Skills Training Group has stressed that while proposed gas boiler bans mean new homes will use heat pumps and energy-efficient measures to heat them, the vast majority remain reliant on the grid.
It stated that clean electricity was at least four times more expensive than gas, so “clean electricity is simply not a viable alternative to gas for heating the homes of the working class and the rest of us who can’t afford expensive power”.
All of this leads to the inevitable conclusion that the existing generation of gas boilers on the gas grid today will remain largely in use and will require installation and servicing for decades to come, the organisation said in a new blog posting.
Mark McShane, managing director at Skills Training Group, said: “Although natural gas boilers will eventually be banned, we’re not quite there yet. Today in the UK, 23 million homes remain connected to the gas grid. The boilers, pipes, and other gas infrastructure that provide heat to these homes will require continuous service, maintenance, upgrades, and installation for many decades to come. That said, the discussed transitions are upon us, and alternative methods of heating and energy production are gaining momentum. The new generation of heating engineers will be at the forefront of these changes, with all the expertise to help carry out new infrastructure setup and facilitate the implementation of new systems. This adds even more security to the industry as a rewarding career choice.
“The technical skills, knowledge, and on-the-job work experience of these tradespeople will remain highly in-demand now and into the future, both for new forms of clean gas and for alternative energy and related skills industries. In addition to this, it will be the skilled workforce of gas engineers that will be carrying out the decarbonisation process in the first place – removing outdated systems, upgrading old ones, and installing new, cleaner ones.
“It’s important to note that new technologies like air source heat pumps and hydrogen (gas) boilers will still need to be fitted by qualified heating engineers, so the need for heating engineers isn’t going to be any less, it’s just going to be different technologies. In fact, you could make an argument that there will be even more work due to these new technologies being implemented.”