Jennie Ward looks ahead at what the industry is likely to face in 2013.
The last few years have been difficult for everyone in this industry, as the faltering economy has caused homeowners to put off investing in heating system upgrades and unnecessary expenditure in order to save money.
As we move into 2013, the future of the industry hinges on everyone finding new avenues of business. Many – including the government – seem to have pinned their hopes on the Green Deal, which officially opens to homeowners later this month. Later this year, expected changes to Part L Building Regulations and the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are also likely to have an impact.
The full details of these pieces of legislation have not yet been finalised, but the government is hoping that tariffs available through the RHI, and the finance options as part of the Green Deal, will help to encourage people to invest in upgrading the energy efficiency of their homes despite the continuing economic uncertainty.
Many in the HVAC industry have become sceptical of the government’s expectations of how successful the Green Deal is going to be, with the lack of public awareness, and uncertainty over interest rates and potential credit checks for low-income households all serving to discourage many installers.
That said, recent news that the launch of the Green Deal cashback scheme is being brought forward to early January, and that DECC is going to invest £2.9 million into advertising the Green Deal to the general public, has to be encouraging for everyone involved. This is particularly true since, for a short time at least, cashback will be available to the first adopters of the Green Deal, and even to those who choose to finance the relevant energy efficiency measures themselves, rather than accessing Green Deal finance.
In September 2012’s issue, HVP sent out a Reader Survey to all our subscribers, looking to take a snapshot of the industry, and ask our readers’ opinions on some of the key issues affecting the industry, such as renewable energy and apprentices.
We were overwhelmed with your response, and want to thank everyone who took the time to send us their opinions on the industry – they made fascinating reading! We’ve gathered together some of the most interesting facts, figures and statistics for you to read in our current issue. Check out page 78 of our January 2013 magazine to see if you agree with the rest of our readers, and let us know what you think!