Any heating & plumbing engineer thinking about taking the plunge into the world of renewable energy faces the challenges of learning about the new technologies and being able to supply an efficient system to customers.
So what is available in the way of support for those who want to make renewables installation a really effective part of their future business growth?
Nu-Heat has spent the last six months looking at what renewables installers need in order to offer a positive support package that covers all elements.
Installer Rob Smith of BSP Services gives his insights into what this support has meant for his company.
Training and MCS
“When we started out, I spoke to MCS directly and afterwards knew it would be very difficult to achieve accreditation and that there was a massive paper cycle involved. But I also realised that without MCS, renewable heating just wouldn’t take off.”
Installers tend to believe that the MCS is difficult to navigate and time-consuming to adhere to. MCS accreditation is, however, a valid requirement as it helps to ensure that renewable heating systems are installed to high standards and that the customer ends up with an efficient system.
Nu-Heat helped BSP Services to achieve MCS accreditation and has since developed a relationship with MCS training provider, Easy MCS, to assist other installers in the same situation. Easy MCS provides MCS accreditation support and an MCS quality management system that contains all required internal and external procedures and paperwork.
“The amount of information and design detail given by Nu-Heat makes it easy for me to explain the solution to my customers and in turn all parties are confident in the system being installed.”
First rate design is absolutely crucial, both for performance and to ensure that a system meets the criteria of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Nu-Heat’s experience as a design and supply company can give new installers total confidence in system performance.
Sizing is crucial with heat pumps and high level design support is available through Nu-Heat’s ‘Predictor’, a specialist software programme that ensures the correct heat pump is specified.
Free technical support is available throughout the installation period and when a system is ready, Nu-Heat offers inclusive commissioning support, including inspection of heat pump system prior to MCS inspection.
“We do a system handover with all of our customers. A lot of them are monitoring their electricity consumption and are interested in the flow and return temperatures, which I think helps them understand the technology better. They are happy to talk about their projects with potential BSP customers because they are pleased with the decisions they have made, representing both BSP and Nu-Heat well.”
Handover is an important time as it is crucial that customers are comfortable with the operation of their new heating system; therefore, Nu-Heat supplies installers with a comprehensive customer handover pack that fulfils a large part of the MCS requirement for each installation.
Relationship with installers
“Nu-Heat has a great reputation but doesn’t rest on its laurels, and is good at listening to our comments.”
All sales staff involved with technical support have now been trained to an even higher technical level than before and have gained experience with the more complex technical issues associated with renewable systems and the MCS, and installers now have a direct telephone number for their account manager.
Field Sales Managers
“Customers will be understandably nervous when they are investing in a renewable heating system, and when it’s your first install it’s difficult to assure them how good it will be.”
Particularly for an installer starting off down the renewables route, it is useful to know that support is available from the word go. Field Sales Managers (FSM) will meet with installers to discuss all aspects of renewables, from training and accreditation to legislative issues. When the installer has achieved MCS accreditation, the FSM assists them in finding new business and supports them through the first install, from initial discussions with customers to commissioning.
A bespoke referral system matches enquiries for installation to a local installer with a proven track record. This is a two-way partnership, and as these customers increase the number of systems purchased from Nu-Heat, they can expect to receive more referral work.
“I have dealt with other companies in the past but found there to be a lack of experience in system integration. Many are happy to sell you a heat pump and let you figure out the rest. I really like that my Nu-Heat Account Manager listens to me and that we look through a project together and end up with a system that has been designed to, and will meet, the criteria.”
Rob Smith says that the support he has received gave him a real kick-start to get into the market. He sees a bright future in renewables and is pleased to be trained and accredited at this early stage, ready to handle increasing enquiries as the market grows.