I think its time installers started to prepare for the future, too much focus from installers is put on their ability to install gas, they focus on Gas training and Gas Safe, well things are changing and installers need to ensure they don’t get left behind, in 2020 the Government introduce The Clean Growth Strategy part of this will mean new build properties off gas will not be permitted to use fossil fuels to heat the home, so we will have to use, heat pumps etc, I believe this will be just the start of change.
Heat Pumps need to be designed correctly, it is essential that installers have the knowledge and training to ensure that they can install and commission these units correctly, however, in my opinion good quality training is not really out there yet and we do not want to go down the route of the low quality gas training that we know is out there, but as more units get specified it will become difficult to get qualified installers to fit them.
In my opinion the best way for installers to get on board with heat pumps is to partner with a qualified heat pump installation companies, as qualified heating and plumbing installers we do not need to go back to basics, I feel working with a qualified installer, installing and learning the important issues required for a good efficient installation hands on, on site, actually installing heat pumps is the best way to learn, personally I am very fortunate to have partnered up with one of the best designers and installers in the market in my opinion and working with him has improved my knowledge and skill in working with heat pumps no end.
Unlike gas boilers the design of heat pumps installations is essential, in fact I see it as two separate things, designing of heat pumps and installation of heat pumps, I would be interested to know how installers feel about training, would you rather a basic design training with in depth installation training, or in depth training on both, or would you prefer to just learn the design side, for me it could work well to partner with a designer of heat pumps and as an installer concentrate on just the installation side, but would be interested in others views on this, but in my opinion, focus needs to be put on getting good quality training courses in place now, lets get things right now, before heat pumps become mainstream
There are of course other renewable heat sources, not just heat pumps, but I urge installers to start preparing themselves and their businesses for the future, don’t wait until its too late