News and Events
Fire up the boilers – autumn’s here!
Dave Cook, UK Domestic Sales Director at Remeha, looks at the business opportunities that boilers will offer in the new heating season
Autumn is upon us. Perhaps it’s a result of all those years of schooling, but autumn, the start of the heating season, seems an appropriate time to take stock of the previous year and plan for the months ahead.
There’s no denying that, in the last twelve months, our industry has been at the centre of a number of media headline hitters. The threat of dwindling fuel supplies, the reality of rapidly escalating fuel costs, the call for more sustainable energy sources, the drive to increase the uptake of renewable technologies, the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the list goes on.
Governmental and scientific experts are united in encouraging a shift to a low-carbon economy to reduce our impact on the planet. This has resulted in the Government’s steep target of cutting emissions by at least 80% by 2050 from 1990 levels.
With nearly one third of UK carbon emissions coming from housing, and boilers accounting for around 60% of the carbon dioxide emissions in a gas heated home, our sector has seen many changes in the last twelve months. Firstly, the amendments last October to Part L of the Building Regulations, which will bring an improvement of around 25% in energy efficiency over the 2006 regulations. More recently came the long anticipated introduction of the Government’s RHI scheme to encourage the uptake of renewable technologies. When the full details were finally announced at the start of August, they were met with mixed reactions from the industry. A lack of sufficient environmental technology training has been flagged, promoting fears that this is leaving opportunities for rogue traders. There have also been question marks raised over the environmental qualifications of certain renewable technologies that qualify for RHI payments.
And now the heating season proper begins. So where do the business opportunities lie?
While there is no doubt that renewables are here to stay, boilers will continue to play a crucial role in providing energy efficient domestic heating.
At Remeha, we anticipate an uptake in renewable technologies, but many of these will still rely on a condensing boiler as a backup. We see high efficiency condensing boilers, such as our Avanta range, working in tandem with renewable solutions. Our own solar thermal solution, Remeha Sola, for example, is fully compatible with the Avanta Plus System and Heat Only boilers to allow the household to continue to receive domestic hot water in the winter months.
Certainly, from an environmental aspect, there are many arguments in favour of condensing boilers. Gas is an extremely efficient fuel source and very low in NOx emissions – a major contributor to the greenhouse effect, reflecting 310 times the energy as carbon dioxide back down to earth.
Then there’s the fact that by 2050, most of the homes we live in today will still be in use. If we are to meet the Government’s targets to cut emissions by 80% by that year, our challenge is to refurbish them in an energy-efficient manner. We see a huge opportunity here as replacing an old inefficient boiler with a high performance condensing boiler remains more economically viable for many homeowners. Despite the spiralling fuel costs, it will still bring welcome fuel savings. This is because condensing boilers convert 90% or more of their fuel into heat, compared to 65% for old G rated boilers.
Aesthetically, boilers have had a major make-over in recent years. Today’s smaller, lighter, quieter condensing boilers are easier to install and maintain than before, making this established, tried and tested technology a still more attractive option for both the installer and consumer.
So, for environmental, economical and practical reasons boilers will continue to play a vital role in today’s domestic heating.
However, a word of caution. With technology ever-changing, training is more important now than ever. Installers need to make sure they are up-to-the-minute with the latest information so that they are familiar with the advances in boiler technology and controls, and confident of new techniques such as fitting boilers in tandem with renewable technologies.
In our increasingly competitive market, well trained installers with detailed, in-depth knowledge of a product range or system will be able to provide a superior service to their customers, maintain a loyal customer base, and work faster and smarter.
At Remeha, we are keenly aware of the need to support our installers through these challenging times with expert product and technical training courses. We believe we should bring the training to our installers – time is money, after all – which is why we now offer free product training courses at 13 centres across the UK.
As the UK works towards a greener future, Remeha looks forward to supporting installers again this season with the right knowledge and the right products to provide ever-more energy efficient domestic heating to the nation.
- October 2011