Q&A: Daikin’s Sustainable Home Network

Q&A: Daikin’s Sustainable Home Network

We spoke to Iain Bevan, Commercial Manager – Heating & Renewables at Daikin UK about the company’s Sustainable Home Network and how installers can get involved.

What is the new Sustainable Home Network?
The Sustainable Home Network is Daikin’s exciting new installer scheme, designed to help traditional heating installers progress, expand and future-proof their business, ready for when renewable energy becomes the new normal. We offer structured and comprehensive training, help and support, everything that is needed to upskill successfully and offer heat pump installations as a service.

For installers who want to be ready for the changes that are unquestionably coming to the heating industry – then this scheme is a practical and essential means of starting this journey.

Why do you believe now is the right time to launch this initiative?
Many factors have come into play meaning that the move to renewable heating is both inevitable and approaching at a fast pace.

Ever since the UK government formally announced its objective for the country to become net zero carbon by 2050, it was clear that change was coming. This will affect all areas of society, from the cars that we drive to the ways in which we heat our homes. However, while this change may have seemed to be in the long-distant future, it is actually coming far sooner than you think. The Chancellor’s recent announcement of a £3 billion green investment package, including the introduction of Green Home Grants for homeowners, is a clear indication of this.

What’s more, by 2025 there is a planned phase-out of fossil-fuel powered boilers in new-build properties, as part of the Future Homes Standard. When housebuilders, developers, local authorities and installers have to look elsewhere for a domestic heating system, heat pumps are likely to be high up on the list.

To put it into numbers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) estimates that, if we are to meet the 2050 target on net-carbon emissions, the domestic heating industry will have to shift from installing 1.5 million boilers per year to one million heat pumps instead, by 2030. This represents a huge new market, with the current boiler demand essentially being replaced by heat pumps, or other low-carbon heating systems.

The recent introduction of the technical standard, ‘Hot water storage vessels for Domestic Purposes for use with Heat Pumps’ by the Hot Water Association (HWA) is just another sign that the domestic heating industry is gearing up and preparing itself for the inevitable and momentous transition.

Perhaps the final sign that now really is the right time is consumer perspective and a visible shift in mindsets, with many of us, whether consciously or sub-consciously, making greener lifestyle decisions. In fact, while the recent lockdown has presented many economic, social and personal challenges, it has also served to further highlight the impact we as humans have been having on the environment, with substantial drops in air and water pollution one positive side-effect of the lockdown.

The scheme offers a tiered programme for installers. How does this work?
The Sustainable Home Network has three distinct tiers, through which installers can progress as their confidence and experience grows, with each level offering unique benefits and rewards.

Installers will first enter as a Sustainable Home Installer, where they will receive flexible, comprehensive and carefully structured training on our monobloc heat pump range. Manufactured with a closed refrigerant circuit, our monobloc heat pump is the perfect starting point for those new to the heat pump market and without F-Gas. As well as product training, we also offer continued help and support, including site visits, marketing materials and qualified homeowner leads.

Once an installer has gained valuable experience and also their F-Gas certification (a process that we can support them through), they have the opportunity to advance to the second tier – Sustainable Home Expert. Here, they are granted access to Daikin’s complete portfolio of high-temperature, low-temperature and hybrid heat pumps, as well as unlimited product training, extended 5-year system warranties, co-branded marketing materials and Daikin’s business development fund.

The final tier of the SHN is the Sustainable Home Centre, offering installers an exciting opportunity to take their business to the next level and become the face of Daikin heat pump technology in their local community, enabling them to use the knowledge and expertise gained to assist consumers, housing providers and developers, as well as other installers.

What makes the Sustainable Home Network different to any other upskill/training course?
The main difference that truly sets the Sustainable Home Network apart from other schemes is our emphasis on progression. Unlike a one-off training course, the Sustainable Home Network is a journey and partnership, throughout which we will offer comprehensive and continuous levels of help and support – not just at a product level, but at a wider business level too.

It is far more than just helping heating installers survive the transition from boilers to heat pumps. Instead, it’s about providing the tools, support and customer-base needed to truly maximise on the opportunities presented by the growing heat pump and renewables market.

Will you be raising awareness of renewable heating systems with consumers?
The Sustainable Home Network forms part of our wider Energy for Change campaign, through which we hope to encourage and be the driving force for change within both the domestic heating industry and wider consumer society.

We are raising consumer awareness of heat pump technology with a coordinated series of regional and national marketing activities, including TV, radio and mobile showroom events. Our aim is to continue to educate homeowners on the benefits and the value heat pumps can offer as an alternative heating solution, as well as dispel any prior misconceptions around the technology.

All qualified leads generated will then be made available to installers within the Sustainable Home Network, helping to bolster levels of customer demand.

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