The core to success

One of the current key changes in the UK marketplace is the move from out-of-date heating and power sources to new, renewable and eco-friendly solutions. Panasonic’s Marc Diaz focuses on the importance of training centres and the benefits of being educated on sustainable technology
With the demand for renewable technologies on the rise, it is crucial that installers at all levels of experience understand new technologies so they can install and service correctly to maximise their own business potential. Fortunately, we are seeing an increase in manufacturers, distributors and installers who recognise the importance of installer proficiency and are responding to the demand for expert training through the set-up of new demonstration centres.
Most installers have found that attending training centres equipped with fully-functioning examples of renewable heating technology (such as air source heat pumps) can significantly improve their skills, awareness and competence.
A positive and confident outlook has a huge impact on the installer’s approach to the task at hand and in turn leads to a quality output. The more training an installer undertakes, the more knowledgeable, self-assured, efficient and productive they become – and the more they want to learn. Course feedback has shown that installers who have successfully completed training courses primed with live demonstration models are more confident when specifying and fitting the product for the end-user.
Everyone benefits
It is clear to see that the effect is a continuous and positive one for all. Training in this way has proven to be extremely beneficial to installers, distributors and manufacturers alike and is central to organisational development and success.
Traditionally, training courses have focused predominately on improving the skill of the installer and thus have generally overlooked how to provide benefits to the client too. Those based primarily within the classroom run the risk of neglecting the real-world skills required to deliver a successful installation as well as demonstrating the benefits an end-user client will receive.
The Centre of Renewable Energy (CORE) in Nottingham – run by trainers and installers, Watt Energy Saver – provides just that. Through the installation of a fully-functioning air source heat pumps (among other renewable technologies), they have managed to combine both elements to ensure that all parties are aware of the potential advantages.
CORE attraction
Recently opened by Watt Energy Saver to promote a wider understanding of eco-friendly heating solutions, CORE provides a setting for contractors and customers alike to see direct comparisons from one technology to the next. As part of the training centre, which to date has seen over 3,500 visitors since its founding in 2009, CORE offers a number of comprehensive schemes – from an introduction to the new systems, right through to MCS and BPEC approved training courses that allow installers and distributors to build upon their skills. With realistic operational set-ups, CORE provides the opportunity for direct contact with the technology and gives a more accurate understanding of their benefits in different situations.
Educating both trade and consumer audiences on the benefits of air source heat pump technology, the centre houses Panasonic’s Aquarea heat pump and so can easily demonstrate the simplicity of this microgeneration solution to all installers. The installation allows both trade and end-users to see the product and get a hands-on demonstration, instead of simply seeing facts and figures on paper.
Craig Edmonds, Watt Energy Saver’s Managing Director, reinforces the benefits: “CORE is an example of how live demonstration models can benefit the installer. Through our centres, students not only receive the education they need, but also see it physically in its correct working environment. Having an opportunity to discuss installation methodology with Watt Energy’s experienced engineers ensures newcomers to the industry do not have to learn the hard way. With continued support post-training, we can ensure successful deployment time after time.”
CORE’s concept demonstrates that renewable products do work and shows why they should be a consideration for installations. By installing working products on site, potential installers and end-users can see for themselves what the system would look like and how it differs from competitors’ products. This makes it more accessible, just as any other product would be available to view in shops. It’s a powerful tool to encourage the uptake of products like the Aquarea.
Tailored specifications
There is an underlying message at CORE – that no ‘catch-all’ product exists. This is why Panasonic’s Aquarea heat pump range is an ideal answer for the market – offering the widest range of models available on the market today, allowing for tailored specifications to be created.
Going forward, manufacturers need to consider placing their products into centres such as CORE to offer distributors, installers and – consequently – end-users the latest in renewable design as well as the potential to reduce carbon emissions without impacting on their comfort, convenience or individual requirements.