This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

MAKING RENEWABLES WORK Discover the latest on renewables and microgeneration

THE KNX FACTOR Focus on intelligent building control and home automation systems

TURNING UP THE HEAT Smart solutions for heating and ventilation business

Playing to win




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September 2011 ECA Today 3

Phil Lattimore Editor

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From the editor... W

elcome to the September issue of ECA Today. We’ve written plenty over the last year or so about the importance of the green agenda and its vital relevance to the healthy future of the UK electrical industry. As we’ve seen,

the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs), introduced in April 2010, has significantly boosted business in the renewables market – particularly for solar photovoltaic installations – while the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is expected to add further welcome stimulus to this growing sector. The ECA has been very active on a regional and national level in promoting the

opportunities presented by the green agenda, offering information, training and support for members looking to expand into new areas of business. As part of the ongoing commitment to the renewables sector, on 5 September the ECA is launching its Renewables and Microgeneration Interest Group (RIG), an online electronic forum that will be freely accessible to all ECA members, providing practical support for members involved in the design, installation and servicing of low to no carbon systems. This invaluable resource has been developed to offer a comprehensive source of information, guidance, tools, technical advice, training support and much more. Anyone interested in the renewables and microgeneration market should visit it as a priority. You can read more about what this will be offering ECA members on page 18 of this issue.

Energy efficiency

Of course, when it comes to the green agenda, while renewables and microgeneration grab the headlines, there are additional opportunities for electrical contractors in less glamorous areas which, nevertheless, are ultimately expected to be of more importance in achieving government carbon reduction targets. As we go forward, energy efficiency technologies will play an increasingly crucial role in helping to reduce UK carbon emissions, both in new builds and in refurbishment of existing housing stock. From intelligent building control systems to new lighting technology, energy-efficient heating and ventilation systems to cutting edge LED lighting, electrical contractors have the core skills and expertise to deliver these solutions. In this issue, we take a look at some of these technologies and the opportunities they offer, including an in-depth look at the KNX standard (page 46) and a survey of the heating and ventilation market (page 24). In addition, our cover feature on Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s new American Express Community Stadium looks at how state-of-the-art energy efficient technology can be combined with stunning M&E design (page 32). It’s an interesting story.

Back to basics As we’ve said before in ECA Today, the ECA can help to identify opportunities – but it can also help with finding solutions when things don’t go according to plan. Increasingly important in these challenging times, the association offers a raft of services and guidance for members that are covered in the membership fee, including legal services and debt recovery. You can read more about how to get those outstanding bills paid swiftly on page 58. Some things may change, but some remain the same – recession or not… Finally, remember to check out our competition on page 70 of this issue, where we have a fantastic Toshiba netbook to give away. Good luck.

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