Useful Insights from ISH 2015 - Our Top 10
Throughout the week of 10-13th March, I, along with colleagues from our Micro-CHP, Heat Pump, Roadmap, Connected Home and Distributed Power research teams, attended the 2015 ISH trade fair – Europe’s largest heating / hot water exhibition.
ISH is a fantastic opportunity to get comprehensive insight into the EU heating industry and we all enjoyed meeting many of our clients and industry contacts there. I’ve distilled down the team’s combined insights into the following Top 10 Useful Insights:
- Connectivity is now in the mainstream. Everybody seems to have apps and internet connectivity nowadays. Controls are becoming easier to use, and remote service or diagnostics from installers are becoming more widespread.
- Product range homogenisation. It’s increasingly hard for manufacturers to differentiate on the basis of their product portfolio. The product ranges on display from the big boiler companies were almost exactly the same.
- Manufacturers are trying to differentiate using design styling. Some manufacturers are trying to make products look different (prettier?) from the usual bland white boxes. There were many much nicer-looking systems around eg Bosch had some ‘new’ boilers that looked a bit like an iPhone!
- Hybrid heat pumps were everywhere. Only very few manufacturers did not have a hybrid on their stand, and some, like Viessmann are putting a lot of emphasis on these systems.
- Energy labels were omnipresent. Manufacturers have put a lot of effort into making their products ERP and Energy Label ready for 2015. While policy makers have high hopes for the impact on customers decision making, Delta-ee is quite cautious: the labels may send difficult to explain messages to customers eg why should a customer buy an “A+”-labelled HP water heater if they can buy an “A”-labelled direct electric water heater for a fraction of the price? Contact Lindsay Sugden if you want to find out about Delta-ee’s new research into the impact of ERP and the Energy Label on the market into 2016.
- An absence of truly new technology on show. We saw just different “flavours” or “clones” of existing technologies: heat pump, CHP, boiler, smart home devices, PV, solar thermal, battery.
- Installation is getting less complex and more ‘plug and play’. Products are more integrated than they used to be and installers have to think less with regards to system design. Also the product controls are being improved for end users and installers. We saw a good example from Junkers/Buderus, where there are now two control interfaces on each system: one limited to basics for the end-user (directly accessible on the front of the system) and one with all the detailed control parameters for the installer.
- The boiler (and heat pump) manufacturers start to move towards ‘smart’ or ‘connected’ home. They are all in the ‘smart’ or ‘connected’ game now – although mainly they are playing catch up with specialist vendors who are the market leaders.
- Despite the high profile of connectivity, we didn’t see any major ‘smart’ innovations. Although, compared with ISH 2013, remote diagnostics for installers has become a stronger theme and a focus for some manufacturers.
- What could be the big things in ISH 2017? Our picks are:
- Connected devices providing remote diagnostics and control
- Products that provide independence from grid prices eg PV self-consumption combined with battery storage
- Fuel cells and power-to-gas
Hope you enjoy this listing and as always we’ll be happy to hear what you think. If you want more detail on any of the above contact me.