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Heating industry survey to seek clarity on major policy overhauls

Online survey backed by major HVAC bodies and the government seeks feedback on how best improve female participation in industry, enforcement of heat pumps standards and Boiler Plus

A heating industry-backed survey commissioned by BEIS is seeking public feedback on major challenges facing the heating sector around the move to lower carbon appliances and how the industry can better encourage women to train as HVAC specialists.

The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), citing the survey, said that just 0.4 per cent of people on the Gas Safe Register are woman. The statistic is based on the register’s own figures.

Stewart Clements, director of the manufacturer’s body, said that government had approached the organisation and other partners to run the survey on their behalf.

He said, “Enabling industry as a whole to ‘have a say’ in this regard is crucial, and we are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to engineers and the wider industry, as well as supporting the government to get the input they require. Heat policy must be viable for all, and fit for purpose.”

The survey, which is open to anyone to submit answers once on an anonymous basis, includes questions on if there is potential interest in expanding the Boiler Plus Regulations to other appliances beyond domestic gas combination boilers in England.

Other topics in the survey include efforts to understand end user interest in adopting lower carbon heat technologies, as well as what might be preferable mechanisms for setting out and ensuring installation standards are in place for heat pumps.

HHIC said in response to the survey launch that it supported recent calls by parliament’s Science and Technology Committee for wider scale testing of future heating solutions.

Mr Clements said that the organisation was “heavily involved” with all working groups focusing on setting up trials of lower carbon heat technologies such as solutions capable of running on hydrogen gas.

He added that the survey would be an important step to ensure calls for much greater clarity on how government and industry can realise decarbonised heat in a way that was viable for all parties.

“Political instability means that clarity on ‘the next steps’ is a long way off. However, businesses need a clear direction of travel if they are to invest. The demands of net zero carbon require the UK to take action now but equally, what we don’t want is political decisions being made without the correct oversight because politicians are distracted with Brexit.”

 

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