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What does the pathway to a qualified heat pump installer look like? 

Ian Trott, our Training Manager at Baxi, discusses the opportunities net zero presents to installers and how they can ready themselves to capitalise on the growing heat pump market.

The industry is undergoing a seismic shift towards low-temperature heat as part of a nationwide drive to decarbonise the UK. Low-temperature heating may be mandatory in all new build homes, but existing properties can also be a viable target for energy efficiency upgrades. Where the fabric of the property is suitable, heat pumps are increasingly being considered as a viable alternative to gas boiler in these existing homes. What’s clear is that a significant number of homes will soon get their heat from an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) and that homeowners will all be potential customers for heating engineers, so engineers need to prepare now.

How can installers begin their journey towards becoming heat pump experts?

For those looking to take that all-important first step into low carbon heating, a product familiarisation day focussed on heat pumps can be a great place to start. These events are great opportunities to ask about the technology itself, the legislation around it, and to talk to others in the industry about their experience with heat pumps. Courses such as Baxi’s Air Source Heat Pump Product Day provide a one-day practical training opportunity to get familiar with ASHPs under the expert guidance of qualified training engineers.

What training is available?

Those who want to progress their heat pump journey can then sign up for an accredited heat pump course. Baxi runs a BPEC-accredited heat pump training courses for installers, covering design, installation, commissioning and servicing of an air source heat pump as well as water regulations. Installers can prove their familiarity with technical standards for heat pumps and demonstrate their competence and commitment to quality work and customer service. Completing a formal assessment will lead to nationally recognised BPEC qualification that can then be used to demonstrate competence in heat pump installation for an MCS application. This is vital as it allows government funding to be unlocked as a subsidy to the homeowner.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), for example, is a government-funded grant that gives £7,500 to MCS accredited engineers to put towards an ASHP installation. This makes the technology much more affordable for homeowners who are looking to make the leap to low-temperature heating.

Heating engineers will increasingly be viewed as energy consultants as the UK accelerates its decarbonisation drive; MCS accreditation is an important part of growing into that expanded role.

Justifying taking time away from serving customers in order to complete training can be difficult at times, so the Government has launched the Heat Training Grant to help mitigate training costs. The grant offers £500 towards eligible heat pump training courses – including the BPEC course delivered by Baxi’s specialist trainers.

Why is the change to low carbon necessary?

The heating industry is changing and for a good reason. The decarbonisation of heat is a vital part of the UK’s Net Zero goal which is in place to help protect the planet from climate change. By changing how we heat our homes, we can play a part in achieving our 2050 commitment and preserve the planet for future generations.

It is because of this that we are encouraging installers to get familiar with ASHPs now so they can be part of this Net Zero journey. Heating technology is evolving and the UK needs qualified installers to embrace the opportunity that decarbonisation offers. Not only will low-carbon installers be aiding the UK’s environmental efforts, but they will also be in a perfect position to take advantage of the new business opportunities that will arise with the growing popularity of ASHPs.

As a committed partner to heating installers, we’ve invested in the products, expertise and training opportunities at Baxi that can help smooth your transition to low-carbon heat.

 To find out more about becoming a Baxi Heat Pump Installer, see Training (baxiworks.co.uk)​​​​​​​