2013: A Good Year for Boiler Installations
With 2014 just a matter of days away, the managing director of Worcester Bosch is confident of continued market growth after a productive and positive year for the heating and hot water industry.
Signs of small-scale growth at the end of 2012 have carried over into 2013 and boiler sales figures for the year are up on the same period in 2012. Figures published back in September show that sales in the UK boiler market were up 16% compared to the same period the previous year.
During the first nine months of 2013, 1,150,000 central heating boilers were sold in the UK. In the same period of 2012 it was 990,000.
With an extra 160,000 new gas boilers sold, Carl Arntzen attributes the increase in the number of boiler installations to two Government initiatives: the launch of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Help to Buy Scheme for first time property buyers.
“Without question, one of the main drivers of this growth has been the ECO scheme, which accounted for some 61,000 new boiler registrations between January and August,” said Mr. Arntzen. “While this may be considered a success, we mustn't lose sight of the need to maintain high standards of installation to ensure sales which are perhaps not hugely profitable don't result in corners being cut with installation work.”
As we reported back in November, the ECO scheme is responsible for most energy efficient upgrades. Mr. Arntzen added that the Government’s Help to Buy scheme also helped stimulated activity around the newbuild sector, adding to an increase in sales in a slowly recovering property market.
“Consequently, there has been an uplift in demand for heating and hot water systems, which is great news for our industry. Now, after nine months of successive growth for the market, it is important that we collectively hold the belief that these are real signs of some full-scale recovery.”
Commenting on growth in 2014 Mr Arntzen said no one had anticipated the market growth seen over the last 12 to 18 months, meaning the heating and hot water market was ahead of schedule of where it was expected to be.
“I would be extremely surprised if we see double digit percentage growth for a second consecutive year, but there is huge potential for sustainable market progression. After five years or so of decline, it is an extremely welcome change to be competing in a growing market.”
Mr Arntzen believes industry must continue to engage with the Government over the need to simplify schemes such as the Green Deal which has the potential to become “a significant scheme that encourages energy efficiency” with installers the key to making the Green Deal a success.