Last month, it was reported that there has been a record number of renewable energy installations in the first six months of 2023 and heat pumps reached a peak number of 3,000 household installations a month for the first time, according to industry standards body MCS.
The data found that while the industry itself is pushing to meet ambitious government targets, consumers are also gaining the confidence to invest in renewable systems, such as heat pumps and solar. In fact, according to recent research, the rise in renewable heating systems across the UK is being largely driven by homeowner demand, with a third (33%) of residential heating engineers saying that homeowners are ‘very passionate’ about reducing carbon emissions, and 29% saying that consumers only ask for renewable heat sources.
With the cost of energy continuing to remain unstable, demand is also being created by consumers who are looking to renewable technology to decrease the hefty energy bills we have seen over the past year by generating their own energy and heat.
In fact, the survey, which was commissioned by Polypipe Building Products, revealed that almost one in five (18%) of homeowners are interested in renewables mainly because they want to reduce gas bills, and a further 17% put their customers’ interest primarily down to reducing long-term costs overall.
Commenting on the findings, Dan Love, Head of Commercial at Polypipe Building Products said, “With an obvious and increasing demand from homeowners, the argument for developers to invest in renewable heating sources has never been clearer. Whether it is due to a desire to decrease carbon emissions, or to save money on energy bills, British households are increasingly embracing the option of renewable energy, meaning that in time – if not already – low carbon heating systems will have a large impact on home buyers’ purchasing decisions.”
In addition to this, many heating engineers are beginning to make the transition from fossil fuels. According to the survey, 41% said that while their company historically installs oil and/or gas, they have begun installing renewables in the past year. And, of the installers who say that they still mainly install oil and/or gas, 37% said they’re currently looking into more renewables and associated training and 38% said they’re considering moving into renewables.
The research also found that a small number of heating engineers are already taking a renewables-first approach, with 5% saying their company predominantly installs renewables. However, some installers remain steadfast in what they know, with 11% of those mainly installing oil and/or gas saying they have no plans to look into renewable heating solutions.
The findings suggest that a lack of training on renewables is the biggest barrier to greater industry uptake. One third (30%) said they want to book a heat pump training course but can’t find one anywhere, and almost a quarter (24%) said that there are not enough heat pump training courses available, despite them looking.
Dan continued: “It is brilliant to see that more heating installers are undergoing training and working with renewables. Having the skills in the industry that can be deployed to provide these types of heating systems is a big step in the right direction in preparation for the Future Homes Standard and the ambitious carbon reduction targets of 75-80%.
However, to ensure the transition to greener energy happens at the required scale and rate, it’s crucial that renewables training is made more widely accessible not only to installers, but to everyone involved in the design and construction of UK homes. Manufacturers, subcontractors, developers and housebuilders must all ensure that they are providing the relevant education to employees, partners and customers to make sure they understand the requirements of the updated Building Regulations and, imminently, the Future Homes Standard, too.”
For helpful resources on the updates to Part L and for further information, please visit: https://www.polypipeufh.com/futurehomeshub/
ABOUT POLYPIPE BUILDING PRODUCTS
Polypipe Building Products is the UK’s leading manufacturer of plastic piping systems and low-carbon heating solutions for the residential market. We design, develop, and manufacture over 20,000 product lines which are stocked in plumbers and builders’ merchants nationally.
Polypipe Building Products works with national and local developers, plumbing and heating engineers, general builders and groundworkers to deliver above and below ground drainage systems, rainwater solutions, as well as hot and cold plastic plumbing products.
We provide innovative products and services to our customers, including UFH site support and our Approved Engineer network. With Polypipe Building Products, we’ve got you covered.
For more information, please visit www.polypipebpfuturehomes.com