InstallerSHOW – back to the business of renewables 

Despite a three-day RMT rail strike and fuel prices at an all-time high, this year’s Installer show was well attended by a mix of those on-the-tools, manufacturers, designers, marketing teams, spares suppliers and trade associations, with over 300 stands presenting a huge range of products and services. 

Installer Show at Birmingham NEC

The event was hosted at Birmingham’s NEC and the industry shift towards a cleaner future was evident with a strong presence of renewable solutions and with heat pumps, especially, very much front and centre. 

With a focus on net zero, retrofit and decarbonisation solutions for heat, water, air, and energy, the elemental theatres were well attended with as the audience of decision-makers working in local authorities, social housing, house builders and developers, mechanical and electrical contractors, and building services engineers benefiting from some excellent presentations.  

Many interesting developments in the low-carbon home sector were showcased, and those involved in driving it forward were enthusiastic to share their thoughts about, and future plans for, solar pv, heat pumps, EV charging, battery storage, and switching between energy production, use and storage. 

Developments in the low-carbon home sector 

On the first day of the show Panasonic announced an exciting new partnership with Drayton, one of the UK’s leading heating control brands. The partnership between Panasonic and Drayton’s parent company, Schneider Electric, enables the heat pump manufacturer to offer customers greater control with its Wiser room-by-room heating control system. The manufacturer has worked closely with Drayton to integrate the control platform with its Aquarea heat pumps and Smart Cloud and Service Cloud to create more user-friendly controls.  

Installers will be able to create multi-zone systems, with the heat pump easily remotely controlled and monitored. With the future emphasis on smart consumption and production of energy, Drayton’s head of partnering Mark Murton commented: “It is a marriage made in heaven. We believe our platform is the easiest to engage with, so the customer will be able to understand their usage – and they will be able to change their behaviour too. 

The event featured many interesting new product developments, such as ceiling heating through mounted panels, as a less invasive alternative to installing underfloor heating, heat pumps for more specific uses, such as heating swimming pools, etc. and many smart home and energy storage solutions – key to nurturing public awareness and buy-in. 

As the industry moves towards low-temperature heating systems in response to government legislation, the event offered a wealth of information and hands-on examples of the tech helping to meet the surge for renewable energy solutions. 

Evolving demands on heating and plumbing engineers 

This year’s event was perfectly timed in relation to the evolving demands for heating and plumbing engineers to look at heat and energy systems as a whole. The show was the perfect opportunity for those on-the-tools to talk with manufacturers about developments in alternative tech to support this ‘whole system’ approach such as controls, TRVs, heat batteries, balancing valves and hot water cylinders.  

Outstanding people in the industry 

The InstallerMERIT event was a heart-warming event. This dinner isn’t about acknowledging products, services or installations – it’s dedicated to outstanding people in the industry doing great things – often with little, or no, personal gain.  

Since launching in 2019, each year’s event recognises, rewards and celebrates excellence, honouring installers in our industry, and this year was no exception., It was a privilege to hear the stories of remarkable installers going above and beyond. 

The ‘Great Installer Clearance’ stall was continually packed with those looking for the ultimate bargain, and there were plenty to be had with the stall offering hefty discounts on tools, equipment and supplies. 

Getting back to work 

There is a palpable sense that the industry is glad to get back to work as well as working towards a cleaner future. Many attendees talked about how important it is to meet with colleagues and businesses at events such as this – an opportunity that has been sorely missed in the sector in the last few years.