Helping Installers Transition their Business

Published: 29 Sep 2023 ・ Read time: 4 mins
How the electrification of home heating provides a Net Zero opportunity 
The electrification of home heating is gathering pace, and with it, the need for installers to upskill. Is this the right time to transition your business?
We think so and are here to help installers precisely do that.
The government wants 600,000 heat pumps installed in homes per year from 2028 to help the country reach Net Zero goals.
There are also new regulations in place, since 15 June 2023, that require new-build homes to produce at least 31% less carbon emissions than before. 
The installation of electric central heating systems is seen as an essential enabler to achieve this target, especially when combined with a renewable energy source such as a heat pump or even solar PV
Nobody is saying that gas boilers are going away completely anytime soon. They will no doubt be part of the solution for a long time – and installers will continue to gain business installing, servicing and repairing them. We will continue to stock boilers from top manufacturers and provide boiler spares, just as we always have done.
But for any business taking a long-term view, it’s pretty clear that the future of home heating is moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy source alternatives. 
Our Energy Efficiency Team, experts in renewable energy source heating solutions, has been around for 10 years.
It is now growing and offers an indemnified design service along with unbiased advice on technologies and manufacturers. 
It means that for installers wanting to understand how to transition their business, there is someone to talk to.
That’s crucial because there’s an ample opportunity for installers who upskill and become early adopters to grow their business – and take advantage of what will almost certainly be a growing market.
In fact, the industry and the country need them to do precisely that if we are going to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

Time for Training 

One of the biggest problems the industry faces is a lack of MCS-certified installers who are trained in how to install heat pumps.
The current figure is under 1,600, but we will need at least 30,000 by 2028 to achieve that goal of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year.
The good news is that City Plumbing has recognised that problem and is doing everything possible to do it right.
A partnership with highly regarded training company GTEC now allows us to offer heat pumps and solar PV training by clicking through our website.
The launch of our new Energy Efficiency Centre in Farnborough, complete with an accredited training room and zones where you can see alternative energy heating technology in action, is a model that can change the industry. 
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How Big is this Opportunity for Installers?

Well, consider this. 
There are 24.1m homes on the gas grid, 4.3m more off the grid and 204,530 new dwellings built in the UK in 2022.
These are served by 135,000 gas engineers, with 1.6m gas boilers installed in the UK each year.
But what happens when heat pumps and solar PV begin to shift those figures? Think about the size of the market as the country transitions.

Do you Think it won't Happen in your Lifetime?

If so, it's worth knowing a few facts.
UK homes produce up to 17% of the country's greenhouse emissions from heating, says the Climate Change Committee.
So, if the nation is to achieve Net Zero goals in 2050, which by law it has to, then things have to change.
Listen to what our friends at Energy Saving Trust say about it: 
"If we are to reach the net zero carbon emissions target set by the UK Government, we will need to reduce the carbon emissions from heating our homes by 95% over the next 30 years.'' Then they continued to say..."To put this into perspective, the average household generated 2,690kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) from space heating and hot water heating in 2020. By 2050, we must reduce this to just 140kg per household."
Be part of the change.
It's clear there is a big business incentive for installers to upskill and transition their business. 
And it's a tangible way to differentiate themselves from rivals.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) provides grants of £5,000 towards an air-source heat pump and £6,000 for a ground-source heat pump for homeowners in England and Wales who want to switch away from fossil fuels.
But they can only access those grants, which run until 2025 if they use an MCS-certified heat pump installer to install them.
For those living in Scotland, an interest-free loan or grant could be available for homeowners. Northern Ireland also has a grant scheme to replace gas boilers.
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Convincing Homeowners

Installers can also play a key role in helping the country achieve Net Zero goals and improve the sustainability credentials of their own business.
If homeowners will take up electrified heating, then the best people to persuade them are the experts who install them.
That's why our Energy Efficiency Team are there to help educate installers on the benefits (and limitations) of heat pumps and solar PV, so they can provide accurate and inspirational advice to consumers – and feel confident in debunking some of the myths that surround the technology. 
When we surveyed installers about their views on heat pumps, 76% told us that customers are more interested in the technology than a year ago, and around 42% expected energy-efficient heating to boom by 2025.
So, there is no time to lose.
Author: Alexis Webster

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