On 19th October 2021, the government launched its much anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy. It notes that we need nothing less than a revolution in heating markets and skills during this decade to decarbonise UK buildings.
We at Drayton by Schneider Electric agree that this is necessary and is feasible with the right communication and, most importantly, support across the industry. We’re committed to being at the forefront of this effort, standing side-by-side with trade professionals and our industry partners.
What’s the takeaway from the government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy?
This upskilling transition needs considerable investment and effort to be successful, but it presents a major opportunity to reposition the UK heating industry and make it future proof. According to the Strategy, the transition to low carbon buildings could add £6billion to the economy and support 175,000 skilled, green jobs by 2030, jobs that will be essential to meet the objective of over 50% of new heating systems being low carbon (predominantly heat pumps) by the end of this decade.
It’s predicted that as demand grows for specialists in the low carbon market, the need for skills in natural gas boiler installation will reduce, meaning the 130,000 registered gas engineers in the UK will need to be supported in upskilling to be able to install low carbon heating systems and meet the demand.
The Heat Pump Association predicts that 50,000 installers will need to be trained to install heat pumps by 2030, to meet anticipated demand.
Whilst the extra training may be a daunting prospect for some installers, the benefits are there for the taking:
- Futureproofing their trade
- Elevating their practical skills and knowledge in the field
- Early adoption of new skills helps installers stand out from the competition
- For eco-conscious installers, upskilling helps the UK become more sustainable to fight climate change
What specific skills will heating engineers need to train in next?
Two key heating skills improvement areas are expected to be core to this strategy during this transition, laying the foundation for the introduction of heat pumps and other low carbon heating technologies.
- Low flow temperature systems - The installation of heating systems that can operate at a lower 55°C flow temperature.
Hydraulic system balancing - Balancing system flow rate as standard on every new installation to imporve efficiency.
The benefits of these two areas were demonstrated in detail in the Domestic Heat Distribution Evidence Gathering published by BEIS earlier this year. Both balancing and low flow temperature operation are necessary for the transition to heat pumps but are also set to come under focus from the government under the Boiler Plus review.
How are Drayton and Schneider Electric supporting installers looking to upskill?
Free training via 9° Know How
We’ve also given our Drayton training portal, 9° Know How, a fresh new look and brand-new training modules, with even more on the way. Sign up to the 9° Network today to take advantage of the free training, get benefits like product discounts, lead generation via our websites, and exclusive news and updates.
Investment in skills is at the heart of heat decarbonisation and Drayton by Schneider Electric stands ready to contribute with innovative solutions, working hand in hand with installers and the wider industry.
Drayton’s best practice product range
In facilitating the training of thousands of engineers to drive this strategy forward, the role of technology and innovation shouldn’t be ignored. We’ve developed unique solutions, such as the Balancing Key, that make adopting best practice easier for installers. We’re also continuing our development an array of heating controls, such as the new Digistat and Wiser – our smart thermostat systems – that optimise boiler and heat pump performance.
The Drayton Community – our heating controls Facebook group
Exclusively for heating engineers, installers and electricians, our Facebook group lets you learn, chat and share with other trade professionals. Share your views on these upcoming changes and other issues (and we’ll throw in some fun too!). Join the group to watch free, live training with James Clark, Drayton Training Manager, and take part in live Q&As.
Are you a heating engineer, installer or electrician? Advance your skillset today
There’s no need to wait to take advantage of the benefits of upskilling, there are steps installers can take today to either start or continue their upskilling journey:
- Focus on boiler installation best practice as outlined in interim changes to Part L Building Regulations – an area currently under review in relation to the Boiler Plus scheme.
- Sign up to the 9° Network to access free, online training in Drayton product installation and ensuring optimum efficiency from our products, like Wiser's proven energy-saving features.
- Join The Drayton Community Facebook group today, to join the conversation around the Heat and Buildings Strategy, network and share with other heating engineers, get Drayton news and updates, live training sessions, technical support and enter competitions.