Richard Harvey, commercial director for Wolseley Plumb & Parts
Richard Harvey, commercial director for Wolseley Plumb & Parts said: 'We recognise that the details of the 10-point plan will ultimately decide the success of the ambitious targets, but it has offered much-needed certainty in the direction of the UK’s heating industry.
'Achieving net zero is a backbreaking task for any government but it is progressive plans like this that force innovations to shape the future. There are, of course, many challenges ahead in making these plans a reality; whilst there are many technical and infrastructure challenges to overcome we must not forget that unless we face into the huge task of upskilling our country’s heating engineers to work with new technologies, implementing the 10 point plan will be impossible.
'The core of the heating system and internal workings of buildings will remain much the same regardless of fossil fuels, hydrogen or air source heat pumps and hence understanding the products won’t be a problem, but more training will be needed on how installers design, size and commission a heating system as these future technologies require more precision in specification than the conventional gas and oil systems installed today.
'The other major challenge in training is the industry’s ageing workforce. We know that over half of the industry is due to retire within the next 10 years. It’s possible, with the transition in technologies taking place over the next five to 10 years, that many close to retirement age will decide not to upskill, so consideration will be needed on how young talent is attracted to navigate the industry’s biggest shake up since the large scale switch to mains gas. Schools, colleges and heating businesses across the country will be pivotal in attracting and teaching the next generation of engineers.
'As a business, we are excited to sit at the core of the supply chain for air source heat pumps and hydrogen and by us working with the UK’s leading manufacturers, we will support customers, old or new, in making the transformation as seamless as possible.'