Press | Published on 2nd Feb 2017

Change is coming

Apps, selfies, emoji’s, mobile internet, SMART, the list goes on. They are all things that were little more than an idea on the back of a napkin just 10 years ago. Today they are part of everyday lives, and we welcome them (most of them) as they enable us to live smarter.

This we can attribute to progress. Everyone loves progress, where would we be without all of the devices and technologies that we rely on day to day.

Change however is different, nobody likes change. Especially when the change is ‘forced’ upon us. The result is that everyone—from consumers to industry leaders to the people we work with—are navigating unfamiliar waters, trying to understand the implications and make the necessary adjustments to our lives and businesses. We have to play catch up and find out what the implications are and then discuss them with our peers. Then, of course, we don’t know what’s around the next corner, and as a result, we’re fearful and unsure.

The Heating industry has seen quite a number of changes over the years- that no one can dispute. Over 50% of the energy we use in the UK is on heating and hot water, so it comes as little surprise that in a world where we must reduce our carbon emissions, much focus is being given to the emissions from heating and hot water. Over the past 10 years, there have been many changes and new policies, and it doesn’t look like it is slowing down anytime soon.

Last month alone HHIC reported to members on;

  • The Eco-design Working Plan 2016 - 2019, which sets out the product groups that are considered as priorities for the adoption of implementing energy efficiency measures.
  • The Renewable Energy Directive and Energy Efficiency review proposal, which was announced by the European Commission in November 2016, as part of its clean energy package.
  • Then there were consultations on the proposed changes to the government’s standard assessment procedure (SAP), and of course the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, BEIS consultation entitled ‘Heat in Buildings: The Future of Heat – Domestic Buildings.’

 

Closer to home, HHIC has continued to work with government on the Heat in Buildings consultation which closed in late January. HHIC worked tirelessly to help bring the consultation to fruition following our paper ‘Boiler Plus- The next step in heating regulation.’ which proposed mandating of the installation of time and temperature controls with new boiler installations.

HHIC knows that the success of a policy like this depends on the support it receives from the heating Installer, and so we were delighted by the excellent level of response to the consultation from the industry. We will, of course, be working with BEIS via our Domestic Heat Strategy Group to look at the results of the consultation and translate the findings into workable policy.

And that was just January!

The pace of change isn’t going away. Why? Well because as a country, we spend billions a year on heating. Without changing the way we produce and consume heat, we will not meet our long-term climate change target. Unfortunately, the way ‘we’ have gone about it in the past hasn’t always been successful *cough cough ‘Green Deal’, and so industry is instantly dubious about any subsequent changes.

Policy aside we have a challenge within the industry; manufacturers down to installers and consumers, to help shape the necessary changes and then drive them through in a sensible and cost effective way. That, I think, is the real challenge.  

How can we do this? Well, the reality is that we must remain aware of and be prepared to respond to, a variety of changes from external factors. Government policy, European legislation, Building regulations, Gas safety, the list goes on.  It has never been more important for everyone in the industry to get involved and provide a constructive contribution, and by that, I don’t mean twitter. A well-crafted, well timed tweet may get you admiration from your peers for 20 seconds if you’re lucky, but in terms of helping to affect actual change that impacts YOUR BUSINESS it’s about as useful as waterproof tea bags.

The good news is that very soon HHIC will be providing a forum for installers to ‘have their voice heard’ and respond to consultations from people like the Government, OFGEM etc.  On issues like regulation, legislation or standards. Professional accredited heating installers will have a route to representation. Those registered will also receive regular news updates on industry activity, which will enable you to stay ahead of the next curve, so watch this space!

Change is coming, it’s inevitable, but when you have the chance to influence it, take it.

As the saying goes ‘you either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem.'

If you would like to find out more about this and be part of the exclusive project launch, get in touch with laurah@eua.org.uk