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How much demand is out there?

I spent last Friday at the Ideal Home Show in London’s Olympia, but I wasn’t on the lookout for home decorating tips or inspiration on new cooking techniques or garden designs, I was trying to judge how much the general public knew about heat pumps.

We had a team of people on our Ecodan stand, helping offer advice to homeowners looking to move away from carbon-intensive gas and oil heating to a much more sustainable future with air source heat pumps.

The Show was opened with a ribbon-cutting exercise from celebrity experts George Clarke, Martin Lewis, Scarlette and Stuart Douglas, John Torode and Lisa Faulkner, and Louise Gookey.

I was intrigued that we seemed to be the only heat pump manufacturer at the show, which was great for us, but did make me wonder if the audience was ready for a renewable heating message?

Things have really moved on in terms of awareness of heat pumps now

Russell Jones Russell Jones Content and communications manager

An air source what?

I remember interviewing people in Guilford High Street over 14 years ago, when Ecodan was first launched in the UK and we asked them a simple question: “Have you heard of an air source heat pump?”

None of them had, but one chap had heard of ground source heat pumps, so I wanted to use the Ideal Home Show as a test on:

  1. whether more people had heard of air source heat pumps since Guilford, and
  2. how much interest there was out there now?

And the results were really good to see as we had a steady flow of people coming to us with questions on how a heat pump could work in their own situation.

The most common questions apart from 'how do they work' were around the space needed for the outdoor unit, and costs, but people were reassured when they heard that they can get £7,500 from the government's Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Spot the celebrity

I joined our team last Friday, which was the first day of the show, and it was pretty busy, although colleagues tell me that it was far surpassed by the numbers attending this weekend gone.

As Friday was the opening day though, we did see a number of celebratory speakers and, whilst I couldn’t watch all of ‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis’s tips on how to help with the cost of living crisis, I did managed to watch TV’s George Clarke talk about his route to becoming a TV celebrity and why he was delighted to be involved in the Ideal Home Show.

George is also our Ecodan Ambassador so he did talk about the advantages of air source heat pumps and there were certainly a number of homeowners who came to our stand on his recommendation. 

And before anyone suggests that George would ‘big up’ heat pumps simply because he’s our ambassador, he covered this point himself from the stage, explaining that he himself had a heat pump, and he also does not endorse things he does not believe in.

1261 George at Ideal

George Clarke in the main theatre

Architect and TV celebrity George Clarke talks about his career development and why he endorses Ecodan heat pumps

A dream home

In the middle of the exhibition space, the organisers have built a ‘Dream Home’ showing off the latest kitchens, bathrooms furnishings and fittings, alongside a range of technology that can ensure your home can be both comfortable and futureproof.

The Dream Home is billed as the biggest, most extravagant and innovative property to ever feature at the Ideal Home Show and is styled in association with GoodHomes Magazine.

More importantly, for the first time in the Show’s 115-year history, all the products featured in the life-sized Home are available at the Show.

For us, this included renewable heating from our Ecodan air source heat pump, alongside slick, energy efficient designer air conditioning units.

The Show runs until the 7th April so there is still plenty of time to plan a visit.

If you can’t make it though and you would like to know more about renewable heating and stylish sir conditioning, click on the link in the side bar.

Russell Jones is content and communications manager