There were two back-to-back events in April that seemed significant for the direction of travel of the heating industry.
First, a new Energy Efficiency Centre was launched in Farnborough, designed to help installers transition to new technologies and to display the kit including heat pumps, solar panels, underfloor heating, waste water heat recovery and more.
Energy Efficiency at City Plumbing is behind the initiative, supported by Energy Saving Trust and GTEC Training.
I ran into a friendly face in Allen Hart at the event, who told me about his journey from gas engineer to renewables champion. He admitted that only a few years ago, while he was working every day with gas boilers, he wasn’t interested in renewables, and didn’t think they worked. Now he’s done a complete 180 and has invested in solar PV, Solar Thermal, battery storage, EV chargers, cylinders and a heat pump at his house.
Allen was there to discuss his journey and share his experience with other heating, plumbing and electrical engineers. Change is coming, and installers have all the skills to adapt.
Next up was a Parliamentary launch of Vaillant Aspire, the “game-changing heat pump training journey”.
The idea is to make it as easy, and cost-effective as possible for heating engineers to train to fit heat pump technology, wherever they are on that pathway.
Each Aspire learning journey will be personalised depending on the installer’s existing qualifications, starting with theory-based modules covering a variety of subjects, from heat loss and system design to commissioning the heat pump and setting up the controls for optimised performance.
This comes after Vaillant surveyed 1,300 of their engineers and found that 82% of installers were currently not installing heat pumps, but the majority of those who took part in the survey recognised a need to train, with 87% of installers answering ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ when asked if they were interested in undertaking air source heat pump training in the next 12 months.
These are big brands putting their money where their mouths are, and looking to work with and support engineers moving into renewables.
We know we have the technology and installer base to transition to a low-carbon future, and it’s exciting to see projects like these come to life.
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