Plumbing and heating installers are very optimistic about the future of their businesses as more households explore low-carbon heating solutions, according to new research.
Daikin UK’s latest Installer Confidence Monitor, which surveys members of its Sustainable Home Network, found that over half (53 per cent) predict that between half and all their business will come from installing heat pumps and hybrid heat pumps in the next five years.
Meanwhile, almost two thirds (62 per cent) expect their profits to increase over the next 12 months and four out of five (88 per cent) expect profits to increase over the next five years.
The research comes amid increased calls for government support for households to make the heat pump transition, with nine out of ten (93 per cent) agreeing that more must be done to make heat pumps affordable and accessible. And more than half (59 per cent) agree that the government should support hybrid heat pumps as an important transitional technology for homeowners.
Martin Passingham, product and training manager at Daikin UK said: “It’s encouraging that Sustainable Home Network installers see a bright future for heat pumps and hybrid heat pumps, and are confident (84 per cent) about the future of their businesses.
“Upskilling is vital to help decarbonise the UK’s home heating, so it’s great to see that training is still a top priority for many, who plan to invest time and money in installation training for both heat pumps (87 per cent) and hybrid heat pumps (40 per cent) over the next 12 months.
“This will help installers future-proof their businesses as existing customers upgrade to cleaner, green options, while growing and expand their customer base, with over two thirds (72 per cent) looking to recruit in the next five years.”
Through its accredited courses and around 40-strong network of Sustainable Home Centres Daikin has capacity to train over 7,000 installers on air-source heat pumps. To go even further, it’s recently launched a new Training Academy in partnership with CB Heating and EDF which will train around 4,000 installers a year through practical and classroom training.
Daikin UK’s research found that four out of five (84 per cent) have seen an increase in the number of inbound enquiries for heat pumps from homeowners over the last three months. Installers believe this increase has been driven by the opening of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (69 per cent), the introduction for zero VAT on cost of heat pumps (42 per cent) and the energy price cap increase (38 per cent).
Over half (62 per cent) of installers believe that homeowners’ understanding of renewable technology is below par at present. And nine out of ten (93 per cent) think educating homeowners is important to driving demand for hybrid heat pumps and heat pumps. Meanwhile, over half (53 per cent) agreed that the BUS is fit for purpose.
Matin Passingham added: “It’s clear that further education is needed for homeowners on renewable forms of heating, its importance for a more sustainable future and the funding options available. Our network of Sustainable Home Centres across the country provides hubs for homeowners looking to familiarise themselves with air source heat pump technology, and our YouTube channel seeks to educate and explain the technology as it becomes more mainstream.
“We run this survey regularly, to understand the opportunities and challenges facing the installers we work with, and to ensure we’re on hand with the right products, training and business support to help them succeed.
“Becoming a Daikin Sustainable Home Centre is the top tier of Sustainable Home Network membership, whereby we partner with plumbing and heating businesses to create a local heat pump showroom and installer training centre – so we can lead the movement towards a low carbon future together.”
The Daikin Sustainable Home Network is free to join and offers heat pump installers a wide range of business-building benefits and expertise. The entry level is Sustainable Home Installer, after which there are opportunities to progress to Sustainable Home Expert and ultimately to become a Sustainable Home Centre.
More than five in 10 (59 per cent) respondents to Daikin’s recent Installer Confidence Monitor survey have benefited from the free training that’s available through their membership, with just under a third saying the sales leads (28 per cent) and free technical support phoneline (34 per cent) from Daikin UK have also benefited their business.
A third have benefited from personalised marketing materials (34 per cent) and branded van livery and workwear (25 per cent), while a quarter (28 per cent) have benefited from special offers on key products.
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