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Low-carbon at the coal face: Delta-ee’s newest report reveals what installers really think about the microgeneration sector

The newest report from Delta-ee’s ‘Microgen Insight Service’ comprises our analysis of the 250 responses to our nationwide Installer Survey, offering the most up to date investigation of installer attitudes towards – and their experiences of – microgen technologies. The full report takes a deep dive into all aspects of the installation process, delivering key insights on what factors are really shaping the views of installers (and also their customers) about domestic renewables and what product suppliers must do to enable greater engagement from them. Here, we offer a brief summary of three of our key report findings.

The 2013 Installer Survey Report

Central to every sale – and critically, a key influence on product choice – installers, from a range of product specialities and geographical locations, are the subject of the latest primary research from the MIS. 250 of them responded to our call to share their experiences of the UK heating market:

MISBlog2

With the majority of the sample survey having over 10 years industry experience, the data also reveals valuable insight about the awareness of microgeneration incentive schemes and how the different technologies are favoured by those at the installation front line.  Our analysis revealed a multitude of industry trends – some to be expected, some far more surprising! Below are just a few of the most interesting...
Installers know their customers well – but are suppliers delivering what customers really want?

Understanding customer drivers is a key concern for product manufacturers. Reassuringly, Delta-ee’s research shows that equipment installers know their customers well; their take on the key customer drivers echoes what we found previously, direct from end-users. Installers confirmed that the desire to reduce running costs is the main customer driver for fitting microgen. At a time of increased political debate surrounding the sharp rises in energy prices (see e.g. here), the report highlights the opportunity microgen players can take to demonstrate their products’ resilience in the face of inflation-excelling fossil fuel prices. Although, because installer drivers vary as much as their customers’ drivers do, understanding the different target audiences for microgen products will be critical; more detail on which can be found in our full write-up.
Many installers remain unenthused about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), and the impact appears to be weak – should DECC be concerned?

With only 50% of installers who currently cab fit both conventional heating and renewable systems even aware of what is arguably the single-most important policy piece for low carbon heat in the UK, Delta-ee’s Installer Survey Report highlights a key threat to the sector’s ability to capitalise on the RHI scheme. If installers themselves are not adequately aware of the full range of offers available, how can customers make fully informed investments?  And, if those who are aware are personally indifferent, how will they sell the value on to potential customers?

Q. 21)    Has the recent announcement about the Renewable Heat Incentive made you more or less likely to want to install renewables in future?

MISBlog

The Installer Report demonstrates the need for product manufacturers and policy makers to really sell the full opportunity the RHI offers to installers as much as customers. Today the impact has largely been weak, possibly due to a lack of understanding or uncertainty surrounding the scheme’s delivery. The RHI can only avoid the disappointing fate of the Green Deal if the entire supply chain is working together.
Feedback highlights key supply chain issues: Are opportunities to sell microgen being lost?

Installers are undoubtedly the main point of call for customers making their installation choices, be they strategically planned or hastily taken (a further revealing topic explored in the report). But, focusing on the role of the installer as an influential source of advice, we have learned that, too often, customer enquiries for microgen systems are not being converted. Even among installers of purely conventional system, as many as 1 in 10 installs involve a microgen enquiry, and the figure is understandably far higher among those offering renewables. Effectively, we believe this demonstrates how more consumers are beginning to engage with microgeneration. Yet, alarmingly, (far) fewer than half of all these enquiries result in a microgen technology being fitted.

Together with other aspects of installer engagement, such as the most important factors shaping their own decisions on whether a property is suitable for microgen, this research highlights the crucial role installers hold in shaping – and clearly sometimes obstructing – customer uptake of microgen. Rectifying such obstructions is crucial for growing the market for renewable solutions, and therefore the report pays considerable attention to which strategies will work best.

Delta-ee’s market leading Microgen Insight Service


Offering extensive coverage across all the key customer groups, Delta-ee’s Microgen Insight Service (MIS) is a subscription-based research service designed around the needs of manufacturers, distributors/suppliers and retailers of microgeneration technologies. By combining primary research (with owner-occupiers, installers, social landlords and housing developers) with detailed techno-economic analysis, the MIS provides the most comprehensive account of the latest trends in the microgeneration industry, drawing out the all-important conclusions / ‘so what’s’ to inform our clients’ commercial strategies.

For further information on the Installer Report and Delta-ee’s Microgen Insight Service please contact:

Jennifer.Arran@delta-ee.com;    +44 (0)131 625 1009
Steven.Ashurst@delta-ee.com;    +44 (0)131 625 1003
 

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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

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