Driving the demand for roofers to acquire solar skills is the Code for Sustainable Homes, the Government’s support of renewable energy, and consumer demand.
Roofers are keen to get trained up in solar skills as photovoltaic (PV) technology, or solar electric, is proving to be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to meet CO2 reduction requirements in building regulations such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Ecohomes standard.
According to the Government’s Department for Business and Regulatory Reform (DBERR), more organisations are choosing solar PV than all other renewable energy technologies put together, making it the most popular renewable energy for the trades to diversify into.
Recent research has shown that this is a global trend, with up to 6.3 million jobs in PV expected by 2030, 75% of this in installation. In the UK, the public sector and charities are entitled to a 50% saving on the costs of installing micro generation technologies under the Government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme, and individuals up to £2500.
Chris Hopkins, a recent trainee and Managing Director of Ploughcroft Roofing said: "This training for C21e system installation underpins our position in the vanguard of the roofing revolution.
"Last year we became the first company in the country to offer certificated National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) training in the fitting of solar panels on roof tops, and this is a great step forward.
"The new solar slates are very relevant for us because there are so many slate roofs in the area where we work. In fact we have already had a number of requests for the product from local authorities and schools.”
Derry Newman, CEO of Solarcentury said: "Despite the economic downturn, social housing providers need to continue investing in the UK’s housing needs. Because of this, the public sector is leading the way in demonstrating how innovations such as solar PV can contribute to the design of homes that meet the demands of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
"Without employing renewable energy technology such as solar PV, there is no way that levels five and six of the Code are possible. Roofing contractors who recognise this have the opportunity to maximise their business opportunities, as the market shifts towards trades which can deliver renewable technologies."
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