This is the view from the frontline at the InstallerSHOW 2023, where Rory Macnamara from Plumbing Africa is attending an excellent first talk. Represented by four installers and suppliers, the first discussion was mainly around gas, heat pumps and money!
Surprisingly it’s not all that different from what we face in South Africa, but the applications do differ. Whereas boilers are not the usual South African application for the day-to-day consumer, much of the talk was about replacement of boilers with heat pumps. Heat pumps are more advanced in the United Kingdom than South Africa, having been around longer, but what was common was the lack of training in hear pumps and design and installation. So far, this was a common topic for the InstallerSHOW talks.
Training and the cost of training came up and there was agreement that training must be subsidised. Government should play a greater role in this subsidy. Clearly in South Africa we have the South African Technical Auditing Services (SATAS) – the construction seta in particular as well as EWSETA. but are we utilising the SATAS properly? Hydrogen is a huge topic, but the consensus was it is far away because of training as well as its cost and explosive nature. Old pipes need to be replaced to accommodate hydrogen and that is a huge expense to start with – mainly because old pipes may have leak potential and because of its explosive nature could cause big problems especially in South Africa where unqualified people are doing such work whether plumbing or air conditioning.
Even if hydrogen comes out as a blend it is still expensive and potentially dangerous if in the wrong hands.
Highlights of the second talk to follow!
All photos supplied by Rory Macnamara | Plumbing Africa