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ISH 2019 was simply massive: 20,000 steps per day. But the long walk from the fair entrance to and around the main heating exhibits in the new hall 12 was well worth the exertion.
Having had the time to reflect on the week’s announcements, introductions and unveilings – how accurate were our predictions for the showings of companies involved in high-efficiency gas heating?
With the Chancellor’s recent announcement that fossil fuel heating could be banned in all new homes built after 2025, there will no doubt be significant opportunity for low carbon heating into the future. However, while we wait with anticipation for building regulations to be updated, there is still strong potential for growth in UK heat pump market.
Delta-ee recently reviewed the opportunities and barriers for heat pumps to assess how the market is likely to develop over the next few years. Despite the uncertainties surrounding future support for heat pumps after the Renewable Heat Incentive ends in 2021, and the potential negative impacts of Brexit on the heating market (however that might eventually pan out!), our central forecast foresees the UK heat pump market doubling in size by 2025.
Towards the end of 2018, my colleagues and I finished working on a project for the UK Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) looking into the ‘Technical Feasibility of Electric Heating in Rural Off-Gas Grid Dwellings’. This was an important project examining the often forgotten off-gas grid sector. The results from this work helped inform BEIS’ response to the call for evidence on the future framework for heat in buildings.
Why off-gas grid homes?
Slowly, but very surely, the EU is getting us used to the idea of a fully decarbonised heating and cooling sector across Europe. It’s a bold and necessary objective which has profound implications for companies right across the energy sector.
But is the European Commission going about it the right way?
That’s the question Delta-ee’s upcoming installer research is aiming to answer. The heating system installation market in the UK is currently dominated by small independent local tradespeople. These businesses do both technical work and sales. However, a growing number of digital platforms are emerging where sales are facilitated by a third party. These digital platforms certainly have the potential to significantly disrupt existing sales channels, but getting installers on board will be crucial to their success.
We’ve seen lots of activity in the market for booking home services online since British Gas launched its Local Heroes platform in mid-2017. Heatable came on the scene shortly thereafter, marketing itself to installers as “your digital salesman”. Smart thermostat manufacturer Tado has since begun offering boiler repair services through its partnership with HomeServe, and both John Lewis Home Solutions and Amazon Home Services have now launched in the UK. Hoppy, born out of EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator, recently unveiled its complete home management site with a number of services to help users simplify running their homes – including a tradesperson booking portal.
As part of our recent European Heat Summit held in Berlin, our Gas Heating Service team hosted a unique invitation-only roundtable to discuss and debate the top issues and opportunities facing suppliers of high efficiency gas heating systems like micro-CHP, fuel cells, and gas-fuelled heat pumps.
We heard from a wide range of speakers, from industry associations like COGEN Europe, to heating industry giants like Baxi and Vaillant, to specialist technology developers like Tennessee’s Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. and Sunfire from nearby Dresden.
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