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The Future of HVAC podcast #4 – ‘smart’ heat and the changing role of manufacturers

Our latest podcast hears how heat pump manufacturers will have to work much more closely with end users to ensure smart technologies can live up to their name in the push to decarbonise

The convergence of smart metering, heat pumps and software that is purposefully designed to manage energy demand could provide a seismic change in the industry and expand the appeal of such technologies over the coming decade.

However, the role of heat pump manufacturers in producing and maintaining systems will likely need to change drastically from current market approaches if their technologies can become capable of taking smart, more automated decisions that account for energy cost, carbon footprint and the weather. One example of this new approach could be an ongoing contracting service that provides software and controls support to ensure a system can make use of smart energy tariffs.

The conclusions have been made in the second part of our ‘future of HVAC’ podcast with Dr Matthew Trewhella, managing director of Kensa Contracting.

He said in the podcast, “I think all heat pump manufacturers will need to get closer and closer to how their products are used.”

Dr Trewhella argued that there was a pattern of smart meters being installed in UK homes without then being used in a ‘smart’ way.

He added, “The assumption was if you put a smart meter in and then you have a link to a display in a home, then people will just automatically use less energy because they will be shocked into it.”

“I’m sure that has happened, and that some people spend their lives staring at the remote display of their meter and that can deliver a benefit. But our view is that for things to be truly smart, technology – in this case heat pumps - needs to take information around it and start making decisions.”

The podcast also considers how the UK, with its relatively low low heat pump take-up at present, differs from much more established markets for the technology such as Germany. Where, if at all, could changes be made?

You can listen to the second part of the cast here, or by hitting play below.

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