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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.
Bringing together delegates from across the energy sector, our European Heat Summit 2018 inspired interesting discussions, debates and insights on the hot topics of the low carbon heating industry. Delegates talked about the key challenges and opportunities presenting themselves now and going forward, and how companies are responding to these.
The Summit discussions encompassed several topics that are key for the future of the low carbon heating industry, but some themes stood out throughout the event:
Mostra MCE is a biennial trade fair in Milan covering heating, cooling, water and energy – while having a strong focus on the Italian market, it’s a major international event. Maria Synodi from our Connected Home team and I had the opportunity to visit and we enjoyed meeting many of our subscribers and industry contacts there (and also escaping from the snow in Edinburgh!).
In this short blog we share some of the things we learnt, and hope you find it useful. As always, we welcome your feedback and questions so please feel free to contact us directly.
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