2016 will go down in history as the year we voted to leave the EU, but what effect will the aftermath of this change and uncertainty have on the building services engineering sector looking into the New Year?
Here are some 2017 predictions…
The Brexit effect
The referendum campaign saw wild claims slung about by both sides causing uncertainty on many levels, but finally the dust is starting to settle.
A major survey published a couple of months ago found a general feeling of positivity across the industry with the majority stating that they will weather the Brexit storm over the next few years.
The UK’s commitment to sustainable energy is delicate and many feared it would be jeopardised without the protection of the EU.
While the government is committed to the RHI until 2021, it is due for major reform in April 2017.
A couple of weeks ago we had the news that despite plans to scrap Solar Thermal from the scheme, thanks to a strong campaign from STA, it will now survive the 2017 reforms and remain part of the scheme.
In his first statement as Chancellor, Philip Hammond acknowledged the housing crisis when he announced plans to spend £1.4 billion to provide 40,000 new affordable homes and £1.7 billion to speed up the construction of new homes on public sector land.
A further £2.3 billion will be spent on a new Housing Infrastructure Fund for projects such as roads and water connections that will support the construction of up to 100,000 new homes in the areas where they are needed most.
Smart technology in 2017
The Smart Meter roll out is well and truly underway and next year will be prime time for installations.
With completion due by 2020 and more than 4 million of these clever boxes already installed, as many as 13,000 trained smart meter installers are required to compete the campaign, and jobs are being advertised right now on energy company and contractor websites.
If you fancy getting involved, read all about it here.
In other technology news, the government plans to spend £320 million over the next 5 years on innovative heating technologies such as District Heating, geothermal energy and recycling heat from power stations.
In the future, plumbing and heating engineers may find themselves more involved in heating systems designed to significantly reduce costs and carbon emissions, so making sure your skills and knowledge are up to date with the latest in heating tech will be well worth your while in 2017.
Gas ACS changes
2017 will bring a number of changes to ACS assessments due to the publication of the following normative documents:
- IGEM /UP/3 Edition 3 Gas Fuelled spark ignition and dual fuel engines
- IGEM/UP/10 Edition 4 with amendments
- PD 54823:2016 Guidance for the design, commissioning and maintenance of LPG systems in small craft.
In addition, the industry working group is currently reviewing the ACS re-assessment criteria and assessment strategy; it is anticipated that recommendations for change will be published later in the year.
IGE/IG/1 Standards of Training in Gas Work is also being introduced, designed to ensure quality in training provision.
We’ll be updating our gas courses where necessary.
Up your skills
The sector is still suffering from the building services skills shortage, and we predict that the upskilling of existing industry workers will play a big part in helping to plug that gap in 2017.
Training yourself up to be a multi-skilled operative could result in you being able to offer a more cost and time efficient service to your customers, as well as enhancing earning potential and gaining job satisfaction.
More consumers and customers than ever before are searching for local services online, and this trend is only set to continue in 2017.
Our last piece of advice for a successful 2017 create a successful online business profile that works for you.
Read our business blogs for step-by-step advice about how to set up a website that works, make the most of social media, use online reviews to get customers and more