InstallerSHOW 2023 – MCS exhibits and meets delegates
10 July 2023
From 27-29 June, MCS exhibited at InstallerSHOW 2023, the UK’s largest event for influential installers and specifiers of heat, water, air and energy technology.
We spent the week at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, meeting consumers, contractors, manufacturers and trade body representatives on stand. We showcased the MCS Data Dashboard, the UK’s most comprehensive reference for small-scale renewable installations, and discussed our consultation on proposed scheme changes.
As the country’s largest trade show for heating, plumbing and renewable technology, InstallerSHOW is an important opportunity to bring together experts across the industry and share ideas and chances to collaborate. Here are some of the highlights we enjoyed from the week:
Day One – Tuesday 27 June:
As the first day began, colleagues from our helpdesk and compliance teams took to our stand to answer questions about becoming certified, the ongoing Scheme Redevelopment consultation, the MCS data dashboard, green skills and training, and much more.
We were joined on stand by our partners at Green Economy after our CEO joined joined their Advisory Board. Green Economy spent the week meeting green technologies and services businesses to discuss how they can support them in increasing their visibility, improving their competitiveness and providing access to new sales opportunities.
In the morning, our Technical Officer Lucy McKenzie joined a panel discussion hosted by the BBC’s Anne Davies in The Elemental Theatre discussing ‘The Case for Mandatory Solar’ with Dr David Toke, Director of 100 Percent Renewable UK and Conor Wilson, Business Development Consultant to Allume Energy. They discussed the benefits of installing solar panels on every new home built in the UK and some of the obstacles and challenges that we face in making solar power mandatory for all new builds.
Lucy spent the afternoon at Solar Innovations, a new area for the show sponsored by MCS and Solar Energy UK, where she explained to the audience how they can become certified to install solar PV and battery storage systems as well as the benefits and importance of certification.
We wrapped up the day after our Market Development Director Dan White chaired a panel in the InstallerTRAINING Theatre. Dan discussed ‘The Boiler Upgrade Scheme: How do we reach 600,000 heat pumps a year?’ with Bean Beanland, Director of Growth & External Affairs at the Heat Pump Federation; Joshua Leach, Lead BUS Operations Manager at Ofgem; and Dr Matt Aylott, Electrification of Heat Lead at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
The panel talked about what policy support is needed from the Government and what the industry can do to scale up from 30,000 heat pumps a year to 600,000 by 2028.
Day Two – Wednesday 28 June:
On the second day, our helpdesk and compliance teams were joined on stand by our standards team. The standards team were on hand to discuss the ongoing consultation on proposals to redevelop the MCS scheme, what the proposals mean for contractors and consumers, and how you can have your voice heard in shaping the future of MCS.
In the morning, we split up across the show with the senior team attending a few events. Our CEO Ian Rippin joined a live edition of the BetaTALK podcast in the InstallerPLAZA with host Nathan Gambling; Ken Bone of Vito Energy; and Leah Robson of Your Energy Your Way. The podcast panellists spoke about the proposals to redevelop the MCS scheme and how they affect installers. The installers on the show took the chance to quiz Ian about why the proposals have gone to consultation, why it’s happening now and how the future of the renewables sector will be impacted. The panel gave their opinions on the proposals before opening the floor to the audience for questions.
Meanwhile, our Communications and Operations Director Lisa Cooke chaired a panel talk in the InstallerTRAINING Theatre on the ‘Consumer protection: how do we give people confidence in low carbon energy and heating?’. Lisa was joined by Citizens Advice‘s Senior Net Zero Homes Policy Researcher Euan Graham; The IAA‘s Head of Customer Operations Simona Marcucci; and Bean Beanland.
The panel discussed how MCS propose improving consumer protections in the small-scale renewables sector, what is currently lacking in protections, what homeowners expect if something goes wrong, and how we raise consumer protections above those in equivalent sectors.
Lucy then repeated her talks and demonstrations on certification in the Solar Innovations zone for anyone unable to attend on the Tuesday before we all moved to one of the NEC’s many meeting rooms. We hosted a coffee, cake and questions session in the meeting room where anyone who wanted to learn more about the MCS Scheme Development could come and ask questions directly of Ian, Dan and Lisa and have they voice heard by the senior leadership team at MCS.
We wrapped up the second day back on stand where we hosted a joint drinks reception for delegates with the Heat Pump Federation. The reception marked the official launch of MCS and HPF’s joint affiliate membership programme, offering membership of the HPF at no additional cost to MCS certified heat pump contractors.
Day Three – Thursday 29 June:
On the final day of the show, as we began to wind down for the week we wrapped up with a few final panel discussions. First our Scheme Manager Alex Hughes joined the ‘Great Debate: Electrification and smart homes’.
Alex spoke alongside Rob Witney, Senior Product Manager at tepeo; Jeremy Palmer, General Manager of Drayton; Phil Brookes-Maddicks, Installation Assurance Team Lead at Indra; and Michael Lacey, Head of Digital Technology from Vaillant. As the UK moves to a smarter, more electrified homes, the panel talked about how our heating systems will start to integrate with other technologies and examined proven methods to increase efficiency and make our housing stock fit for the future.
Lucy chaired our final panel of the week on ‘How do we bridge the green skills gap? Getting more qualified installers into the industry’. Lucy was joined by Jane Pierce, Deputy Director at IfATE; Chris Galpin, Head of Heat Pump Installer Policy at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero; and Colin Thomas Head of Service Delivery at Octopus.
The panel spoke about how we develop schemes and programmes to engage people of all ages and backgrounds into the green sector as the UK continues work to achieve Net Zero by 2050 and build and retrofit homes prepared for a low-carbon future.
Over the three-day show, we spoke with hundreds of contractors and homeowners in unique situations. We discussed the why MCS is consulting on a scheme redevelopment, power of data, the importance of skills and training, the benefits of certification, 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. At such a pivotal and critical time for our business, it is enormously beneficial for MCS to be able to meet the contractors that shape our work.
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.