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Electrical contractors moving into renewables

New research has revealed that nearly a third (31 per cent) of electrical contractors already moved into the renewables market.

The findings by Puragen1, also state that more than half (52 per cent) are keen to look into the possibility, with 29 per cent considering expanding their offer as a means to grow their business.

The UK renewables energy market has a predicted value of £6.5billion by 2015 and there has been a significant surge in solar installations.

One in five (20 per cent) contractors said they frequently get asked about renewable energy technologies and more than half (52 per cent) said they occasionally get asked.

Two thirds (65 per cent) of contractors believe the main driver for people choosing renewables is the money earned from subsidies such as the Feed-in Tariff (FiT).

Furthermore, saving money on energy costs was also felt to be important for one fifth (21 per cent) of homeowners. Surprisingly, contractors reported less than 3 per cent of customers have a desire for a greener lifestyle.

However, recent controversy has surrounded the FiT following the government’s announcement to drop the rate. Nearly half (46 per cent) of contractors felt that it is important the subsidy is fixed and stable so customers know exactly what benefits they will receive.

In addition, 22 per cent thought a subsidy that pays returns of around 7 per cent on investment for the life of the product is more appropriate.

To support their business’ offer, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of contractors have dedicated employees trained in renewables.

However, the main barrier for those that haven’t already ventured into offering renewables is the cost of training with 37 per cent saying they have looked into it but it was too expensive.

Size of the business is restricting more than a third (38 per cent) of contractors who are a one-man band and can’t facilitate the demand.

For a further 35 per cent, knowledge holds them back as they believe they are not informed enough to understand the options available to them, despite the abundance of industry training courses and information on offer.

Jeremy Malindine from Puragen said: “Venturing into renewables really is a fantastic opportunity for contractors who already have the basic skills and technical knowledge to understand solutions such as solar PV.”

“There clearly is an appetite among businesses and homeowners to consider renewable solutions so for contractors eager to become more forward-thinking, by looking at partnerships, support networks and franchise opportunities that can support them in this aim, they are future-proofing their business.”

For those looking to venture into offering renewables, solar PV hits the top spot (74 per cent) as the technology contractors are most interested in offering. Ground source heat pumps (28 per cent) and solar thermal (26 per cent) ranked second and third.

Puragen is a trading division of Ascertiva Group Ltd, one of the world’s leading third party certification companies. Established for over 50 years, its brands service business, industry and government in over 70 countries.