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Renewable heating installers need systems training

Dear Sir,

The new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is poised to fire up demand for renewable ‘wet’ technologies such as biomass boilers, heat pumps and solar thermal systems.

The generous payments under RHI and the opportunities it creates will draw many new installers to the renewable heating sector.

While the renewable heat technologies are not as widely accepted as solar panels were when their Feed-in Tariffs arrived, any slower uptake of RHI-eligible technologies will merely be a case of “delayed but not denied”.

Thanks to the amount of money the government has pledged to RHI, the surge in demand for RHI-eligible systems is on its way. With that surge will come an influx of new installers, both from inside and outside the heating and plumbing sectors, to take up the wealth of new opportunities.

But beware! Along with fresh prospects, boom times bring with them a pile of dodgy business practices. Laws and regulations can’t keep pace with changes in a rapidly expanding market.

In fact, one practice has already emerged in the renewable heating sector. Most renewable heating installer training courses are for qualified heating installers.

But if a training provider is offering to train someone to install renewable heating systems who only has G3 and Water Regulations certificates, alarm bells should be ringing.

Look at it this way: can someone call themselves an electrician just because they passed a 17th Edition Wiring Regulations course? They
might have passed the exam because they can read a regs book, but what good is that when an installation goes wrong?

Or worse than that, what if everything on an installation looks fine, but is actually very dangerous?

Where is the practical training that is going to help them work their way out of that hole?

We’re advising our customers that the best way for someone who is not a heating engineer or plumber to take advantage of RHI opportunities is to partner with qualified heating engineers and plumbers.

Take on a supervisory role, overseeing the installation while the trained experts handle the technical work.

And if your contractors need extra training beforehand, we at EcoSkies offer technology-specific courses for all RHI-eligible technologies. They’ll get the training to install these systems properly, along with our free lifetime support via phone or email.

Our message is: get into RHI, but do it the right way. There are more than enough opportunities in renewable energy installations, so don’t cut corners on training.

David Macauley, EcoSkies Renewable Energy Training Centres