In this issue of CABLEtalk we are featuring developments in the renewable and energy efficiency arenas. As we move towards becoming even more dependent on an electric-powered economy, our sector is in a prime position to capture current and future workload developments, not only in traditional areas such as light, energy and communications but now in transport too.
It’s hard to imagine what part of our lives electricity won’t touch as we move forward into the 2020s and the targets set by the Scottish Government in regard to carbon reduction will mean more and more opportunities for electrical businesses.
In addition, the decision to require alternative sources of heating to be installed in new build properties other than gas from 2024 means a chance for our sector to become more involved in heating installations. As a result, this is likely to open up new opportunities in service and maintenance work.
“Installation of these technologies will also bring a requirement for increased knowledge and training”
Additionally, as more and more car companies start selling electric vehicles there will be an increase in demand for electric charging points. When these cars and vans need serviced and maintained, who’s to say that electricians shouldn’t take this work on? We have already seen electricians in a number of European countries, including Finland, undertaking electric vehicle servicing work.
Installation of these technologies will also bring a requirement for increased knowledge and training. It’s encouraging that the Scottish Government acknowledges that individuals installing such products should be qualified electricians, with top-up training as necessary. Apprentice training will also need to be updated to reflect the future direction of the industry.
Another major issue which needs to be tackled is system design. All too often we learn about the installation requirements for new products and systems but we don’t often spend enough time recognising the extra design needs for new systems, especially when they are linked to existing systems. The industry as a whole needs to do more and provide suitable training.
The next few years will be an exciting time to be involved in the industry as it becomes more and more important to our everyday lives and it’s incumbent on bodies like SELECT to make sure that electricians are given every opportunity to develop their businesses to reflect the new landscape we will face.