energy installations. As a building services specialist insurer, ECIC is also seeing other trade sectors’ involvement increasing.

64 ECA Today September 2011

For example, clients insured under our National Federation of Roofing Contractors Scheme are teaming up with electrical installation professionals to deliver green energy systems. We always advise contractors to think about safety standards in the context of fi nancial risk fi rst and foremost. Although most people have a strong sense of morality in maintaining safety standards, the fi nancial imperative is an extremely strong motivation.

Accreditation To be recognised as a registered renewable energy installer, companies need to be accredited to the Microgeneration Certifi cation Scheme (MCS). Launched by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), MCS accreditation is becoming the default standard that enables consumers to get access to fi nancial incentives. MCS accreditation is helping consumers to identify

professional installers. This has the positive effect of maintaining and enhancing the reputation of the market for renewable energy installations, and it also helps to minimise the risks associated with installations. Professional installers and insurers alike would have

suffered had unqualifi ed contractors been able to jump into the market without the necessary skills and safety credentials. Standards would have fallen – and that includes risk management standards. It is important, therefore, for all contractors currently

About the author

Richard Forrest- Smith

Richard Forrest-Smith is chief underwriting offi cer at the Electrical Contractors Insurance Company (ECIC).

involved in renewable energy, or those aiming to become involved, to have insurance cover and risk management standards that refl ect the high levels of professionalism that exist in renewable energy installations. The MCS sets out to assess renewable energy installers

and products in accordance with industry standards. It is designed to evaluate microgeneration installers and products against robust criteria to provide greater protection for consumers. Although the MCS itself does not impose insurance

requirements, installers must fi rst have registered with an Offi ce of Fair Trading-endorsed customer code of conduct.

installations: are you covered?

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72