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Stride Alley Media has produced this report into the renewable energy market to provide current information on industry performance and trends with an overview of the types of customer persona and competitive landscape facing installers of heating systems in the UK. The aim of this report is to support a marketing strategy increase enquiries, understand your audience and gain more work or diversify your current installation business.

Renewable Energy Market Insight Report

This article is the first in a series of insight reports into the renewable energy market of the UK. To receive the reports as they are released simply subscribe to our newsletter below.

Over the past decade and a half, a radical shift in focus among the public, policymakers and industry participants towards renewable energy has occurred. Increased awareness of the impacts of climate change has driven an aggressive decarbonising strategy, spearheaded by the Renewable Energy Generation industry.

Renewable sources accounted for 4.1% of final energy consumption in 2012, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, leaving the industry with plenty of work to do in order to meet the target of 15% by 2020, which was set by the European Union.

In order to meet this target, 30% of UK electricity, 12% of heat and 10% of transport energy must be generated from renewable sources. However, only the first two fall within the scope of the heating system installation industry. In 2014, according to government figures, approximately 17.8% of Britain’s electricity was produced using renewable sources and 4.8% of heat energy came from renewable sources.

The renewable energy market for generation is in the growth phase of its life cycle, typified by growing revenue, increasing participation and technological advancements. The need to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and an increased awareness of the effects of climate change have driven demand for clean energies, both domestically and internationally.
This chart shows a slow period of growth in the renewable energy market between 2005 and 2010, which was mainly in the social housing sector. It is thought that many homeowners were awaiting the RHI originally planned for 2012 but eventually brought in during 2014. The economic downturn is also likely to have dampened uptake of this expensive technology.
The uptake following the introduction of the RHI can also be put down to;

  • Tighter building regulations
  • Utilities entering heat pump market
  • Technological advances in products
  • Stable growth in social housing
  • Growth of self-build sector
So what are the 6 big challenges? 
UK housing stock

High thermal losses, high temperature radiators, small rooms and trend for no water storage reduce effects and flexibility our European neighbours enjoy.

The gas challenge

The gas network extends to 85% of homes. Low cost gas boilers and the ratio of gas v electric prices makes for a difficult economic argument.

Operating patterns

UK homeowners tend to heat their home in ‘bursts’ rather than heating to a stable temperature. This leads to spikes and poor heat pump efficiency.

Upfront cost

The initial capital outlay is a critical barrier for homes on and off gas, with no UK culture of investing in what is seen as a new or ‘risky’ technology.

Quality of Installation

Improvement is needed in the network for distribution and installation. Energy Saving Trust (EST) field trials revealed poor performance in a significant number of installations owing to lack of quality training.


The UK’s single phase supply creates challenges connecting the best heat pumps to the distribution network.

Strategy Suggestions 
It is fairly obvious that with current gas prices the best opportunity for heat pumps installations within the renewable energy market sits within the 15% of homes which sit off the gas network.

Strat to raise awareness of the ability to shift demand this will help to narrow the gap on gas prices? Encouraging hot water production or storing heat energy during peak generation periods could improve the annualised the efficiency especially if the UK were to pay or offer free electricity as we have seen in German during times of excess generation.

Funded Heat Pump Installations set to come into effect on from the 27th June 2018 will see technology become more affordable with studies showing 80% to 100% of the supply and installations costs being covered by the RHI in some cases.

The next report in this series will focus on the barriers to entry and how you can use them to your advantage. Subscribe below to get the reports as they are released.

Stride Alley here to help!

We understand that writing and communicating content and communicating it across your social media, websites and e-mail communication can be a timely process. Stride Alley media have worked with installers of renewable technologies for over 10 years and have a firm grasp of both the technical and marketing requirements to engage with your audience. Check out some of our packages starting from as little as £120 per month.