In the study, The Royal Academy of Engineering states that the biggest obstacle facing the switch to low carbon emissions in homes is the lack of skills demonstrated by plumbers and heating engineers. “Heat: degrees of comfort” investigates the challenges facing the heating industry when it comes to reducing carbon emissions as outlined in new government regulations. In addition to claiming that installers are not skilled enough, the report has concluded that meeting the commitment laid out by the Climate Change Act 2008 is not feasible without a drastic change to the way in which houses are heated.
Professor Roger Kemp of Lancaster University, who heads up the work-group has said “Managing the UK’s energy systems in a way that reduces CD2, avoids expensive imports, ensures energy security and does not exacerbate fuel poverty will be hugely difficult.” The Government is only just coming to terms with the complexity of these multiple demands on policy. The Royal Academy of Engineering is calling for investment to help with the training of the aforementioned plumbers and heating engineers. It also believes that a coordination nationwide approach is imperative to success.
Pimlico Plumber’s MD, Charlie Mullins has defended the installers, stating that they are only responding to market demand. “As the UK’s largest independent plumbing company, I can honestly say we don’t have people banging on our door demanding we install this stuff in their homes. Quite simply there is no demand for it. We have some of the best technical people in the industry who I’d say really deserve the title heating ‘engineers’. Faced with the demand, they would and could work with any sort of low carbon heating technology. After all, whatever the illustrious Academy believe, its joining pipes and wires and that’s what we do for a living every day!”