FutureBuild 2023 – MCS takes a stand

From 7-9 March, MCS sponsored the Energy Café at FutureBuild 2023, the industry’s premier event for a better future built environment using sustainable construction. 

We spent the week at London’s ExCeL centre, meeting housebuilders, contractors, consumers and stakeholders at the MCS Energy Café and showcasing the MCS Data Dashboard. 

Across the three busy days, we joined and chaired panel discussions, and held seminars for installers on the Energy Stage and met plenty of people working at the heart of truly home-grown energy in the UK. 


Day 1: Tuesday 7 March  

The first day at FutureBuild 2023 got off to a busy start, despite the snow affecting everyone’s travel. Our events and communications team set up shop at the Energy Café, with screens showing a demo of our new Data Dashboard, team members trialling it with consumers on tablets, and the café handing out QR code biscuits linking to the dashboard!  

We met dozens of contractors to discuss home-grown energy and offering bespoke helpdesk support on their certification, plus homeowners looking for help with finding out more about renewables. 

We had the chance to meet plenty of stakeholders, journalists and academics with insightful views on how we can best improve the Data Dashboard and share it with the industry. 


Day 2: Wednesday 8 March  


The second day was another busy one, with our CEO Ian Rippin speaking on one panel and then chairing another panel discussion later that afternoon. 

First, Ian joined Kelly Greer of the Association for Decentralised Energy and Colm Britchfield from E3G. They spoke on a panel chaired by Energy Saving Trust’s Head of Policy Stew Horne discussing how to best decarbonise millions of homes across the UK. 

Ian stated “we need a diverse, confident ready-to-deliver contractor base to give people confidence in low carbon energy” sharing that “the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship will be the first step of the low carbon heating industry becoming a skilled sector with dedicated training routes”. 

He also shared that “our research tells us there are three key elements for consumers choosing heating systems: competent contractors; proven technology delivering what it promises; and protections when something goes wrong with confidence a resolution will be reached”. 

Later that afternoon, Ian chaired a panel on the Future Homes Standard and how solar can drive net zero ready homes. He was joined by panel members Dr Kelly Mashford OBE of the Active Building Centre and John Southern from UPOWA. 

Discussing the need to develop smart grids and networks of delocalised renewable energy, Kelly told Ian “Effective home battery storage solutions are critical for smart and efficient energy systems”. 

When asked about whether home renewables can help combat the rising cost-of-living and how we roll them on en-masse, John answered “The whole life cost savings of renewable systems is better now than it ever has been before. We just need smart systems to make behaviour changes minimal”. 



Day 3: Thursday 9 March  


On the final day of the show, we wrapped up with a seminar from our Technical Officer Lucy McKenzie. 

Lucy spoke to contractors and builders on the Energy Stage, sharing the benefits and requirements related to renewables in new build homes. She discussed with the audience the need for developers to transition to building homes that are net zero ready now. 

Talking about the scale of the challenge, Lucy told us “Each year, home energy in England accounts for 58.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year”. 

Discussing the opportunities ahead with her audience, Lucy added “New builds have a brilliant opportunity to optimise heat pump technologies. Developers are starting to make the transition to heat pumps and seeing that they are the most viable alternative to natural gas boilers”. 

Over the three-day show, we spoke with dozens of contractors and homeowners, discussing MCS data, quality, training, certification, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and plenty more. At the heart of FutureBuild is industry collaboration, sharing ideas, innovative technologies and ways of working. It was a unique opportunity to discuss the issues facing the renewables sector and how we can overcome them together.  

For more highlights from the show, check out the FutureBuild website. Don’t forget to follow us on social media to keep up with our events as they happen. 


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