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Equipping installers with the training, skills and qualifications needed to thrive in a net zero energy market is a key theme of the new ‘Future Installer’ zone at the 2020 FutureBuild exhibition (3-5 March, ExCel London), which OFTEC is joining as a key partner.
Supported by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), Future Installer will include an education zone focused on preparing the next generation of heating technicians for the vital role they will play in meeting the UK’s decarbonisation agenda.
Malcolm Farrow, head of communications at OFTEC, comments: “Reducing emissions from buildings will play a huge part in achieving the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This means enormous changes to the way we heat homes and a different mindset for installers whose role will be central to a successful transition.
“Technicians of the future will no longer just be heating experts. Often the first port of call for consumers looking for advice, they will need to understand the requirements of the whole building before identifying and installing the most appropriate low carbon heating solution for each property. They may also be required to recommend other energy efficiency measures which could be taken.”
Malcom points out that this means installers will have to acquire new skills through the right training programmes.
“As part of Future Installer, we will be showcasing how our registration scheme, which covers liquid fuels, biomass, heat pumps and solar thermal heating, to help to support the high quality outcomes that will be essential as we embrace the challenge of achieving net zero.”
OFTEC is currently working with the government and wider industry to deliver a 100% low carbon liquid fuel alternative to heating oil by 2035 which would secure a future pathway for oil heating technicians.
Malcolm Farrow concludes: “Decarbonising heat from homes, particularly those off the gas grid, presents a major challenge. A mix of technologies and solutions will be needed to ensure each building is fitted with the most effective system. Consumers must also have access to solutions that best suit their financial and practical constraints, particularly those on low incomes.
“We are confident that with the right government commitment and policy support, the UK’s 1.5 million oil heated homes could be running on a 100% low carbon liquid fuel within the next 15 years. Alongside this crucial work, OFTEC continues to evolve and is committed to delivering the quality training and certification our installers need in a rapidly changing market. We are delighted to be partnering MCS at Future Installer and taking part in this important conversation.”