Solar Energy UK
23 February 2023
Globally, photovoltaic (PV) solar is one of the fastest growing, most reliable, and most adaptable forms of electricity generating technology available. In the UK the incidence of fires involving PV systems is very low. However, the addition of a PV system to a building, which is not correctly designed, installed, or maintained could, like any electrical service, add to the overall risk of fire.
As such, RISCAuthority, Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), and Solar Energy UK (SEUK) have worked together to update the RC62 document: Recommendations for fire safety with photovoltaic panel installations (first published in 2016) to develop a freely available Joint Code of Practice.
This in-depth technical guide focuses on fire safety for commercial and industrial rooftop mounted PV installations, with the aim of providing an updated practical guide for insurers and their clients on the requirements for the procurement, ownership, operation, and maintenance of safe and efficient PV systems.
Ian Rippin, CEO of MSC commented: “This new edition of RC62 will help solar contractors to safeguard against and mitigate fire risk at all stages of an installation. Working alongside the FPA and SEUK to realise these changes, we have been able to ensure that safety remains paramount when it comes to solar, that contractors are protected when installing and, ultimately, that consumers have confidence in home-grown energy.”
Gemma Grimes, Director of Policy and Delivery at Solar Energy UK said: “The commercial rooftop solar industry is poised for significant growth in the UK, as businesses turn to onsite generation to provide financial stability and reduce their climate impact. This new edition of RC62 means they and their insurers can have confidence in their systems, knowing they have been installed based on the most up-to-date practices possible. As such, we endorse and recommend that the insurance industry uses this new edition of RC62 as a guide to fire risk prevention in UK solar systems.”
Adrian Butler, Principal Consultant at the FPA added: “RISCAuthority have been pleased to work with solar industry professionals in the development of this new edition of RC62, providing a comprehensive Joint Code of Practice for solar PV specifiers, designers, suppliers, operators, and insurers. This guide will be further supported by a RISCAuthority Need to Know Guide: Roof Mounted PV Solar Systems, due to be published by the Fire Protection Association this spring.”
The freely available Joint Code of Practice is available to download here.
RISCAuthority is an annually funded research scheme administered by the FPA which conducts research on behalf of the insurance sector. Supported by a significant group of UK insurers and underpinned by extensive research and risk analysis, RISCAuthority produces risk management guides and recommendations in the areas of fire and security.
About the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)
MCS creates and maintains the standards for small-scale renewable technologies and the
contractors who install them. As such, the standards for solar PV are a core part of the MCS
remit – helping to define what safe, competent, and high-quality solar installation looks like.
About Solar Energy UK (SEUK)
SEUK is an established trade association working for and representing the entire solar and energy storage value chain. SEUK is funded largely by its membership and represents a thriving member-led
community of over 300+ businesses and associates, with members ranging from ambitious and innovative SMEs to global brands.
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