Separation Anxiety was not an expression I had previously come across.
I’ve recently become an owner of a lovely golden retriever and in conversations with other dog owners, there seems to be a real fear that our pets will face a swathe of separation anxiety when we return to a new normal (whatever that means!)
You could easily dismiss this but it would appear to be slowly becoming the truth as children went back to school and working parents are now spending a proportion of their time at work.
If not now but in the future, this will see us leaving our adored puppies whimpering for the 24/7 affection they had previously received during lockdown.
We need to help those who have yet to start on their on their decarbonised heating journey
I have also recently been on the receiving end of my own separation anxiety as well.
My eldest daughter is leaving us to start the next chapter of her life. She’s training to become a midwife and has left for University, so life at our home will never be quite the same again.
Change imposed on others is easy to comprehend but change imposed on ourselves is always all the more challenging.
In contrast to these pet and family examples let’s look at what is changing in the renewable heating industry.
There is now widespread agreement that an inevitable change is coming as the nation transitions from carbon-intensive heating to low carbon technologies.
To date though, this has generally been met with some scepticism and even resistance by those within the industry and by customers.
Traditional methods of heating a home have delivered exactly what homeowners expect and the technologies used are now a ‘given’ fact of everyday life.
We have simply become so used to burning fossil fuels in our homes and have felt so comfortable with what has been the status quo for decades.
Transitioning to sustainable heating – as we must - is surely going to create some anxiety at almost every point of the UK’s heating supply chain and potentially to the end users.
It doesn’t have to be that way
The rapid decarbonisation of the national grid and the electrification of most aspects of our living environment make heat pumps a natural choice to replace burning fuels in the home to provide both heating and hot water.
Key to their ongoing success has been their ability to produce more heat ‘energy’ than they consume.
The most modern gas boiler today will deliver efficiency levels of around 95%, with 5% of the energy lost up the flue.
In contrast, a heat pump will take 1kW of electricity and produce at least an average of 3kW of heating – an efficiency level of 300%.
It’s only going to get better
Heat pump innovation has embraced the challenge of delivering sustainable heating to the nation by providing multiple options that can be adapted to deliver for almost any type of residential and commercial applications.
At this point though, I am always careful to remind myself that I have this strong confidence in the technology as I have lived and breathed it for over 12 years now, and this is not always the case with people new to heat pumps.
A lack of confidence in what can still be seen as a ‘new technology’ is to be expected in those who have yet to start on their decarbonised heating journey.
As I say though, I’ve been involved in heat pumps for 12 years and we at Mitsubishi Electric have been developing and refining the Ecodan range all that time.
There is a cure
Curing separation anxiety means we need to prepare.
So, for my golden retriever I’m going to prepare for a dog walker to come when we are not at home. This will not only ensure there is routine to the day for my dog it will also mean he’s not alone all day.
For my daughter, I’ve tried to ensure that we were properly prepared for her leaving for university and she had everything she needed as she looks to prepare her run up to take on the world.
And for those starting the heat pump journey, we as manufacturers need to make sure we are prepared and ready to deliver the solution as a full start-to-finish package every step of the way.
This means we make the system as straightforward to design, install and operate and continually review the delivery of the renewable heating experience.
We are now on an unstoppable sustainable heating journey and the low carbon heating arena is changing and changing fast.
We all need to make sure we are ready and help those latecomers get up to speed quickly so that we can minimise any anxiety.
Stuart Bell is National Specifcation Sales Manager for renewable heating