A £500,000 fund aimed at raising the skill set of domestic heating engineers to enable them to install and maintain renewable heating systems.

The voucher scheme will be backed up by an apprenticeship initiative that will encourage people coming into the industry to develop the necessary expertise to work on these systems and gain relevant qualification credits. Based on the results of this initiative, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will look to increase funding and support for the supply chain.

Giving consumers and installers reliable information is an important part of helping them make decisions about their heating system. The Energy Savings Trust is also publishing today guides for consumers covering a range of low carbon heat technologies.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said:

“This voucher scheme is aimed at the engineers who give us their expert advice on the heating system in our home – often over a cup of tea in the kitchen. Our research shows us that these men and women are the people we trust when looking for advice on how to keep warm in a reliable and affordable way. But too often, they are only able to talk about what they are most familiar with – and that usually means gas or oil-fired boilers. By taking advantage of these training vouchers, these engineers will be able to extend their advice to renewable heating options ahead of the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Initiative in Spring next year.

“In many instances not only will the engineers’ advice and work reduce the environmental impact of heating our homes but reduce people’s heating bills too. A win-win situation for everyone.”


Lindsay Gillespie, Executive Director of SummitSkills, said:

“SummitSkills is very pleased to welcome this scheme as it just the sort of support that businesses have been asking for. It should encourage the building services engineering sector to take the step of upskilling its workforce in anticipation of the domestic RHI coming into force in spring next year. While industry generally is keen to drive forward the renewable heat agenda, many employers are still not persuaded enough of the benefits to their business in taking action to equip themselves with the skills required. The extra incentive offered by this scheme could help them to see beyond those uncertainties and weigh up the commercial advantage that the right skills will bring to their business, hopefully tipping the balance away from traditional fossil fuels.”