NICEIC calls for trades to come together to lead retrofit revolution

NICEIC calls for trades to come together to lead retrofit revolution

Amid increased focus on the challenge of improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock, NICEIC is calling on all trades to come together to enable the meaningful collaboration and innovation needed to solve the great retrofit challenge.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the UK’s 30 million homes account for more than 21% of the country’s total carbon emissions. Yet to achieve its legally binding climate change targets, the UK must ensure the near-complete elimination of carbon emissions from UK buildings. This means rising to the challenge of adapting existing stock to improve energy efficiency; and reducing carbon emissions must be prioritised if the UK is to keep 2050 net zero goals in sight.

To achieve net zero targets, the UK must ensure all homes reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘C’ or above by 2035. At present, however, 19 million homes currently fall within band ‘D’ or below.

NICEIC Technical Director, Paul Collins, comments: “It’s widely documented that most UK homes are unfit for the challenges of climate change. According to one recent study, in fact, our houses are amongst the least energy efficient in Europe and lose heat up to three times faster than those on the continent. Tackling this by retrofitting low carbon measures and technologies is not only a net zero imperative but crucial to helping households reduce their energy costs.

“With a variety of heating incentives and grants available such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, Home Upgrade Scheme and Energy Company Obligation Scheme, installers will continue to see an increase in demand for low-carbon, energy efficient and renewable technologies. This, in turn, provides a huge opportunity for our talented tradespeople to lead the way at the helm of the energy transition, but it will require commitment, focus and investment in training.

“With so much low carbon technology available it is now more crucial that installers invest in upskilling and increasing their knowledge. From solar PV and energy storage systems to ground and air source heat pumps, there’s something to suit every homeowner and help them address soaring energy costs in a more sustainable way. This means that installers need to be fully clued up on the latest and most advanced solutions so that they can not only advise and provide their customers with the right products, but also be skilled on the installation of these new technologies.”

To provide a helping hand, NICEIC has developed a new range of qualifications for businesses seeking to ensure upskill their knowledge and competence in key emerging low carbon categories. Delivered by NICEIC leading industry experts, key course topics include electrical energy storage systems (EESS), installation of small-scale solar pv, solar pv maintenance, solar thermal hot water and heat pumps.

According to NICEIC, tackling Britain’s inefficient homes isn’t just about upskilling and diversifying but will rely on trades working together in more meaningful collaboration too.

Paul adds: “Ultimately, the retrofit challenge cannot be achieved alone. To ensure maximum impact, installers, electricians, gas and heating engineers, plumbers, and other service providers will need to work together to ensure a holistic approach from inception through to delivery. From a cost perspective, this will help keep installation costs down by ensuring all required technologies are integrated early doors – rather later down the line. And, from a results perspective, it will help ensure best practice efficiency standards are met.

“The low carbon transition should be seen as a fantastic opportunity for the trades to come together, recommending work between each other and forging meaningful collaboration to add value and maximise impact.”

To discover more about the latest training and qualifications offered by NICEIC, click here

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