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[ Green light: Renewables Roadshow ]

contractors interested in learning more about renewable technologies and how they can get involved. ECA and ELECSA renewables experts were there to offer practical advice and answer burning questions on how contractors can take advantage of the opportunities opening up in this fast-growing sector. On entering the trailer, visitors were treated to demonstrations of an array of gadgets and equipment which included: n Smart home controls; n Solar photovoltaic (PV) and inverter installations, both commercial and domestic;

n Solar thermal integration with a high-efficiency boiler and control system;

n Ground source heat pump with low temperature heat distribution systems; and

n Air source heat pump with tank-in-tank storage, solar thermal and advanced web accessible controls. The renewables experts were on hand to talk about

topics such as energy management building control, how multiple renewable technologies can be integrated and what contractors need to do to become Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited. A selection of the most common questions they were asked is included on the following pages.

On the road After its first stop in Stoke-on-Trent, the roadshow visited a further 51 locations nationwide, many during the freezing winter months, until it came to a halt on a bright, spring day in Hull at the end of March. Attracting in the region of 1,400 visitors across all 52 locations, with an average of 26 visitors per site, the roadshow has been judged a tremendous success by those who saw it. Greg Butterworth of Butterworth Brothers (Electrical)

Ltd, ECA Hull & East Yorkshire Branch chairman, visited the trailer in Hull and was impressed with what he saw: ‘With the Renewables Roadshow, ECA and ELECSA are leading the way in helping contractors, distributors and manufacturers understand and get involved with renewable technologies. The trailer is a great hands-on way of showing contractors how the technologies work and explaining the business benefits of becoming MCS accredited,’ he said. As well as the touring trailer, a series of nine seminars

also took place around the country, looking at the bigger picture of the renewables market and offering contractors specific, practical advice on how to get trained and assessed for MCS. Each seminar covered: n How the sustainability agenda affects all contractors;

n The market drivers for the renewables market, in particular how the Feed-in Tariff Scheme and Renewable Heat Incentive will bring you customers;

n What product development is taking place to meet the demands of the market;

n What skills are required and the best routes to gaining them; and

n What the MCS is all about and what the assessment covers.

The trailer is a great hands-on way of showing contractors how the technologies work and explaining the business benefits of becoming MCS accredited

Local knowledge Most valuably, at each seminar attendees had the chance to hear from a local contractor already delivering renewable technologies. The contractor talked everyone through how they’d got started, what training they’d needed and how they found the MCS assessment. By hearing first-hand from people already doing it, contractors were able to understand how becoming MCS accredited would directly benefit their business. Karl Warner of Metropolitan Solar Energy, who went to

the seminar in Brentwood, said: ‘We thought going into renewable technologies was a good move for our business and attending the Renewables Roadshow helped us understand how to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.’ Since attending the seminar, Metropolitan has become MCS accredited through ELECSA and has set up a renewables division in the company. The Renewables Roadshow has now finished, but

watch out for details of some follow up activity scheduled for later in the autumn. For more information on how you can get involved

in renewables, and to get assessed for MCS, visit


As part of the Renewables Roadshow, ECA and ELECSA had a stand at Ecobuild (1-3 March at Excel London). Attracting some 1,300 exhibitors and more than 50,000 visitors over the three days, this was the biggest Ecobuild yet. ECA Group CEO, Steve Bratt, said of Ecobuild: ‘Given the work ECA and ELECSA are

already doing to promote renewable technologies to contractors, it was vital for us be at this premier event for the renewables sector. It was an incredible show, with some amazing products and services on display, attracting thousands of visitors. Our stand was busy everyday and our experts were able to share their knowledge on MCS with a wide audience.’ n See FAQs, overleaf, for some of the issues raised by visitors to the stand.

May 2011 ECA Today 19

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