Heat pump skills gap revealed

A survey has highlighted the urgent need for more information to be provided to installers about heat pumps to inspire them to seek training and address concerns

The government’s target for 600,000 heat pumps to be installed each year by 2028 is nowhere near being fulfilled, with installation figures last year estimated to be between 60-70,000.

According to the survey, which was conducted by Censuswide between December 2022 and January 2023 for Energy Efficiency at City Plumbing, 44% of installers don’t know where to seek training, with just 18% currently installing heat pumps and only 6% MCS certified.

A concerning 32% of installers are unaware of the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme in England and Wales, which offers discounts for homeowners switching to a heat pump if they use a certified installer.

Adam Foy, managing director of energy efficiency at City Plumbing, said:

“As an industry we need to make training more accessible. We should be there for installers who are interested in upskilling and encouraging others that doing so will be good for their business.

“The underlying interest is there. Our survey also revealed that 49% of installers would consider becoming MCS certified if there was a course available locally. Moreover, when we asked installers if becoming certified would be good for their careers, 82% agreed.

“It’s not possible to achieve government targets without trained installers, so now is the time to act. We need installers to be ambassadors for renewable technologies, especially in the domestic market where many homeowners are yet to be convinced, so education and effective communication is vital.”

He added, “Ultimately, net zero targets are going to be difficult to achieve without the right number of trained installers.”

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