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Attitudinal shift towards low carbon heating as energy concerns take hold

Samsung has announced the results of a study which revealed that the UK might be nearing a tipping point on attitudes towards low carbon heating solutions such as heat pumps. Some 78% of heating industry professionals said demand for heat pumps had increased in the last five years, with seven out of 10 professionals now seeing heat pumps as a more viable solution versus a few years ago.

Partly driven by events on the world stage, nearly four in five (79%) heating industry professionals say global issues were driving demand for technologies like heat pumps. This attitudinal shift is driving an even greater need for training, education and awareness about the ways heat pumps can help the UK deliver on its ambition to decarbonise homes and cut emissions by 2035.

Having consulted 200 heating industry professionals, from gas engineers to plumbers, in the UK on their changing attitudes to heat pumps in the last two years, Samsung’s research also revealed that despite this buoyancy in demand for heat pump installation, with 66% citing energy efficiency as the most important consideration for their customers when installing a heating system, challenges still remain. Only 23% of current heating industry professionals are already fully trained to be an air source heat pump installer and nearly three in five (57%) are not considering training at all.

An average of 61% of those polled attributed the skills gap in low carbon and energy efficient technology to a lack of understanding about the future potential for heat pumps. 59% said they are waiting for more accessible training and education to support the workforce, indicating that despite demand increasing, there are still difficulties turning this demand into reality.

Scott Young training manager, Samsung Climate Solutions commented: “Our research clearly shows that there are real concerns in the heating industry about the lack of suitable training options available in low carbon tech. That’s why at Samsung, we have recently overhauled our training curriculum to encourage installers to upskill. Through webinars, e-learning modules and offering training for formal industry qualifications we are committed to providing a suite of learning options which are flexible and fit around the busy schedules of installers.”

Beyond boosting skills in low carbon and energy efficient technologies, the study also revealed that the industry is craving wider support from government on decarbonising homes to help the UK reach its net zero ambition. Around three quarters of respondents (76%) think that the government could be doing more in terms of legislation, grants and awareness to support the switch to air source heat pumps. This is especially important as price point was cited as the most important consideration for the customer by 78% of respondents.

In addition to further government support, 77% agreed that there should be more support from the industry and manufacturers to help install more heat pumps. 65% of respondents say making changes to radiators or household heat emitters is the number one consumer barrier to heat pump adoption while 62% also highlight concerns about the reliability of the technology at low outdoor temperatures, there is a clear need for manufacturers to step up consumer education about the range of solutions on offer and the efficacy of their products when stress tested.

The Samsung EHS Mono HT Quiet heat pump can help ease installers and consumers into this low carbon heating transition by achieving leaving water temperature of 70° meaning fewer radiator changes are needed.

Despite this progress in heat pump technology giving heating industry professionals broader options when it comes to retrofit installs or within new build developments, uncertainty remains as 58% are unclear about the ‘roadmap for change’ towards low carbon heating, with training remaining a sticking point.

Joseph Raftery, heating poduct manager at Samsung Climate Solutions, has been working within the heating industry since 1992 specifically focusing on the development and installation of heat pumps. He commented: “The government Future Homes Standard of 2025 is drawing ever closer, ruling out fossil fuel heating in all new build developments. This is a major milestone for our housing sector, reflected in the fact that 78% of heating industry professionals say demand for heat pumps had increased in the last 5 years. There’s never been a better time for installers to work with architects and developers to incorporate low carbon heating solutions into property designs.”

At this critical junction in the evolution of greener heating, this research has taken the pulse of the professionals in the heating industry who will be on the frontline of changing the way we heat our homes. Samsung is dedicated to contributing to the united effort in realising a more sustainable future.


 

1 December 2022

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