Interview

InstallerSHOW renewables focus for a great industry get together

Renewable Energy Installer is proud to be a media partner for this year’s InstallerSHOW which takes place this week in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. The 2021 event provides a COVID-safe, face-to-face opportunity to learn the latest innovations, network with leading manufacturers and stock up on essentials at exclusive prices.

InstallerSHOW Ricoh arena

This year’s InstallerSHOW will be the biggest event yet – offering installers more opportunities to meet with the industry’s leading manufacturers with over 150 will on hand this year – and installers will have lots of opportunities to get hands-on with all the latest products, as well as get installation and technical advice from the experts.

The expanded event has a much greater focus on renewables so we caught up with Joe Sharpe, head of content for the show, to find out what attendees can expect.

“This year’s theme is the ‘Great industry get together’ and, after the difficulties of the past 18 months it is very timely to have an emphasis on meeting face to face and networking.

“With the broader content we are doubling space this year, making it the biggest show we’ve ever done. We are expecting both more manufacturers and more visitors with a significant increased appeal to renewable engineers.

“Looking at our exhibitors we have a good mix which is reflective of industry, and we are expecting a broad range of attendees – mainly sole traders and SMEs in line with the industry but also those representing bigger business.”

Focus on renewable technology

We asked Joe about the greater emphasis on renewables and how much of a difference this will be compared with previous events.

“There is a much bigger focus on renewables. We’ve always hosted renewable manufacturers and it’s always been a theme but during lockdown the interest in renewables has increased and this is reflected in the brands that are coming.

“We are seeing lots more drive from industry to focus on renewables with companies such as Worcester, Baxi etc. talking more about their renewable offerings. There will also be a wide range of related products.

“The exhibitors will be very hands on and ready to help attendees with any questions they may have about product functionality with the stands staffed by those with technical understanding rather than a sales approach.

“Visiting installers and specifiers can expect to see new brands as well as seeing what’s new with the brands they already deal with.”

Daily debates on future energy

We also asked Joe what seminar content we can anticipate at the event and Joe talks enthusiastically about the content aspect.

“A big part of this happens on The Glow-worm Installer PLAZA, the venue for our daily ‘Great Debates’ where we look at the future of heating, plumbing and electricity. This year’s the three debates consider the ‘Future of Energy’ and focus on hydrogen, heat pumps and the future of BioFuels with leading manufacturers and trade bodies for the sector exploring what may be the heat energy of the future and what will be needed to drive the decarbonisation.

Asked what he thinks will drive the adoption of future energies Joe replies: “The question of what will make a difference is covered in the debates at the show. I believe we will see more ‘sticks’ come in, rather than the carrot of incentives such as the Green Homes Grant which was poorly delivered and ineffective.

“The Government has the power to ensure there is a clear roadmap and that the cost is not put on installers or the homeowners.

Asking Joe if he feels ‘traditional’ installers are looking at upskilling to renewable technologies he answers: “Yes, but only if they need to. Until there is an incentive or a requirement, installers will be sticking to what they know.”

The government has set targets for renewable installations but, given this sense of inertia amongst installers we ask Joe if he believes it will be realistic to recruit and train installers in the time frame needed to achieve these targets and whether it is more likely to be fulfilled by existing installers upskilling or by new entrants into the sector.

Free training and a dedicated student day

Joe feels it is important to encourage both and this is demonstrated in both the training available at the event as well as the Installer Show’s dedicated day for students. “Students and apprentices are welcome any day,” Joe stresses. “But the last day is reserved for students when they can visit the main show but also enjoy a separate room for informal chat. We see our attendees bringing apprentices and trainees with them for a chance to get a broader view of the sector.

This year InstallerSHOW hosts a series of training sessions on the show floor to help professionals add to their skill sets as Joe explains: “The Crowcon Theatre and InstallerTHEATRE have been set up to provide no-cost sessions on some of the hottest topics on each day of the show. Installers simply turn up and take part in the ones which are most beneficial to their business.”

The InstallerSHOW affords plenty of opportunity to interact with manufacturers, answer your technical questions on new technologies and contribute to the discussions on the future for energy as well as taking advantage of free training sessions, inspiration for those new into the sector and the highest number of special show offers ever.

The full show preview can be accessed here and its not to late to register.

We look forward to hearing your feedback from the event – let us know how you get on at news@renewableenergyinstaller.co.uk