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HPM August 2013

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com TRAINING/TECHNICAL Break into renewable technologies Glow-worm has launched a new initiative to help support installers wanting to move into renewable technologies, providing the knowledge, skills and technical back-up to get the most from this emerging market. Pippa Wibberley, commercial director of Glow-worm explains... Despite reports claiming that the UK is hugely unlikely to achieve its target of supplying 15% of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2020, the awareness of, and demand for, renewable technologies is continuing to grow rapidly. Yet, there is still ambiguity surrounding the sector and homeowners are unsure about the real benefits they can reap from switching to more sustainable heating systems. Of course, they will invariably turn to the internet to seek knowledge but the individual with the greatest ability to guide them through their purchase decision is the installer. And with the further delay of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, the responsibility to drive the sector forward lies with the renewables supply chain itself. What’s more, with government incentives such as the Green Deal, the Energy Company Obligation and extensions to the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) gaining increasing publicity, installers will be expected to understand and be in a position to advise on renewables, now more than ever before. But more importantly, this provides a tremendous opportunity for those installers who are equipped to handle the business opportunity presented by this sector. CLEAR SIGNAL Despite the delay to the RHI, the government has sent out a clear signal that it is still committed to its carbon reduction targets through the extension to the RHPP, which is providing households with money-off vouchers on renewable products. So homeowners wanting to install renewable heating systems can be assured of financial support, but in order for this market to thrive fully, they need to be instilled with more confidence about the installation process and longer term benefits. Most remain apprehensive about switching due to a lack of awareness and it is the job of the installer to convince them otherwise and help to put their mind at ease. For this to happen, installers need to be provided with more support themselves and easy access to training so that they can hone their skills and feel confident educating their customer. The skills and knowledge both the industry and the installer have developed should be commended, yet more work needs to be done to ensure a strong future for renewable technologies. The industry needs to work Installers who sign up to the Glow-worm’s ‘Renewability’ scheme get free renewables training together to encourage increased investment in the sector and help installers to exploit the opportunities that are available to them. As a manufacturer of renewable technologies, we believe that this responsibility lies with us, which is why we have launched ‘Renewability’; an initiative geared solely around supporting installers to break into renewable technologies. Installers who sign up are provided with access to discounted and free renewables training, a range of business development tools and a complete back-up service from design to installation. Partnering with Easy MCS, the UK supplier of Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) training, Glow-worm is offering installers significantly reduced cost MCS training, as well as free product training across its renewable product range, from solar thermal to the new range of Clearly Heat Pumps and Hybrid systems (all eligible under the RHPP incentive). All training takes place at one of our Centres of Excellence across the UK in Maidstone, Bristol, Cambridge, Derbyshire, Leeds, and Scotland. Installers will also benefit from technical back-up through our new Renewable Technologies Division. Specifically set up to respond to all renewables-related queries, the division has a team of ten specialist MCS accredited engineers, who have added F Gas, BPEC Thermal Solar, BPEC Heat Pumps, BPEC Energy Efficiency, WRAS and G3 qualifications to their existing array of credentials. The division also has a fleet of fully equipped vehicles for immediate on-site problem solving and is backed by a fully trained call centre to assist with installations. From our experience of working together with installers, we’ve found that many of the barriers preventing installers from moving into renewable technologies lies with the lack of back-up support following the initial product training - installers want reassurance when commissioning on-site, which is why we have invested in this area so heavily. Once an installer completes all training and becomes ‘Renew-able’, they will receive a range of additional business development tools via our loyalty scheme, Club Energy. We are big believers in looking after our customers and rewarding them for their loyalty. The scheme rewards installers with money back from renewable products they install, as well as providing them with new customer leads direct from homeowners. We have made a large investment in our renewability programme as we truly believe that it provides the perfect route for installers looking to enhance their business. We already have a loyal base of installers who have signed up to the programme and are looking forward to working with many more - together we can drive renewables forward, helping households to cut their bills, reduce carbon emissions and play a significant part in reducing the UK’s energy demand. 34 AUGUST 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 126


HPM August 2013
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