Quooker taps into success across Europe

April 17th, 2014

QuookerPic_20140415-093803_1According to Quooker, in excess of 300,000 of its boiling water taps have now been installed in Europe’s kitchens.

Quooker MD Stephen Johnson (seen here), whose UK operation claims to have already sold over 50,000 Quooker taps in less than six years, said:

“Seeing the 300,000 milestone across Europe has been very rewarding, especially as a sixth of that has come from the UK alone.

“When we began, we knew we needed to educate the kitchen buying population that a Quooker tap was a better investment than a kettle.  Now we hear from so many of our kitchen dealer partners that in less than a decade the Quooker has become the ‘must have’ item for new kitchens.  We are also frequently told that it soon becomes the most frequently used appliance in every kitchen, bar none.”

Quooker is celebrating the landmark sales achievement by offering designer Quooker aprons to the best ten comments of congratulations via its social media streams on Facebook and Twitter.

The company says that over a quarter of a million of its Basic, Design, Modern and Classic dedicated boiling water taps had already been purchased by kitchen owners across Europe before Quooker launched its new Nordic series, which includes the Twintaps, the Fusion and the dedicated Nordic boiling water tap , eighteen months ago. These latest additions to the range, which come in a choice of Nordic Square or Nordic Round designs in polished or chrome finishes, have proved extremely popular says Quooker and already account for over a third of its taps sold each year in the UK.

Last year Quooker also added a soap dispenser to complement the Nordic series and a Scale Control Filter, which can be installed at the time of purchase or retrofitted to any existing Quooker installation; to give the Quooker added protection and longer life in hard water areas.


Turkey launches €1.2bn solar tender

April 17th, 2014

solarTurkey is to put a section of its solar potential to tender next month, beginning with the Elazig and Erzurum provinces in Eastern Anatolia.

The tender from Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA)  will reward the highest paying investors with solar power generation licences. It is expected to result in €1.2bn worth of investments.

Site surveys and feasilibility studies have been completed in designated areas and Turkey aims to build a solar power capacity of 600MW. Nearly 500 companies have applied for solar energy generation licenses of up to 7.8GW since last year, reaching a total project value of €15bn.

The selected 258 projects are vying for the 600MW solar generation tender expected to be awarded to winning bidders by the end of the year.

The country aims to have at least 3 gigawatts of installed power made up of solar energy by 2023.

How to deal with poor water pressure

April 17th, 2014

pressureResearch suggest that many UK consumers are concerned about low water Pressure and poor performing showers, but don’t always know how to Address the problem. Salamander Pumps is looking to link up with moreInstallers to help provide the right solution.

In a wide ranging survey, Salamander Pumps has found that when it comes to poorly performing water in the home, todays consumer is on the case and online. A broad sample of Google search data indicates thousands of relevant UK searches every month, with showering problems far and away the dominant issue. Many conversations relate to specific circumstances like fitting a new bathroom or having experienced a ‘dream’ shower on holiday, and, of course, a will always see a surge of online

Though problem awareness is high, consumers in the early stages of looking for products or installation advice often abandon their search with many questions unanswered, like how can I improve my water pressure, how do pumps work and where can I find a suitable plumber? On the basis of its research, Salamander believes that consumers are increasingly turning to the internet and social media to demystify their domestic plumbing and heating systems, defining the consumer experience as a combination of online research and consultation with
a plumber.

Even after receiving a quote, customers are more than likely to return to the internet to validate the proposed solution before they commit to it. However, there are plenty of pitfalls and obstructions which might mean a loss of interest, whereby householders, at worst, just accept the situation and put up with weak showers.

In the know

By better understanding the buyer journey and interplay between consumers and plumbers, Salamander aims to help consumers identify their water pressure problems, explain the solutions available and connect them to an approved local plumber network to quote for the work.

“Consumer digital behaviour is fuelling our communication strategy,” says Chris Vallance, Sales & Marketing Director of the Sunderland based pump manufacturer. “through a variety of engaging content, we will answer enough of their questions to be able to give consumers the confidence to talk to their plumber about improving the water performance in their home. Our aim is to bring the consumer and the installer together at a point where the purchase decision ready to be made,” adds Chris, “so this becomes a lead generation programme for our loyal installer base.”

With this in mind, the company is currently building a nationwide register of plumbers to whom all consumer leads will be directed. The Plumbers Network will help to generate new business opportunities, but Salamander also expects to provide, over time, a long term support programme for those involved, including tailored promotional offers and marketing tools. This could include advantageous trading arrangements with local merchants, warranty extensions and priority sales and technical advice through PumpWise, the companys support service to customers.

