Knowing all about your products is obviously a very important aspect of the job for plumbers and heating installers. It means you are able to listen to a customer’s wants and needs and to then make suggestions for products that fit their needs. Good product knowledge also makes it easier to come up with solutions for particular problems as well as being able to provide quality after-sales care and an ongoing maintenance service.
However, in addition to knowing all about things like boilers, radiators and pipework
, it’s also very important for installers to know about the latest regulations that have an impact on their work. This is an area that many installers feel requires additional training and efforts to keep up with what is going on in the building and heating industries. In many cases, it also seems that a high number of installers are not actually making use of the training that is available to them.
A good example is recent introduction of the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive
which many installers are still not aware of what it means and how it affects their day to day jobs. Part of the ErP is a new labelling system showing the energy efficiency of individual parts of a heating system. Where installers really need a great deal of knowledge is in their ability to group a whole heating system together and give the overall package an energy rating. This requires certain calculations to be made before the installation can be complete, and it is entirely the responsibility of the installer to do this correctly.
Having this kind of responsibility clearly had a huge impact on the life of an installer and greatly affects how they go about their work. It’s therefore very important the installers are getting the right amount of training so they know how to comply with the ErP legislation, enabling them to provide the best service possible to customers.
The manufacturers of heating products have been very aware of the ErP Directive for a long time and have been labelling their products with the new system well in advance of the September 2015 introduction of the Directive and they need to make sure that installers are, firstly, aware that the ErP actually exists and, secondly, that they are providing installers with adequate training to understand the legislation and how to rate a package once it is in a customer’s home.
Heating installers themselves need to take responsibility for their actions as well and ensure they continue to learn, take on new challenges and to keep abreast of latest product and legislative developments. With the manufacturers working together with installers to produce a well-educated and up-to-date industry, this can only benefit all customers in the UK.
Article by Benjamin Clarke
• How to make sense of the new energy labelling system 21st Apr 2015
• The heating industry is ready for the new energy efficiency laws 7th Apr 2015
• The importance of installers knowing consumers wants and needs 31st Mar 2015