Installer training is key to paving the road to net zero

Installer training is key to paving the road to net zero

Martin Passingham, Product and Training Department Manager at Daikin UK, outlines why installer training is key to paving the road to net zero. 

Securing the UK’s energy supply and meeting its net zero targets is a top priority for the UK government. Heat pumps have been highlighted as a key renewable solution in the country’s future heating strategy. 

The UK is facing a major challenge to fill the green skills gaps needed to meet the government’s ambitious target of net-zero by 2050 and its aim to have 600,000 heat pumps installed each year by 2028 – with more than 200,000 people needing training for green energy roles by 2050. 

At Daikin, we have the capacity to train more than 7,000 installers on air source heat pumps through our accredited courses and around 40-strong network of Sustainable Home Centres – and we’re striving to train around 30% of all installers in the industry. 

We’re urging installers to upskill to meet the upcoming demand and drive uptake across the country as we work to decarbonise home heating. 

Accredited training
It is vital that homeowners have a positive experience during the installation process, and confidence in their heat pump solution in the weeks, months and years that follow. Early adopters of heat pumps will effectively become ambassadors for the technology and can encourage others to make the move as well. 

And there’s a benefit for installers, too. Ensuring the install is carried out to a high standard reduces the potential need for follow-up visits to resolve any issues – increasing the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth recommendations and maximising the time available to take on more new jobs. 

In 2021, the awarding body, LCL, launched a three-day air source heat pump foundation course that more closely aligned to industry requirements. And to facilitate the upskilling of installers in their thousands, third-party providers like Daikin are accredited to deliver the Air Source Heat Pump course.  

The course covers the fundamentals of how a heat pump works, as well as the finer technical details of the installation. 

It also provides a detailed overview of how to select the right heat pump for a particular home – starting by carrying out a thorough heat loss calculation for the property and understanding the household’s hot water demands to ensure its requirements can be met.  

Courses like this one enable installers to carry out installations through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) where homeowners get thousands of pounds towards their heat pump installation in England and Wales and in Scotland, the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan Scheme offers even more generous support. 

Product training
As well as a solid grounding in heat pump theory and best practice, product-specific training is a good idea for installers looking to get every install right first time.  

Daikin provides three levels of courses for its Daikin Altherma air source heat pumps – including Monobloc, High Temperature, and hybrid systems. 

The first level ‘Standard Installation’ course is designed for anyone who’s only involved in installations and set up of the Heat Pump including basic commissioning. 

The second level ‘Advanced Installation and Commissioning’ course covers the skills required to install Heat Pumps in a much wider range of circumstances, also to fully configure and commission to suit the homeowners’ varying requirements.  

The third level ‘Service and Fault Finding’ course covers all types of servicing tasks. This course is for the experienced Heat Pump engineer and allows then to be able to diagnose issues that may arise during the lifetime of the unit and to be able to effectively repair. 

The training is delivered virtually and face to face at our Training Academy’s in Woking, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Our network of Daikin local Sustainable Homes Centres also offers completely free product training and refresher courses to local installers, cutting down on costs and time taken away from work. 

Daikin has also totally refitted its Daikin Training Academy in Birmingham. It provides a comprehensive range of training courses, including Daikin product courses and industry-accredited training for heat-pump renewables installers, social housing providers and developers. 

Support for installers
Daikin is offering £250 to MSC certified installers each time they fit a Daikin air-source heat pump in England, Scotland or Wales. The scheme is directly linked to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) and the Home Energy Scotland Scheme (HESS). In Scotland, the eligible products also include hybrid boilers. 

Running alongside the Installer Incentive scheme, Daikin’s new installer offer provides free local heat pump training in a Daikin Sustainable Home Centre and £100 off easy MCS accreditation, alongside end-user warranties for customers. 

In addition to this, new installers will also benefit from 40% off the first heat pump unit purchased at a local centre and commissioning support for the first installations. 

Technology of today
Heat pumps are no longer the technology of the future. They are the technology of today. 

With no gas boilers being installed in new homes from 2025 – and incentives in place to ensure the country’s existing housing stock is upgraded to low carbon heating, too – the need for installers to train on alternatives is paramount. 

Those who are among the first to make the move can enjoy a competitive advantage while others catch up, as long as they can competently advise homeowners on the optimum solution for their home.  

This represents a once-in-a-career opportunity for installers to not just future-proof their businesses as their existing customers upgrade to cleaner, green options, but to grow and expand their customer base. 

Main Image: Daikin

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