A successful recruitment drive has already been launched in the London area, with installers acknowledging the value of a manufacturer supporting their business through better consumer understanding of low water pressure problems and how to fix them. More trade events are to follow across the UK.

With most people already familiar with low water pressure, Salamander believes consumers at least need to know what their incoming water pressure is. What factors, for example, cause variations in water pressure and how might it be affecting the flow of water through their taps, toilets and showerheads? Water authorities only guarantee a minimum water pressure from the mains and often vary the supply, so a top floor flat, recent house extension or loft conversion may well experience poor performance at times of peak demand.

Consumers also need to know what kind of plumbing system they have. Is it mains or gravity fed? A combi boiler or unvented system might be operating inefficiently on low incoming water pressure. Stored hot and cold supplies maybe providing poor natural flow of water to some outlets higher in the house or limiting how much water is available at any one time. A basic level of information should go a long way to explaining why there is poor water performance and help both the homeowner and installer to quickly find a solution. “We know that low water pressure is a concern for installers and consumers alike in many parts of the UK. The real prize is finding the consumers who, up to now, have thought nothing can be done about it,” says Chris. “Its all about attracting new leads and helping our installers push those leads towards a purchase. Digital content consumption is the new driver and becoming more and more relevant to the plumbing and heating sector.”

In most cases, a pump can improve performance or simply provide better continuity of supply and pressure. Whether boosting mains pressure or the water supplies to individual showers, taps and cisterns, Salamander has a family of products to help provide a solution. HomeBoost is an innovative, compact and competitively priced solution for low mains water pressure and flow. Installed directly onto the incoming mains before the boiler appliance, the pump recognises when pressure is low and automatically regulates flow to 12 ltrs/min in compliance with water fitting regulations. CT Xtra and brass model CT Force represent the companys improved range of entry level shower pumps that deliver greater hydraulic efficiency and a significant noise reduction. ESP pumps are Salamanders electronic range of premium shower and whole house pumps that operate in positive or negative head installations.

Find out more

To find out more about Salamanders Plumbers Network please visit the website:www.salamanderpumps.co.uk/plumbers-network. Registration for the scheme can also be completed online.

Honeywell working with Warwick University on pioneering research into behavioural change

April 17th, 2014

honeywellHoneywell has announced the creation of a knowledge transfer partnership’ (KTP) with Warwick University to research and identify the best ways of triggering long-term behaviour changes to help reduce energy consumption in buildings.

Under the project, a PhD graduate student from Warwick University will work with Honeywell Building Solutions and its customers over an 18-month period to design, develop and test behaviour change triggers, and to identify those most effective to be incorporated into commercial energy efficiency programmes to drive reduction in energy consumption.

Professor David Elmes, head of the Warwick Business School (WBS) global energy research network and Daniel Read, professor of behavioural science, will supervise the research, supported by Honeywell Building Solutions, the Technology Strategy Board and the Economic and Social Research Council.

“Building operators currently rely on posters, energy dashboards and educational workshops to encourage change in the behaviour of a building’s users. But could the effectiveness of those tools be improved, could we increase the sustainability of the change, and are there other methods we should be implementing, underpinned by psychology?” said Matthew Eastwood, managing director-UK for Honeywell Building Solutions. “This important and practical research and development programme will help us to find the answers.”

HHIC responds to ECO consultation

April 17th, 2014

hhicThe Heating & Hotwater Association (HHIC) is concerned that low prices currently being paid for installations under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) could lead to lower quality installations.

In response to the ECO consultation, the HHIC is calling for safeguards to be put in place to guard against such lower quality work.

“We would like to see each new boiler installation carry a two-year installer warranty allowing any faults that may occur to be remedied. An annual service should also be included and we would ask DECC to budget accordingly,” said Roger Webb, director at HHIC.

“We would like encourage the government to use the Benchmark scheme for all new boiler installations, which has full industry support and provides a full commissioning and installation checklist for every new boiler installed.”

HHIC also advised that appropriate measures be packaged together – a new boiler with the necessary heating controls to provide the consumer with the most cost effective and energy efficient method of heating their property.

“Packaging in this way will help the government to achieve the stringent carbon emissions targets,” Mr Webb added.

HHIC has been working with DECC on ECO since its inception in 2010.