The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has secured extra government funding to provide a further 200 free places on its online heat pump training course.
BESA developed the installer training in collaboration with the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and heating equipment manufacturer Worcester Bosch. Launched in March, it has already trained for free more than 700 qualified plumbing and heating engineers, who were looking to upskill to take on heat pump work.
The course is delivered through the Association’s online training Academy and this new round of funding, which comes from unspent Green Homes Grant scheme money, will allow it to extend the free programme until the end of October.
New applicants should sign up here and are urged to move quickly as demand continues to be high as the market for heat pumps expands encouraging more companies and individuals to diversify into this area.
Heat pumps were highlighted by the Prime Minister as a key technology for delivering many of the government’s decarbonisation goals and he tasked the industry with installing 600,000 a year by 2028. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) also set a target of one million a year by the 2030’s towards an eventual total of 19 million to help achieve net zero by 2050.
Industry estimates for this year put the current number of heat pump installations at around 71,000 and ramping that up to achieve the government’s ultimate target would require an additional 40,000 trained installers, according to the Heat Pump Association.
The BESA Academy training scheme is a direct response to that challenge, according to the Association’s director of training and skills Helen Yeulet.
“One of the biggest barriers to increased adoption of heat pump technology is the lack of suitably qualified installers,” she said. “It is also very important that installations meet a high technical standard and that engineers fully understand the technology, so consumers get the full energy and carbon saving benefits.
“We are delighted to be working in collaboration with the HBF and Worcester Bosch because our combined expertise means we can include the most up-to-date knowledge in the training and use people who really understand the subject to deliver it.”
Alongside the training course, BESA has updated its guide to good practice for heat pump installation (TR/30). This is the only guide that clearly identifies and explains all the different types of heat pump available and clarifies the type of training needed for successful installation.
It also explains how to avoid many of the design problems that have impaired the performance of some systems to improve consumer satisfaction and cut more carbon emissions.
The guide, which is available to buy from the BESA website, draws on the increased experience of heat pump technology in the field and provides an overview of the different applications including their benefits and limitations as well as providing outline design information for each.
It contains updated references to building standards and codes of practice as well as data referenced from the latest CIBSE and BSRIA guides. Carbon emission factors have been updated along with explanations of new and emerging technologies that use different refrigerant types and blends which bring new hazards and safety considerations.
“Since the first edition of this guide was published, there has been a significant increase in the use of heat pump technologies, which has resulted in a broader range of choices for end users, specifiers and installers, and also a greater knowledge of their potential benefits and pitfalls,” said Will Pitt, chair of the BESA technical committee.
“New regulations, assurance schemes, government incentives and market entrants mean that heat pumps are now a far bigger presence in our industry. This makes the need for a recognised source of good practice increasingly vital to avoid some of the design problems that can undermine performance and disappoint end users.”