Lucy Dixon – Head of Content, elemental
Keeping our eyes on the net zero prize
The year has been challenging for anyone focused on decarbonising the built environment, with record high energy prices putting even more of a focus on the need to drastically improve the efficiency of our buildings. It’s also been a year full of opportunities to innovate, find solutions and share knowledge, regardless of what’s going on in government, so here are three of my highlights from 2023.
1. Interviewing industry leaders
The editorial team at elemental – and our fantastic expert contributors – has been fortunate enough to speak to some of the people leading the way on net zero and it’s been a real highlight to publish these interviews. My three personal favourites are my discussion with the HPA’s Charlotte Lee (which happened on the very day Rishi Sunak watered down some of the country’s net zero commitments); the chat with Jewson’s Matt Handley about the crucial role of the building trades in delivering sustainable retrofit; and my interview with Vattenfall UK’s new MD Jenny Curtis about demystifying the language around district heating.
2. Bringing experts together online
Our webinar programme proved incredibly popular again this year, and allowed us to bring even more experts together throughout the year, with sessions on everything from heat network efficiency to the latest funding models for housing retrofit. For each session, we endeavour to put together a panel of speakers that can offer real insight into their work on decarbonisation, with learnings that our audience can use on their own projects. A particular highlight, for me, was the session from The Carbon Trust and the Heat Pump Ready projects, chaired by Roger Harrabin, which gave a taster of some of the exciting heat pump developments that have been funded through the project.
3. Listening to Gary Neville and more at InstallerSHOW
The hundreds of speakers inspiring the audience at InstallerSHOW this year all deserve recognition for helping us to bring the industry together for education and entertainment. Former footballer Gary Neville added a little star power to the proceedings, and he spoke passionately about the need for low-carbon measures to be affordable for all. Sadly for us, Gary can’t return in 2024 as he’ll be in Germany for the Euros, but rest assured we’re putting together a stellar line-up of informative and inspiring content that will ensure another must-attend event at the NEC in June.
Joe Sharpe – Head of Content, Installer
1. It’s an interesting market
It’s great to be involved in such a fast-paced and evolving industry, and 2023 was no disappointment on that front. Changes to Part L have come into force, it was a record year for renewables, and just when you thought we were done for the year, the Clean Heat Market Mechanism annoucement put the cat amongst the pigeons.
While all of this is going on at a policy and industry level, installers carry on doing what they do best, and that’s providing heating, hot water and electricity to homes around the UK. It’s the engineers that are the most important people in the industry, and it’s fascinating to see what the next year has in store for them.
2. Unmissable webinars
We launched our webinar offering during the COVID lockdowns in 2020. It’s funny now to think back at the challenges of leaping into the unknown, while working on make-shift desks with dodgy haircuts from our spare rooms around the UK. Since then, our webinars have gone from strength to strength, giving installers 24/7 access into the hottest industry topics. In 2023, we hosted 32 online events, and over 3,500 installers registered for the sessions. All of our webinars are available to watch on demand, right back to 2020 (see if you can spot the DIY haircuts). Head over to our Crowdcast page and hit “save my spot” to catch up on anything you may have missed.
Everything about InstallerSHOW, it is phenomenal to see that the SHOW has cemented itself as the go-to place for the industry to come together.
There is a great graphic that we have that shows the growth from Installer 2019 at the Ricoh Arena, to what it is today. The size difference, the number of exhibitors and visitors, it is incredible to compare the two. And when you walked around that show in 2019, you wouldn’t have said it was small or quiet, but as a team here, and as an industry, supported by installers, it has reached amazing heights and continues to grow.
In 2024, InstallerSHOW is going to be even bigger and better, with more products than ever before, more unmissable content, and more of you, the engineers. I cannot wait to open the doors in June, and look forward to see you there.