EDINBURGH, UK, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Delta-ee has just completed a nationwide survey with 250 UK heating installers and has found that there may be a supply chain delay when the domestic renewable heat incentive is launched in the UK.
There is no doubt that the RHI is going to be an important market intervention. Ending years of uncertainty is a fantastic next step, and for customers and vendors alike it is something tangible to get excited about.
Awareness is also strong - with 2/3 of installers in our sample aware of the RHI when prompted. However, the findings revealed that there is still plenty of work to be done by product suppliers, and DECC, to reassure and convince installers that they should invest in this market.
Converting interest to action will be challenging. A concern highlighted by recent experiences of the Green Deal. In the survey more respondents recognised the Green Deal than the RHI (Green Deal had 90% awareness). And yet, in spite of this, little more than 10% had actually become Green Deal certified.
With the Green Deal as the gateway to RHI support, there is a danger that if the installer is unable to guide customers through this process themselves (which our data tells us will be the base-case scenario) they could just resort to recommending a conventional technology instead - a sale's a sale.
As the industry prepares for the launch of the RHI in the coming months, it is worth considering what the installer proposition - not just the customer proposition - for renewable heat will be - as installers will be the key customer link.
The survey highlighted key areas where installers would like support including:
- The key 3rd party assistance installers are looking for - from lead generation to aftersales support.
With over 60% of conventional heating installers also interested in providing low carbon heat in the future, there is reason to be upbeat about market prospects in the UK. However to really drive engagement, installers require support from suppliers along the whole customer journey.
For many, the key challenge today is lead generation, so help finding the customer is a priority. Design and commissioning support is also important for helping installers feel confident when they install for the first time.
Feedback also highlighted that installers wanted a better range of financing options, and longer product warranties in order to complete the sale.
- Training remains a major barrier for installers - the 'qualifications burden' needs to be reduced (or the system simplified) for wider engagement with low carbon heat.
Survey participants told us that training is one of the biggest barriers to engaging in renewable heat: almost 80% of installers in our sample listed it as a concern, and over half gave it as their single greatest concern.
With an increasing list of qualifications needed to provide an end-to-end customer service - including: specific manufacturer product training, Green Deal accreditation and the MCS (all on top of maintaining any gas safe or other base qualifications) - then the challenge becomes clear.
Read our blog for further information on the key areas where the survey identified installers would like support.
Delta-ee's Microgen Insight Service has just completed an in-depth programme of research with heating installers in the UK to gauge their awareness of and attitudes towards low carbon heat (including the sort of supplier propositions that have most appeal). Our comprehensive, nationwide survey with 250 installers uncovers new insight into installer attitudes and experiences.
More information is available on the Delta-ee website at http://www.delta-ee.com where you can also read our blog. If you are interested in finding out more about the Microgen Insight Service contact Jennifer Arran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delta-ee (http://www.delta-ee.com) is a specialist decentralised energy research and consulting company. The Microgen Insight Service helps subscribers understand customers, the future direction of the market and to develop the right customer propositions. The research is a unique approach that integrates customer research, techno-economic analysis and market intelligence.