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Why the industry needs incentives to cut emissions

In light of the government’s austerity measures and the ending of key programmes such as the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, many installers might be forgiven for thinking that the industry’s future no longer lies in the direction of energy efficiency and renewable technologies.

Our carbon emissions targets remain unchanged, however, and awareness is growing among homeowners. Installers need to stay focused on the long term.

With 50 per cent of all household energy used for heating and hot water, we know that efforts to address energy efficiency in our homes will continue and the installer will be a key facilitator.

The UK’s target of 15 per cent of energy requirements coming from renewables by 2020 is impossible without the heating industry generating a greater number of skilled installers.

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme is central to the UK meeting its carbon reduction targets. Installers will play a key role in encouraging homeowners to switch to renewables. Those who get MCS accredited now will be at the forefront of this exciting revolution. Our current lack of trained installers could come back to haunt us in years to come.

Attending and completing courses is undoubtedly a commitment, but without taking the time to learn about the future of the industry, installers are likely to be left behind while others capitalise. An MCS accreditation can be the ideal entry into the renewable
energy arena as a mark of quality assurance that homeowners can trust. It increases the knowledge and confidence of the installer and the belief of the homeowner.

MCS accreditation plays a vital role in providing homeowners with access to funding options - such as feed-in tariffs (FiT) for solar photovoltaic (PV) and micro combined heat and power (MCHP) - that make the initial investment much more viable.

There is support out there for installers who are interested in gaining MCS accreditation, but are worried about the time away from customers. All have agreed that the time taken to complete these courses will be well worth the business opportunities gained.

Reducing carbon emissions is a long-term commitment and, as each year passes, the awareness of consumers will be raised and installers will be expected to be up-to-speed and able to supply and install products that are in demand.

Nigel Gamble is commercial director at PTS