As we step ever closer to the government’s target of achieving net-zero by 2050, soaring energy prices have resulted in a focus on the adoption of greener energy alternatives. As the main installers and engineers who ensure this transition goes smoothly, tradespeople have a vital role to play in achieving this goal. It also presents a huge opportunity for a significant push towards sustainable substitutes.
Research conducted by SaveMoneyCutCarbon showed that 58% of customers struggle to find a tradesperson specialising in green renovations. This demonstrates that there is a demand not just from legislation, but also through customer desire to retrofit renewable and low carbon alternatives, such as heat pumps, in commercial and domestic properties. However, this demand has not yet been fully met and presents an opportunity for tradespeople to upskill in home energy retrofitting for greener renovations. Although upskilling can take time and resource away from current or upcoming projects, it is essential to meet the demand and, ultimately, prepare for the future.
The government website for the BEIS skills training competition scheme (which unfortunately ended in March) is still a great place to look for a comprehensive list of training providers that offer courses in home energy retrofitting and low carbon heat insulation. It is also useful to consider what government grants are being offered to property owners, because if there is a focus and support in place to help with the cost, customers may be even more inclined to take the plunge. For example, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a grant that helps property owners overcome the upfront cost of low carbon heating technologies and the scheme is open to domestic and small non-domestic properties until 2025.
It is also worth considering other simple, yet effective, steps that can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of any job or project. Firstly, you should take into consideration the products being used. Poor quality products often do not last and add to landfill or unnecessary recycling. To help combat this, consider using quality products with long warranties where the manufacturers also offer spare parts. Spare parts make it easier to make repairs, rather than just replacing the item.
Secondly, remember to do some due diligence on manufacturers’ commitments to sustainability. From plastic-free packaging to the production line, some manufacturers are taking massive steps to being carbon neutral, which helps you to deliver the same.
Water product manufacturers Hansgrohe and Grohe are two brands that have been considering their impact on the planet for a while. Since 2020, Grohe has achieved carbon neutral production with its product packaging being entirely plastic-free. Beyond the production line, both Hansgrohe and Grohe have developed technologies incorporated into their products to assist with reducing water consumption. Hansgrohe mixers and showers with EcoSmart technology require up to 60% less water than conventional products. Grohe’s EcoJoy products similarly save water and energy by using less water while still delivering on flow rates.
As the demand and requirement for everyone to lower their carbon footprint continues to fuel sustainability across the nation, upskilling within renewable and green technologies will be a key factor. However, there are many other ways that contribute to making renovations and other jobs greener as well as being easy, immediate and affordable, such as looking at installing quality products with eco-focused technology incorporated.
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