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Net Zero - one aim needs all industry voices to be as one

Rinnai’s Tony Gittings calls for industry unity in delivering practical, economic and technical benefits of decarbonisation.

Rinnai’s Tony Gittings

For UK decarbonisation aims to be successfully achieved a shared and consistent approach must be formulated and agreed upon by all acting parties within the HVAC and building services industries. At present there is widespread preference towards heat pump technology by mainstream media, and other interested groupings toward consumers and customers seeking clean and alternative methods of home or commercial property heating and hot water delivery.

logic and reason must be employed to achieve optimum practical, economic & technical outcomes for all of us. We need decarbonisation, we need NetZero, and we need it as soon as possible but in such a way that is pragmatic in terms of catering to the existing populations and markets.

To further encourage decarbonisation the industry must look past just simple financial motivation. No one single product alone is presently capable of delivering NetZero, so rather than fracture into competing groups, the heating & hot water sector will benefit from a platform of cross-communication and information sharing that can be relayed to positively assist the UK end-user and customer.

We need to look at this from the consumers’ viewpoint. We need to be putting accurate information in the public arena. At the moment there are a lot of interested bodies and companies showing understandable self-interest in wanting to know they have a future in the marketplace.

In our sector we have manufacturers of similar or like-for-like products which are looking to what will replace natural gas as the fuel of mass consumption and how that will affect them. We also have the pragmatic logic of trying to find affordable fuels for the mass market. Alternatives on their own are simply not an answer. We also need to look at the range of innovations and developments such as Hydrogen, BioLPG and rDME that will come on stream.

Yes, individual products have a place. But what would be the NetZero answer, as an example, to a commercial or industrial unit or site that has the added complications of needing Legionella prevention regimes and constant high temperature hot water in large volumes. How would electrification and heat pumps, for example, be attractive in terms of capital, installation and ongoing operational costs and performance?

Everything has a role to play and everything non-carbon can have a future. And a collective, equable effort will give us the result we all want, the result we must have, if we are to have a sustained quality of life.

We are a business based on engineering excellence and are employing technological creativity to achieve the targets. It will mean, in the UK, that we begin to offer a wider range of products under the H3 umbrella of Hydrogen, Heat Pumps and Hybrid Systems to enable our customers to achieve their own carbon reductions and eventual neutrality. Our product has been re-formulated to allow customer choice for every type of site and application. The range includes the following:-

H1 – Hydrogen, BioLPG – water heaters & boilers

H2 - Hybrid Systems – Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal

H3- Heat Pumps – Low GWP

It is possible that all residential and commercial sites can provide customers with heating and hot water systems that produce the most practical, economic and technical solutions - on and off grid.

Progress in decarbonisation requires common sense and a reduction of partisan beliefs regarding specific heating products, energy vectors and platforms. For example, heat pumps, if you listened, watched and read BBC content, are the sole answer to Net Zero. It would appear that no other product or system exists.

Heat pumps are the right product – but in specific circumstances. A site hoping to install a heat pump must be accurately evaluated so that the correct size heat pump is deployed. Load demand and seasonal adjustments must be made realistically based on past data. The aim must be to both maximise and optimise a whole system, no matter what type of building or property.

NetZero ambitions can be truly delivered if a measured, pragmatic and transparent stance is adopted by all players in the heating and hot water industry.

The manufacturing sector of the heating and hot water industry has a responsibility in playing a leading role in the reduction and eventual removal of harmful emissions. For UK decarbonisation targets to be met transparent assessments of product impact and efficiency should be common currency. To enact a national energy transition towards green energy there is a pressing need for unity of purpose across multiple industry sectors.

26 April 2023

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