Ideal Heating says ‘Oh Yes!’ to net zero as it shares low carbon journey

Helen Villamuera, Engineering Director at Ideal Heating, discussed the huge investment being made by Ideal Heating into low carbon technologies.

Ideal Heating has showcased the critical role it is playing in the UK’s drive to low carbon heating solutions at an event bringing together businesses committed to sustainability.

The UK’s heating market leader, which is headquartered in Hull, is at the forefront of a significant industry movement from traditional gas boilers to renewable technologies including heat pumps.

From a £60m investment at its headquarters in National Avenue, Hull, to an industry-leading commitment to heat pump training, Ideal Heating has embarked on its biggest transformation since the move from coal to gas a century ago.

Ideal Heating welcomed business leaders and delegates to its £2.2m National Training and Technology Centre at Bridgehead business park in Hessle, East Yorkshire, to share the vital work it is doing to upskill the country’s heating engineers to work with heat pumps.

The event formed part of a series, called “Real Stories”, delivered by Oh Yes! Net Zero – a campaign featuring more than 180 organisations across the Humber region who all share a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions.

Ideal Heating is a leading member of the Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign, which recently celebrated its second anniversary.

Ideal Heating Engineering Director Helen Villamuera welcomed guests at the event and shared the company’s history and net zero journey so far.

She said: “Almost a third of the UK’s total carbon emissions are generated by buildings. Within that, a quarter is created through the heating of those buildings. That means the journey we have to go through as an industry is huge.

“Luckily, we have been here before. We’ve already made the transition from coal to gas-powered boilers and now it’s time for the next chapter in our history – electrification and renewable technologies.

“It was brilliant to have the opportunity to share our story with Oh Yes! Net Zero partners and to show them the industry-leading training facilities we have for boiler installers looking to make the move to heat pumps.”

Ideal Heating opened its National Training and Technology Centre last year. The facility is the jewel in the crown of Ideal Heating’s national training arm, the Expert Academy.

With a capacity to train up to 5,000 installers every year, heating engineers can undertake a broad range of courses – from introductions to heat pumps and the thermodynamic cycle, to specific product training, including for Ideal Heating’s own Logic Air heat pump.

Complete with a range of simulators and testing rigs, the centre has been opened to help tackle a national shortage of heat pump engineers.

Ideal Heating Training Director Andrew Johnson told event attendees: “The average age of a heating engineer in the UK is somewhere between 45 and 55. The overwhelming proportion of those are gas boiler engineers who have worked in the industry for decades.

“We currently have around 11,000 trained heat pump engineers across the UK, which has grown from 3,000 in 2022. To meet the Government’s heat pump target of 600,000 installations a year by 2028, The Heat Pump Association estimate we need a minimum of 33,700 full-time heat pump installers.

“That’s a huge amount of work and upskilling which needs to happen in a very short space of time and is exactly why we’ve invested in this centre.”

Guests were given an introduction into how an air source heat pump works, before receiving a tour of National Training and Technology Centre.

They learnt that an estimated one in four people have an Ideal Heating boiler in their home and that the company has a majority market share in the new build housing market.

That means if you buy a brand-new home, it’s very likely to have an Ideal Heating boiler.

With regulations coming into force in 2025 which will prevent new-build homes from being heated by a gas boiler, a huge transition is underway.

Through the Government’s Skills Bootcamp programme, Ideal Heating can deliver some heat pump training courses to self-employed heating engineers completely free of charge.

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