While the news within the HVAC sector is currently dominated by announcements and developments relating to renewable energy and low carbon technology in general, the fact that the UK market consumes around 1.5 million boilers per year seems almost at odds with this situation.
The position is also unlikely to change in the immediate future, especially in the domestic sector, as the RHI and Green Deal funding won’t be accessible until next year for home owners. But perhaps this is not such a bad thing for the industry.
Of course everyone wants more business, but how many contractors and installers have the necessary skills and qualifications to be able to cope with a sudden rush for renewable energy systems? With the number of MCS qualifications currently around the 500 mark, the industry will be unable to supply large-scale demand for those wanting to take advantage of government incentives.
I’ve been told by installers and contractors looking to increase their renewable energy activities that sourcing product is not as easy as they thought it would be. It seems that some suppliers are not using the traditional merchant route to sell product, so purchasers are having to adjust to this, which takes more time and effort.
Therefore, a more gradual uptake of renewable energy solutions will enable everyone to keep pace with demand, while avoiding some of the mistakes made by other EU countries. The recently-announced changes to the MCS scheme are designed to make it more attractive to SMEs, so perhaps this will be the point when industry uptake begins to gather momentum.
With millions of individual households and businesses continuing to rely on their boiler for all heating and hot water requirements, the traditional market will continue to generate business opportunities for some years to come.