The acquisition follows on from the strategic investment made by EDF into CB Heating in 2022. Coming during a crucial time for the sector, the announcement follows the recent Government extension of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), and 50% boost for the air source heat pump grant, rising from £5,000 to £7,500.
With the Future Homes Standard banning the installation of gas boilers in new homes by 2025, and the total ban of fossil fuel gas boilers by 2035, the investment will improve the end-to-end customer journey from selection to installation, by slashing waiting times and delivering better value. As part of investment, EDF is working to halve the customer journey time, which currently takes three to four months.
The deal will also see EDF putting a dedicated team in place to deliver heat pump solutions for a wide range of homes across the country, forming part of a wider range of zero carbon home products for both local authorities and developers looking to ensure compliance with the new legislation.
Philippe Commaret, Managing Director of Customers at EDF, said: “The investment we’re making in the heat pump market is representative of all the work we’re doing to help Britain achieve net-zero.
“Having acquired stand-out installer CB Heating, we look forward to delivering an even better service and added value for our customers, making it easier for them to switch from polluting fossil fuels to low carbon electricity, and in doing so, save cash and carbon.”
One of the challenges in delivering the Government’s overarching decarbonisation strategy will require the number of qualified zero carbon heat engineers to increase dramatically. According to Nesta, the UK requires 27,000 qualified engineers to meet current government targets of delivering 600,000 heat pump installations each year by 2028. Currently, there are around 4,500 qualified heat pump installers in the UK compared to more than 150,000 gas safe engineers.
Over the past year, EDF’s strategic investment and partnership with CB Heating has supported the development of the Heat Pump Installers Network (HPIN) Academy, which delivers free training to upskill engineers at every level in the UK.
Since August 2022, the partnership has generated a 414% surge in the number of heat pump installers being trained, rising from 90 to 463 installers. The HPIN Academy has the potential to train up to 4,000 new heat pump installers every year, bringing positive impact to hundreds of communities across the country.
Clayton Browne, Managing Director at CB Heating, said: “Now CB Heating has the investment and resource to continue its journey to develop and grow our HPIN network, which is the largest network of qualified trained heat pump installers in the UK.
“We plan to train over 1,000 heat pump installers in 2024, meaning a quarter of all estimated heat pump installers in the UK will be a HPIN member. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far and will continue to work with thousands of other local independent installers to help them move away from fossil fuels and switch to heat pumps. It’s a very exciting time for CB Heating as we take this next step in our 23-year history.”
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