Thank you very much to all of our customers, past, present and future.
2020 was an incredibly tough year for everyone. For the vast majority of people in the UK, the overarching theme from March onwards centred around Covid-19. It’s difficult to imagine that there wasn’t a single person in the UK who wasn’t affected, whether that was financially, physically, or emotionally.
Leaving politics to the politicians, huge parts of the country showed a level of solidarity and togetherness I haven’t seen before. The circumstances may be tough, but the way that the vast majority of the country pulled together as one, was unprecedented in many peoples' lifetimes.
With coronavirus seemingly taking up almost all news bandwidth, it was a surprise that with the end of the first lockdown there also came a renewed fervour for energy efficiency, including but not limited to, air and ground source heat pumps.
Being honest, I wasn’t sure what shape Freedom Heat Pumps was going to be in come the end of the March 2020 lockdown. With 2020 marking our 10th birthday, as a business we were financially strong, but, as with every other business in the UK, no one had allowed for a pandemic as part of our business planning, so we were operating very much on a brand new landscape. As we came to the end of the first round of lockdown in June, we were convinced that the green agenda and climate change issue would move down the government’s list of priorities.
Imagine how surprised we were at the start of July, when the Green Homes Grant was announced. Regardless of how you may feel the implementation and rollout went, the concept for a grant which covered a large percentage of the upfront cost of an air or ground source heat pump, as well as providing the ability to also claim the renewable heat incentive on top, was a gesture our industry had been waiting for, for years.
Roll on 4 months or so to the 18th November, and we then receive the Prime Minister's ten-point plan, which highlights that heat pumps will form a huge part of our energy efficient future with a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028. On top of this, we also had the goal of creating 50,000 jobs in the energy efficiency sector by 2030.
Behind the scenes, there is also lots of talk of increased training, standardised installation approaches, as well as reductions in the admin, which many installers, old and new, will welcome.
October 2020 also marked my own 10th year in heat pumps, but I didn’t feel it was a cause to celebrate with there being so much unrest in the world. With time to reflect and gather my thoughts over the Christmas break, it was clear to me that heat pumps, and energy efficient heating systems, are right at the edge of breaking into the mainstream. We have come a huge way since I started in 2010, and almost every year within the industry has felt like we have been pushing uphill, as I’m sure many in this industry will attest to. The last quarter of 2020 felt different though. It felt like we were just peaking over the brow of the hill on to a path with a much gentler incline.
As an industry we can’t see this as an opportunity to slow down. 2021 is our most important year thus far, so it’s incredibly important that we work hard to continue to provide world-class support to our customers, as manufacturers, distributors, merchants, installation engineers, and the many other businesses involved in our industry. Heat pumps aren’t a commodity product, so it’s still vital that every part of the supply chain is working towards the same long-term goal.
As far as Freedom Heat Pumps are concerned, we are investing heavily in new team members, systems and products to support our growth, our customers growth and our industry’s growth.
My hope is that if you are reading this as an installer, merchant, developer, M&E contractor, or housing association, who aren’t sure whether you are ready to look to include heat pumps as part of your businesses offering, you’ll give us a call to have a chat about any queries or concerns you might have. We have a really friendly and passionate team, who relish the opportunity to talk about heat pumps to any business new to the industry.
All the best for 2021.
Managing Director Freedom Heat Pumps