About a year ago, Bristol City Council decided to get up to speed with renewable technology. As part of this drive, the Council applied for Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation. ‘We found it a lot of work,’ says Dean. ‘Writing the process document for MCS includes just about everything you do at work, health and safety, risk assessment, fault processes, complaints procedure – in fact every process you do needs a flow chart!’ On the customer side, everything from the first conversation to the finish of the installation must be recorded, including the programme of work, and pamphlets supplied, comments or complaints and so on.
Towards the end of the MCS accreditation process it transpired that there was a requirement to attend a heat pump course. The Council chose Nu-Heat’s renewable training centre in Honiton for the course due to its relative proximity and the fact that it was MCS recommended. ‘The deciding factor,’ comments Dean ‘was the fact that Nu-Heat responded quickly to our enquiries and was really helpful. Training centre administrator Milly Harding was very thorough when handling the enquiry.’
Of the course, Dean says that the PowerPoint presentation and discussion on day one were excellent – the session was relaxed and the trainers were happy to go ‘off script’ to discuss any queries. The following days include a practical exam day with work on the training rig, and a day dedicated to Health and Safety that covers Working at Heights, Manual Handling and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSSH).
Dean Haines - Bristol City Council Bristol City Council is currently retrofitting air source heat pumps (AHSP) to integrate with radiators and is also considering using ASHP with underfloor heating in new builds in the future. The reasons behind the choice of ASHP are to save tenants money and as part of the Decent Homes programme. ‘For properties currently struggling with old storage heating systems and where gas isn’t available, ASHP is the ideal solution,’ says Dean. Where ASHP has already been installed, the tenants are very pleased with the result, especially as the system worked extremely well during the sub-zero temperatures of January this year.
Dean, who has been with Bristol City Council for almost 13 years says that the Council has really moved forward in its commitment to energy efficiency. The budget for renewable systems has risen by 500% since last year, and the team of installers is set to expand over the coming year.
Bristol City Council is the first local authority to attain MCS accreditation. Dean says they are starting to get calls from other local authorities to pick their brains, and that it is great that councils are talking to each other.
For information on Nu-Heat’s training courses email Milly or call her on 01404 540616