An excerpt from the SNIPEF Blog – Renewables is inevitably going to make inroads – will 2014 see significant growth?
Many column inches and broadcast media minutes have been devoted recently to the subjects of energy efficiency and the role of renewable sources of energy. A number of plumbing and heating businesses have invested heavily to make sure that when consumer demand arrives, they are in a position to carry out the work (most of which is simply an extension of their existing portfolio of work). This investment will probably have included the costs of meeting expensive approval requirements and undertaking training in the appropriate technology.
As with any subject, there is a fair amount of spin and misinformation in what has been written and said about these subjects. There has also been a fair amount of disappointment on the part of some contractors who have made their investment only to find that consumer demand was not there. However, it is just possible that this year might be one in which we begin to witness something of a sea change in demand. A combination of factors including the continuing increases in the cost of traditional fuels along with the much heralded arrival of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) could prove to be enough of an incentive to encourage more consumers to embark on the road of installing some form of renewable energy sources in their property. Although it is generally accepted that RHI will be of most benefit to consumers in areas which do not have access to natural gas, consumers in all areas could be attracted by the possibility of reducing their energy bills through either the use of renewables or the upgrading of existing equipment with that which is much more energy efficient.
Although there is still considerable scepticism in some quarters of the industry as to whether these technologies will ever really take-off, there are many around who recognise that there is something inevitable about more of this work being required in the future than has been the case to date. There is a danger facing established plumbing and heating businesses which stay in the unconvinced camp. That danger is that other businesses, which have no background or training in plumbing and heating, are only too ready and willing to take on any work which comes along. That would not be a good result for our industry nor would it necessarily lead to a happy outcome for customers of such businesses.
2014 might well prove to be the year when things change.