Q&A with Paul Thirlwall, the first Environment 2050 competition winner

Q&A with Paul Thirlwall, the first Environment 2050 competition winner

Worcester Bosch has announced its first Environment 2050 competition winner (in the gas category) as PT Plumbing & Heating Ltd’s Paul Thirlwall, giving back to Hereford Saint Michael’s Hospice as part of the prize win

Back in 2000, Worcester Bosch launched the Environment 2000 Initiative, a competition where professionals could showcase their installations from an environmental perspective. This year the heating and hot water manufacturer relaunched the competition with an eye to the future – Environment 2050.

The aim of the Environment 2050 competition is to recognise those professionals in the heating industry who act sustainably and make informed choices when it comes to upgrading or creating a new installation of heating appliances.

The Q1 Environment 2050 competition winner is Paul Thirlwall from PT Plumbing & Heating Ltd in Hereford. Below, Paul reveals more about his business, his thoughts on sustainability and the future of the industry.

What prompted you to enter the Environment 2050 Competition?
I found out about the competition when browsing on Facebook, and liked the message and idea behind it, so thought why not?

An added incentive for me was that it was a competition based on installing Worcester Bosch boilers, which I’m familiar with and enjoy installing. I always ensure I do the best job possible and was happy to showcase my work as I do enjoy the installations and ultimately delivering the best service to my customers.

How do you think winning this competition will help promote your business?
I’ve been self-employed for the last year since I launched PT Plumbing & Heating Ltd, so the timing of the competition win has been great for me, and hopefully will be a nice boost for my business being able to showcase my installation skills, and to be recognised by a manufacturer as highly accredited as Worcester Bosch.

I am delighted to have been really busy since starting my own business and winning the Environment 2050 competition will be a great way to keep the momentum going.

How important is living and working sustainably to you?
Living and working sustainably, to me, is crucial. The future of the industry and the wider world depends on sustainability being prioritised. You only have to look around to see the impact non-renewable fuels have made to the planet. The industry is progressing towards greener innovations and renewable fuel sources and that will play a huge part in reaching net zero.

I think that hydrogen will be the fuel source of choice going forward as we prepare for the big jump in making things greener. Especially with the rising cost of living right now, it is an important part of our jobs to advise customers how they can save money on their bills in the long run and that will be by adopting greener technology.

Living sustainably is an investment as opposed to a cost and that needs to be articulated. Keeping things green and saving people money works hand in hand and is a win-win for all those involved.

What are the most common questions customers ask?
The question that pops up most frequently is about what temperature a thermostat should be set to in order to save homeowners the most money.

For this one, it is difficult for me to give a one size fits all answer as some people’s homes may hold heat differently, similarly some people feel the cold more than others. My advice instead would be to set your thermostat to a temperature that suits you, then turning it down a degree or two until you find the most efficient temperature while still living and feeling comfortable in your home.

It is interesting with all the innovation and technology coming about that it still always comes down to the simple question of how warm should my home be.

Are there any measures you take to be more environmentally friendly in your work?
In the same way the industry is going, I have ambitions for my business to go greener as well.

I’m looking to get an electric van in the near future, naturally with this job, there is a lot of travelling so doing that in a more environmentally friendly way while providing homeowners with green technologies will help me play my part a little more. I recently purchased a press gun that is electric rather than gas which is a quicker turnaround and an easy win for those wishing to transition into greener equipment. In addition, we ensure that we recycle everything that we can and reduce wastage to a minimum.

What do you like most about Worcester Bosch boilers?
They are user friendly from a customer and an installer perspective. They are easy to fit and easy to operate. The jig system that is used is great for space saving and allowing room for pipe work and the telescopic flue is also a great feature.

Most importantly, Worcester Bosch manufacture high quality and most importantly, reliable boilers, which is why customers and installers alike have had such a good experience with them.

What made you choose the charity for your donation?
My donation is to Hereford Saint Michael’s Hospice. It’s a local charity who do incredible work for the community. Over the years I have had family and friends who have been looked after by the charity and I can’t speak highly enough of how good they have been. They really are a special charity and the work they do for the community is amazing.

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