InstallerSHOW 2022 – MCS showcases and meets installers

From 21-23 June, MCS exhibited alongside NAPIT at InstallerSHOW 2022, the UK’s biggest heating, plumbing and renewables trade show.

We spent the week at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, meeting installers on stand and showcasing our commitment to skills, quality and home-grown energy.

Across the three packed days, we joined panel discussions and even hosted a drinks reception with Solar Energy UK.

We shared a stand with one of our certification body partners NAPIT to provide unique insight to installers interested in certification.

The InstallerSHOW is a brilliant way to bring together people and share ideas from every sector of the heating and renewables industries. Here are some of our highlights from the week.

Day 1: Tuesday 21 June

Compliance and enforcement officer Beth discusses certification with visitors
Compliance and enforcement officer Beth discusses certification with visitors

The first day at InstallerSHOW 2022 got off to a busy start, despite national rail strikes affecting many people’s planned journeys. Our team set up shop in the Energy zone by the Installing the Future NOW! exhibit. We met dozens of installers to discuss home-grown energy and offering bespoke helpdesk support on their certification journey.

NAPIT were on stand to offer advice to installers on training and certification audits throughout the week. By partnering with one of our certification bodies at the show, we were able to offer a unique perspective on the end-to-end certification process.

We got the chance to meet plenty of installers and homeowners with insightful views and questions on renewable installations from heat pump retrofits to solar panels for new-builds.

Day 2: Wednesday 22 June

The second day was another busy one for us, beginning with a panel discussion hosted by our market development director Dan White in the morning. Dan was joined by Solar Energy UK business development director Cherry Parker, NAPIT chief operating officer David Cowburn Waxman Energy sales director Sarah Wallace. The talk The future is bright: Investing in solar skills examined the need for a skilled workforce to support the growth of the solar sector. We also introduced Solar Skills London, a new joint project to expand solar installations in London.

Dan discusses solar skills with (L to R) Cherry Parker, David Cowburn and Sarah Wallace
Dan discusses solar skills with (L to R) Cherry Parker, David Cowburn and Sarah Wallace

Dan opened with our latest figures. “Last year was our best-ever year for UK solar with more than 61,000 certified installations. We now have 3.3GW of solar energy on rooftops nationally – the equivalent of Hinckley nuclear power station”. 

Cherry highlighted the next challenge for the industry. “Ambitions to increase UK solar energy five-fold to 70GW by 2035 are achievable. However, one of the biggest problems we face is filling the 60,000 jobs this would potentially create”. 

David agreed that contractors need to invest in skills now across organisations. “Solar is a huge component of the increased electrification of the home we are seeing now it is no longer reliant on subsidies. We can meet the high installation demands, but investing in skills is about company-wide competency”. 

Sarah spoke about how that transition is achievable. “We need to deliver the message at all levels and ages. Speaking with young people about the role renewables play in the industry now will inspire the next generation of installers”.

In the afternoon after the panel, we hosted a joint drinks reception with Solar Energy UK. This was a great opportunity to meet installers and manufacturers in the solar industry and discuss our joint project Solar Skills London.

Day 3: Thursday 23 June

Day 3 began with our CEO Ian Rippin joining a panel discussion with PH Jones business development director Ian Mather and Midland Heart senior retrofit Delivery manager Anthony Jarvis and head of maintenance Robert Kraska. The talk “Delivery through collaboration – social housing retrofit” focussed on how we can decarbonise homes through renewable retrofits.

Ian discusses retrofitting social housing with (R to L) Jim McClelland, Ian Mather, Robert Kraska and Anthony Jarvis
Ian discusses retrofitting social housing with (L to R) Jim McClelland, Ian Mather, Robert Kraska and Anthony Jarvis

Ian spoke about the pilot project to retrofit social housing in the Midlands. “The project is ahead of its time really; normalising the relationship with energy is key”.

Ian Mather agreed with Ian’s warnings on the danger of forgetting the end-user. “This is not a one-size-fits-all approach, we need to put the

 homeowners first. We need to consider the needs and work with them”.

Anthony and Robert agreed that now is the time for action on preparing a workforce for net zero. “We are going to have many electric-only properties by 2050. We need to start our learning now.”

Our helpdesk, compliance and scheme support teams spoke with dozens of installers on stand again to wrap up the final day before the show came to a close.

Over the three-day show, we spoke with hundreds of contractors and homeowners in unique situations. We discussed quality, training, certification, solar skills, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and plenty more. At the heart of InstallerSHOW is industry collaboration, sharing ideas, innovative technologies and ways of working. It’s a unique opportunity to discuss the issues facing the renewables sector and how we can overcome them together. We’re already looking forward to doing it all again next year.

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