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HPM December 2013

Boiler sales continue to grow Energy Company Obligation and upbeat property market factors Solar roofs now top 460,000 across the UK An Apple iPad Mini For your chance to win this prize, simply enquire to answer A or B in response to this question: Alpha’s InTec boilers have standard warranties for how long? A: One year B: Five years Alpha’s InTec range of boilers offers some of the most innovative heating appliances available with warranties that can last up to seven years. Offering a standard five-year warranty, an additional year can be added with the use of the Cyclone Plus, a boiler-mounted filter that removes debris from the heating system. Alternatively, a PremierPack Plus can be fitted, which, along with the Cyclone Plus, boasts a range of other practical benefits and adds a further two years to the standard guarantee. Alpha has teamed up with HPM to give away an Apple iPad Mini with an Alpha red Smart Cover. PRIZE 1 Answer A 101 REMEMBER: enter all 12 competitions, and you could win the grand prize - the lot! Answer B 102 HPM’s Festive giveaway PRIZE 1 6 Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com NEWSDESK Boiler sales figures for 2013 indicate that the UK heating and hot water industry’s recovery is well underway, according to one of the UK’s leading domestic heating and hot water products manufacturers. Carl Arntzen, managing director at Worcester, Bosch Group, said: “Having seen signs of small-scale growth towards the end of 2012, this year has undoubtedly followed suit. Outside of the usual slow start in January, every month has been positive in terms of boiler sales compared to last year. Now, after nine months of successive growth for the market, it is important that we hold the belief that these are real signs of some full-scale recovery. “When the most recent industry figures were released in September, the boiler market was up 16% on the same period of 2012, which is hugely encouraging. In terms of figures, the first nine months of 2012 saw 990,000 boilers sold, compared with 1,150,000 in the same period this year.” Carl attributes the large-scale growth of boilers sales to two key factors - the introduction of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), and the government’s support for the property market. “Without question, one of the main drivers of this growth has been the ECO scheme, which accounted for 61,000 new boiler registrations between January and August,” said Carl. “While this may be considered a success, we mustn’t lose sight of the need to maintain high standards of installation to ensure sales which are perhaps not hugely profitable don’t result in corners being cut with installation work. “Another factor to have prompted increased sales is the recovering property market. The government help to buy schemes have definitely stimulated some activity around the new build sector, and houses are starting to sell. Consequently, there has been an uplift in demand for heating and hot water systems, which is great news for our industry. “What we need to ensure now is that we don’t see a boom and bust scenario, as we’ve arguably seen with Feed-in Tariffs and solar PV which created an initial surge in sales, only to generate the consequence of a shortfall over the longer term. We need to ensure the growth we have begun to see this year - both in terms of boiler sales and consumer confidence - continues on a sustainable basis. On next year’s market, Carl added: “A combination of government departments forecasting economic growth, and the likelihood that there will be numerous areas in which the it will try to stimulate positivity ahead of the 2015 election, should allow the market’s recovery to continue. We must remember that nobody was expecting the market growth we’ve seen over the last 12-18 months, so to an extent, our market is ahead of schedule in terms of where we expected it to be. I would be extremely surprised if we see double-digit percentage growth for a second consecutive year, but there is huge potential for sustainable market progression. “What we want to see is growth which is sustainable over a longer period of time. Business comes much easier when you are competing in a growing market, as opposed to a declining one. After five years or so of decline, it is an welcome change to be competing in a growing market, and we’re not alone in predicting that housing markets will continue to recover and the construction sector will continue to show recovery out of recession.” DECEMBER 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY WWW.HPMMAG.COM New data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows that 460,000 homes across the UK now have solar panels. Together, the households have a combined peak capacity of 1.3GW, making domestic solar the largest sub-sector of the solar market. Due to massive international production volumes and major efficiencies achieved by the UK industry, the cost of fitting solar has dropped exceptionally fast. When the Feed-In Tariff scheme began in 2010 domestic solar panels attracted 43p for every unit of power they generated. Today domestic solar attracts a much lower 14.9p/kWh - a drop of 65% in three years, yet returns remain steady. The Solar Trade Association's (STA) calculator shows that homes installing a 4kW(p) system today could expect returns of around 12% and payback within eight years. The STA wants to see one million solar roofs across the UK achieved in 2015. At current installation rates, around 100,000 solar PV systems are being installed in the UK every year. If this market could be doubled, the one million home milestone could be achieved in 2015. STA CEO, Paul Barwell, said: “The more people that invest in solar power today, the quicker the price comes down tomorrow. We need to keep going down this path until solar power is cheaper than retail electricity prices and everyone can have access to cheap, green power and stable energy bills.”


HPM December 2013
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