Itron research shows installer skills gap in metering

Itron has announced today research revealing that 51 percent of renewables installers surveyed have not received training on fitting meters despite the requirement for metering on commercial renewable heat projects to qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The research, “Understanding Renewable Heat Meter Installations,” was commissioned by Itron and undertaken by Dynamic Markets. To meet the metering installation skills gap, Itron has launched a new interactive e-learning guide to help installers to fit meters efficiently and properly.

With DECC estimating that more than 900,000 renewable heat projects will be installed in the UK by 2020, Itron says the urgent need for metering education is clear. In fact, 72 percent of the installers surveyed said it is not possible to deliver against the RHI requirements without adequate training. 

“Ensuring meters are installed effectively with the latest technology enhances the rewards offered by the RHI and ensures projects perform as efficiently as possible,” said Bernard McWeeney, water and heat manager, Itron.

“Installers certainly play a vital role in building trust in the renewable heat industry, so we have developed this training guide to give them the right support for the job.”

Other findings from the research include:

  • Amongst those who have received training, on average, such training took place 268 days ago (almost nine months), and for some, it was as long as five years ago.
  • As a result of the absence of training, 41 percent lack total confidence in offering help to their end customers about how to use their heat meters.
  • Out of the 51 percent of people who have not had training, 82 percent would like training to improve their confidence.
  • 42 percent of those that have received training would like a refresher.
  • Nearly one in two (49 percent) of installers surveyed would welcome a mobile-enabled video instruction that they could take on-site.