In conversation with the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council 

Stewart Clements is the Director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC).  

Stewart Clements, Director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), answers key questions about the organisation.

With over four decades’ experience in the heating and plumbing industry, Stewart has played a major role in driving, supporting and promoting the sustained growth of the UK domestic heating industry.  

Here, Stewart answers key questions about the HHIC, the challenges faced by the industry and what the organisation wants to see in the future. 

What is the purpose of your organisation? 

The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) is a member organisation dedicated to using our knowledge and expertise to define practical solutions for decarbonising heat and hot water in UK homes and businesses. 

Who are your members? 

We represent the UK residential supply chain for heating and hot water appliances and installation, from boilers to heat pumps and everything in between. We manage a wide range of industry working groups, including the Heating & Hot Water Technical Panel, Heat and Hot Water Policy and the Water Treatment Group. 

How many members do you have?  

The HHIC currently consists of around 100 members from every aspect of the heating industry. This includes manufacturers of heating appliances, heating controls, water treatment companies, installation businesses, merchants, training providers, research centres and other trade bodies. 

What are the objectives of your organisation? 

The primary objective of the HHIC is to support the decarbonisation of heating and hot water in UK homes and businesses. 

We do this by providing expert advice to the government on practical solutions in support of decarbonisation policy. We also provide technical expertise, often involving unbiased market data collection and analysis, and authority across all heating and hot water technologies, in addition to communicating and ensuring an industry- wide understanding of technical and regulatory changes in the sector. 

Why should our community join?  

For companies operating within the UK heating and hot water industry, membership of the HHIC offers a range of benefits from a forward thinking, focused organisation delivering value for money. We foster an environment for members to come together, have a voice and be actively involved within the domestic heating industry. 

As a member, you gain the opportunity to access a weekly political monitoring, a monthly industry statistics service, a weekly e-news bulletin, as well as the chance to engage with fellow peers and expand your network. 

What are the current challenges facing your members and the broader sector? 

The key challenge currently facing our membership and the broader sector is being prepared for any upcoming mandates and regulations. The Future Homes Standard, with significant changes to the part L Building Regulations for 2025, will ensure all new build houses are fitted with heating appliances that are zero carbon at point of use, which will lead to a heightened demand for air source heat pumps.  

As a result, it’s crucial that our members are prepared for this and any other significant developments that may be just around the corner. 

What are your main current activities? 

We are heavily engaged with our membership on the Future Homes Standard Consultation and Home Energy Model Consultation alongside our usual series of group meetings. We are updating a number of our resource documents as well as drafting on new topics.  

Most recently we have published an updated guide on frozen condensates and a quick guide on the variances in CO legislation across the UK nations with our colleagues at CoGDEM.  

Some of our most recent work has also included our Heating Up to Net Zero report and Skills, Training and the Future of Heat reports and Hybrid Heat Pumps paper, all discussing the challenges our industry faces on the route to Net Zero. 

What would you most like to see changed to accelerate growth in the adoption of low-carbon technologies? 

“We want to see heating in buildings decarbonised, but in a way that ensures no consumer is left behind. A crucial starting point is to consider the fabric of buildings and make sure that all lofts and cavity walls are insulated where technically and economically feasible. This significantly reduces the chances of households paying for lost heat due to the inefficiency of their property. 

Working across the heating and utility industry, we would also like to see a plan developed to train the UK workforce that eventually must be prepared for the country’s low carbon future. 

Doing so will additionally promote the heating and utility sector as an attractive place for young people to have a rewarding and fulfilling career. 

Image credit: iStock, Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC)