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News I published 20 November 2023 I Dirk Hoogenboom

Installers see demand for certain sustainable products skyrocketing

Sustainability is a hot topic that keeps getting hotter, which has a huge effect on the installation sector. Climate change and high energy prices due to Russia’s war in Ukraine have accelerated the demand for more sustainable systems and solutions. These new systems need to be installed, which falls on the shoulders of HVAC installers.

Sustainability is taken into account in half of European installation projects

As the latest results of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation Monitor point out, installers are indeed increasingly busy with projects in which sustainability plays a role. The share of installation projects in which sustainability is taken into account has grown to half of the total installation projects in the six European countries we measured.

Only Polish installers report a decrease in the share of projects in which sustainability is taken into account. In the other five countries, that has increased. The largest growth of sustainability installation projects was seen by installers in Belgium, the United Kingdom, and France.

Customer demand is driving sustainability projects

That increase is mainly driven by customers, who more often ask for more sustainable options. As the graph shows, installers report that 79% of their business customers and a whopping 84% of their end-consumer customers show interest in sustainable options. Again, there are major differences per country. In the UK, only 63% of end-consumer customers ask installers about sustainable options, whereas that share is 91% in the Netherlands.

The fact that many clients ask for sustainable options does not mean those sustainable options are installed, though. As shown, 36% of business customers and 41% of end-consumer customers do ask for sustainable options but are then not willing to pay their often higher price. Regardless, 43% of customers are willing to pay that price and are thus driving sustainability with their demand.

The high demand for heat pumps and photovoltaics shows the impact of gas prices

So customer demand is the main driver for installing sustainable systems. But what are the sustainable options that these customers ask about? According to the installers, heat pumps are asked for the most. At some distance, photovoltaics follow as the second-most-asked-for sustainable product. Both products show the impact of the war that Russia started in Ukraine.

The gas prices that were already rising in 2021 skyrocketed after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. This woke up many countries to reduce or preferably eliminate dependency on Russian gas, while high gas bills moved consumers and businesses to reduce or preferably eliminate dependency on gas altogether. That is shown by the massive increase in interest in electric heat pumps, which are the main alternative to gas heating.

High investment costs are one of the barriers

High gas prices may have caused more customers of installers to ask for sustainable options more often, but the prices of those options are the main barrier to having them installed. As mentioned and shown in the graph, roughly half of the customers who ask their installers about sustainable options are also willing to pay for them.

When we asked the installers about the main barriers, the high investment costs and product prices of those sustainable options were the most mentioned. To find out what other barriers to the installation of sustainable options are at play and which other sustainable products are increasingly demanded by customers of installers in six major European markets, we refer you to USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation Monitor.

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