How it works

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) is a Government initiative used to monitor CHP schemes and ensure improving air quality by controlling the emission of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and dust pollutants, so reducing the potential risks to health and the environment.

The Environment Agency are currently taking 12 months to permit plants, so applicants needing a permit by 2024 are recommended to submit now without delay.

Once you’ve got your permit you then need to ensure you comply with its terms. You’ll need to carry out any necessary testing within 4 months of its issue date to prove your emissions are within the limit specified in your permit plus have an environmental management system in place to record ongoing testing and everything of relevance that happens on your site.


New: Are you prepared?

All new MCP’s commissioned after 20/12/2018 require permitting to be applied for and a permit issued prior to operation. New boilers (yet to undergo first commissioning) also require a permit prior to commissioning starting, as this is also considered as operating.  

Existing: Are you ready?

Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) (biomass, gas, oil boilers over 1 MWth input) commissioned before the 20/12/2018 are not due for permitting under the Environment Agency (EA) until the following dates: 2024 for plants over 5 MWth input, and 2029 for plants between 1 and 5 MWth input*.

Under the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD), all unpermitted combustions plants over 5 MWth input commissioned before 19th December 2018 must be permitted by 01/01/2024. They must then be Emission Compliant by 01/01/2025. The Environment Agency are currently taking 12 months to permit plants, so applicants needing a new site permit by 2024 are recommended to submit without delay.

For sites with existing permits, the following updates have been provided by the EA:

  • Sites that require amendments to add existing plants only (not additional new plants) may make a submission using the variation application forms from March 2023; there will be a designated queue for these applications so they will be determined separately to the current permitting queue.
  • Sites that are replacing existing plants with new plants, or installing additional new plants, and hold an existing permit can apply to vary their permit now and add any other existing plants as part of the application.”

Please note: MCPD Permit applications made before the 30th September 2023 will be applicable to any regulatory position statements (RPS) the EA may release. Applications made after this date will not have the grace of an RPS and may have other repercussions.

How you benefit

  • Complete peace of mind – we will make your application for the MCPD on your behalf, whether this is for a new installation, or an existing one without certification. We will also advise you on the energy monitoring requirements for the scheme, and ensure that you have all of the correct equipment installed to gather the data for your annual submissions.
  • Assured compliance – we handle the collection and management of your energy data, the processing of your data to MCPD standards, and submission to ensure ongoing compliance.

What to do next


The Environment Agency are currently taking 12 months to permit plants, so applicants needing a permit by 2024 are recommended to submit before Christmas 2022. The focus on emissions and environmental impact mean that the application process takes into account everything in your plant’s local area. If you’re lucky and you’re in a fairly isolated rural area with little of environmental concern and low hours of operation, then your permit application could fall under the ‘Standard Rule’ category and be simple, straightforward and low cost. Factors that could push you into a bespoke permit include the proximity of residential areas or other “receptors” and the nature of your local landscape. For example, being located in or close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest or other type of conservation area. This may require things like air dispersion modelling or a habitat screen assessment to quantify your impact on the local environment. Bespoke permits are more complex, require more detail and involve higher application costs.

Call us on 024 7669 6512 to discuss your needs with regards to MCPD.

Full details of the MCPD scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website:
Medium combustion plant: when you need a permit - GOV.UK (

Question Icon

What to do next

Get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable team

Are you an NFU Member?

Save up to 10% discount on fees.*

More Info




*This is applicable to NFU Farmer & Grower and NFU Pro members only. The discount applies to standard services, cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts (the biggest single discount available will always be applied) and can only be used on renewal of contracts or new work.

Stay Informed

Line Bar Graph Icon

Sign up for our weekly price trends email and stay up to date with gas, electricity and oil prices.

Energy Bar Graph Icon

Each month in Energy Byte, we bring you the latest energy news and our view on what it means for your business