Leadership in heat pump engineering delivers immediate strategic advantage

11/11/21: In a nationwide technology transition, 600,000 heat pumps per year will be installed in homes, schools and hospitals. As the UK industry leader in these technologies, with substantial experience and expertise, TClarke is now seeing this transition assume strategic significance for our business and our revenues. Chris Harris, Deputy MD Scotland, reports:

With many items on the net zero agenda still up for debate around the scale or timetable for change, one thing is certain – the UK is going to spend the next few years in a transition to heat pump technology. Talk has moved to action and this is item seven on the Government’s ten point plan to tackle climate change, deliver net zero and launch a “green industrial revolution“.

‘Making homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient and installing 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028, using around £1 billion of funding next year.’

Three facts make this a strategic issue for our business.

TClarke is the industry leader. 

As with other key technologies, leadership comes both from our preference for building in-house skills and the advantage we get from the scale and complexity of our projects (which then serves to develop our skills). We built our own Climate Solutions business a few years ago, we led on heat pump technologies in residential developments – particularly in Scotland and we’ve delivered a whole NHS Nightingale hospital at great pace, heated by heat pumps. Our London commercial teams have expertise too – Phase 1 of our Ruskin Square development in London is one of several that have utilised heat pump technology. So, when we claim leadership, we really can back it up.

The skills shortage in this area is not going away. 

There are currently skills shortages when it comes to engineering the installation of heat pumps. Through our investment we are fortunate that most of our engineers have been trained in this new technology. Heat Pumps involve the use of gases for cooling and their complexity makes the engineering more akin to air conditioning and climate control systems. Not only do we know the technologies, but we also know the manufacturers very well and we understand the underlying electrical network infrastructure challenges too. TClarke has an unrivalled combination of expertise and nationwide resource and with the background of skills shortage, we are a critical partner for our clients.

This is significant for our revenues over the medium term

The third fact to understand relates to revenue and the maths are simple. Nationwide, we deliver 3000 + houses per annum. New Heat Pump systems may cost on average around £5000 each. As part of our package, even before you consider schools, hospitals, and commercial installations, you can see that this is adding considerably to our annual revenue. Once again, the steady increase in complexity of engineering required to deliver a modern built environment, sustainably, adds value to us as Engineering Services market leaders. 

This impact on revenues is something we are noticing across our business right now. Quite simply, people in our markets are urgently asking themselves how they will achieve the targets in practice and how this relatively more complex, more difficult technology can be successfully introduced into the projects they are now developing. TClarke is the ‘go-to’ partner and we can expect our expertise and leadership to build further.

Heat Pump technology is necessary for the UK and a major strategic opportunity for the TClarke business, which we are now in the process of taking.