Itron reveals that 51% of renewables installers lack meter training despite mandatory RHI call

London, UK — Itron, Inc. has announced research which reveals that 51% of renewables installers surveyed have not received training on fitting meters, despite the requirement for metering on commercial renewable heat projects to qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). 

The research, “Understanding Renewable Heat Meter Installations,” was commissioned by Itron and undertaken by Dynamic Markets. To meet the metering installation skills gap, Itron has launched a new interactive e-learning guide to help installers to fit meters efficiently and properly.

The Itron Heat Meter Installation Guide, which installers can use from the office desktop or in the field from a mobile device, provides step-by-step information and videos that demonstrate how to correctly fit Itron’s ultrasonic heat meters.

With DECC estimating that more than 900,000 renewable heat projects will be installed in the UK by 2020, the urgent need for metering education is clear. In fact, 72% of the installers surveyed said it is not possible to deliver against the RHI requirements without adequate training.

 

“Ensuring meters are installed effectively with the latest technology enhances the rewards offered by the RHI and ensures projects perform as efficiently as possible,” said Bernard McWeeney, Water and Heat Manager, Itron. “Installers certainly play a vital role in building trust in the renewable heat industry, so we have developed this training guide to give them the right support for the job.”

 

Other findings from the research include:

 

  • Among those who have received training, on average, such training had taken place almost nine months before, and for some, it was as long as five years ago.
  • As a result of the absence of training, 41% lack total confidence in offering help to their end customers about how to use their heat meters.
  • Out of the 51% of people who have not had training, 82% would like training to improve their confidence.
  • 42% of those that have received training would like a refresher.
  • Nearly one in two (49%) of installers surveyed would welcome a mobile-enabled video instruction that they could take on-site.

 

“The feedback when dealing with the RHI is that meters are often not fitted in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions or Ofgem guidance, and schematic diagrams are often incorrect,” said Martin Wardell, founder and managing director of MWA Technology Ltd, an Itron distributor that contributes to the RHI Industry Advisory Group to Ofgem. “When good training is applied, efficiency goes up and costs go down.  We support this new training tool and hope it benefits our customers and ultimately improves their involvement with the RHI.”

Accurate and effective metering helps understand the efficiency of systems, and regular and reliable readings ensure that RHI subsidy payments are based on actual output. For example, for some domestic RHI installations, DECC is offering additional financial incentives of up to £230 per year to encourage the use of metering and monitoring packages.

The Itron Heat Meter Installation Guide provides videos and information on how to complete a correct and safe installation of the Itron CF UltraMaXX and CF Echo II thermal energy meters in accordance to the EN Standard 1434 section 6.  The interactive guide includes pre-installation checks, pull out diagrams and trouble shooting. The guide can be downloaded from www.itronheat.co.uk.

Itron is a global technology company, building solutions that help utilities measure, manage and analyse energy and water.

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