Electrical Contracting News (ECN) September 2016 - Page 45

WIRING ACCESSORIES SPECIAL FEATURE Some smart installations will require the expertise of heating engineers and other tradesmen. zones. evohome works really well in large buildings with low occupancy, and we are installing them in manor houses, ski chalets and community centres.’ Andy Breeze, Breeze Electrical – Forest of Dean Smart heating controls continue to evolve and dominate the heating market. thermostats; leading into today’s growing market for smart controls. ‘As the controls have developed, so has the ease of use for both electricians and homeowners. The large touch screens and Apps have made the user interface so much more user friendly. Installers and electricians used to hate setting up a central heating programmer, but now you can do it intuitively with no instruction manual. ‘Manufacturers are usually always on hand to provide help and support with their products through training and their networks. The support I receive from the Honeywell Installer Network is great – anything I need I get help with. I can even talk direct to the teams that design the products like the evohome. Because of this I’m actually part of the panel of testers for products while they are in development and they take on board my feedback. ‘Recently I have started carrying out large complex evohome zoning installs, containing 40 plus radiators which means multiple touch screen controls and ‘I have been in the industry a long time, and I have noticed a real shift in the market place, especially over the past couple of years, which has led to me partnering up with more and more local plumbers on heating jobs that need extensive wiring work. ‘Because of this, I realised it was important to upskill as a business, and recently invested some time to undergo the Honeywell central heating training course so that we can understand the basic heating installations and really be an asset to our plumbing partners. ‘I am only just starting to dip my toe in the water when it comes to smart controls, the consumer demand is rapidly increasing and the potential to get more work in this area is really appealing. ‘As I am a member of the Honeywell Installer Network, I receive e-shots about training courses, and I wanted to learn more about smart controls considering my customers are asking about these products. The best training programme was the online connected course which offers a full learning hive on all things connected, from installations to product knowledge. I am now enrolled and will be starting my online training this month which is really exciting as this is a totally new market to get involved in and has so much potential for us and also our partners.’ Time to invest It’s always good to have industry contacts, but now is the time to build a network of partnerships. Some smart installations will require the expertise of heating engineers and other tradesmen. Thinking ahead now is also a great way to understand the routes to upskilling and the benefits of becoming trained in other trade skills, especially if more and more of the jobs on your books involve smart controls. Given the direction of the market, it is now vital that electricians invest time in learning about these new systems and market themselves and their business as being a specialist in smart technology. In some cases this can lead to upskilling within the business, hiring a qualified heating engineer or collaborating with another business to get the job done. Upskilling is key to giving customers the best products and devices for their homes and maximising business potential as a result. Signing up for manufacturer training (whether online or face-to-face), and joining manufacturer programmes and schemes such as the Honeywell Installer Network are instrumental in moving with the times and developing as an electrician. There is a connected thermostat to suit every application and budget. 45 44-46 Wiring Accessories – Honeywell.indd 45 10/08/2016 16:30