Andy Douglas, MD at Timeguard, has some words of encouragement for electricians in 2021.
In general terms, 2020 was a pretty grim year, and one that I’m sure we’ll all be keen to put behind us. I’m well known for my eternal optimism, so now that we’ve seen the back of last year I’m focussed on what we can all do now in 2021 towards making up for the lost time.
Of course, despite the continuing COVID-19 presence and associated restrictions and lingering Brexit uncertainties, I’m confident that we can move forward as an industry with a positive mindset and growing consensus that the economy we build really will be better and greener.
After the recent announcements regarding the phasing out of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, it’s hard to see something that will involve such structural change in the motor industry as greenwash. In other words, the Government surely means business, and that’s a good thing. Right?
Energy performance improvements
That said, we must also make sure they look beyond the big industry and headline infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Hinckley C, and the ‘usual suspects’ of loft and cavity wall insulation and insist that cash and policy support, as a minimum, flows down and benefits the day-to-day work of Professional Electrician readers.
This is only logical because there’s still a huge mountain to climb in making our homes energy efficient. UK households account for 40% of our emissions, according to the UK’s independent Committee for Climate Change, so they’re bang in the front line of carbon reduction in this country.
Government strategy calls for all homes to meet Energy Performance Certificate standard band C by 2035, but only a quarter of UK homes achieve that standard now. So, despite having relatively cheap energy, we still have some of the highest energy bills and there are 21 million homes out there just waiting for clear guidance from the top to give them sufficient confidence to invest in improvements.
Once that happens, few people have the sort of reach to those millions of individual homes that electrical installers do.
So, what can you do to cut the carbon footprint?
Clearly electrical and electronic control is a major influence on energy consumption and whatever your opinion of the state-of-the-art of smart meter technology, I daresay we’ll get to see a lot more of them being installed by energy companies “for free”.
Naturally they do have the beauty of showing people in real-time what the impact turning off a few lights or appliances can have, or getting the heating timing and temperatures programme set correctly, and that’s where electrical installers can really step in.
You can offer your customers inexpensive ways of timing or automating lighting and heating with presence detection, and timing and thermostatic control of space heating. The devices you need are available off the shelf from your local wholesalers as we speak.
As serious innovators committed to the trade channel, Timeguard continually invests in developing a wide choice of products with superior specification, including those all-important extra features. Easy to install and use, they can differentiate you from your competition and help you to offer credible alternatives to expensive custom installations. At least something is oven ready.
Good luck for 2021 – I’ve a feeling it’s going to be a busy one for you.