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Should heating engineers be ready for heat pumps?

Rhino Trade Insurance 27 December 2022

A Baxi report has found a split among heating engineers, installers and plumbers on whether to start fitting heat pumps or not. 

Eco-friendly solutions, low-carbon technologies and weaning the UK off gas has been a hot topic over the last year or two. But are heat pumps really the answer, and is the UK ready to convert to them?

What is a heat pump?

An air-source heat pump works by taking the heat from the air or ground around your home and warming it up so that you can use it to heat your home. It's a renewable energy source that also allows you to heat water and central heating. 

To get an idea of how this technology works, an easy explanation is that it takes the principles of a fridge-freezer but reverses the process. So instead of using power to chill your food, you utilise power to warm your home. 

What is the target?

In its drive for net zero by 2050, the UK government has set a target to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028 - a monumental task! 

However, the market has found that only 1/10th of that is currently being installed in the UK. Marketers define this as a fundamental shift from 'early adopters' to 'mass marketing proposition' within six years. 

Baxi has stated that this target would require an 'army of low-carbon heating engineers and installers to assist in the encouragement for change'. 

What do the installers think?

Baxi researched to see if this target would be feasible and to get an idea of what the installers on the ground think. 

They found that a whopping 1/3rd of all heating installers (around 37,000 tradespeople) believe that preparation for heat pumps should be in place as the UK is set to adopt them in the near future. 

That is in stark contrast to another 30% of heating engineers who say they are extremely unlikely to install heat pumps. 

Baxi states that training and support are needed for the army of tradespeople to go out and advocate to customers why they should consider making the change to a heat pump and what benefits they may hold. 

Is there sufficient training available?

One of the report's main pain points and findings was the need for more training and investment. 

Tradespeople are generally all for important technological advances in their industry. However, the duty of care and quality of work are big factors. 

Of the heating installers' questions and answers, 39% said they would likely install heat pumps if they were given sufficient training and help with their costs. Currently, a heating engineer must stump up the full cost of training and lose out of work to attend the class. 

Their second main gripe is customer demand. 56% said that customers need to have assistance with upgrade schemes as the average gas boiler costs between £3000 - £5000, whereas a heat pump can cost £7,000 - £13,000.

Why Choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

The world of heating and heat pumps is ever-changing and fascinating to watch, so keep an eye out for our updated posts on what's going on in the industry. 

For any heating engineers, plumbers or gas fitters who need trade insurance, the insurance boffins in the Rhino office have come up with exceptional cover specifically for you. 

Grab a quick quote online now or give us a call and speak to a lovely member of our team based in Leicester: 0116 243 7904.

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