The plumbing and heating industry in the South East is set for growth, as suggested by wider economic conditions. While the principal elements of the central heating market dependent on replacement sales still require government support in order to encourage consumers to make purchases, individuals tend to become more aware of the environmental impact of central heating and energy efficiency. This report analyses the current UK market and the upcoming trends to look out for.

Key Market Issues Related to the Heating Industry

  • The plumbing and heating sector is highly competitive, as indicated by the number of 27,000 central heating services and 11,600 gas engineers listed on as of February 2016.
  • The UK domestic central heating market was worth £1.1 billion in 2014, according to a report published by AMA Research. According to AMA Research, approximately nine in ten homes in the UK have central heating.
  • Government energy-efficiency schemes affect the demand for installation services, as they require energy suppliers to reduce carbon emissions in domestic premises and make domestic heating more affordable.
  • Independent plumbing and and central heating engineers face increasing competition from installation and repair services provided by leading manufacturers such as Indesit, Bosch, and Vaillant.

Upcoming Trends

  • The UK domestic central heating market is expected to reach £1.3 billion by 2018, which means an increase in value by 18%.
  • Up to 53 million households in the UK will have a smart meter installed between 2016 and 2020.
  • In 2010, there were 15 million homes in the UK with inadequate heating controls.
  • Government targets for 2020 focus on reducing these to a minimum or zero.
  • According to government targets, there should be an increase in the number of heat pumps from 28,000 in 2010 to 1.2 million in 2020.

Current Legislation and Upcoming Changes

  • As of 2016, anyone who carries out gas work in the UK need to be registered with Gas Safe Register. Failing to do so is a criminal offence.
  • There is a £362 fee required to register a Gas Safe sole trader or business, and a probation period of three months is required for all new registrants.
  • Plumbing, gas, and central heating engineers are required to use reliable suppliers of individual appliances, spare parts, and complete systems.
  • Gas and central heating engineers are required to wear safety clothing such as safety goggles, overalls, and knee pads as necessary.
  • All energy-saving installations such as boiler and central heating controls are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 20%. Moreover, installing energy-saving systems in a newly built home is VAT exempted.

Many of the energy efficient technologies that are set to develop strongly over the next five years are competing with traditional gas and heating installations still present in many UK homes. By 2020, it is predicted that the domestic heating industry will likely be a mix of alternative energy-efficient solutions and traditional hot water systems. Some technologies have the potential to work in tandem, for example by blending newer renewable technologies with traditional boiler-based systems.

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