The Goal post keep changing for Hot Water Systems in Queensland

The plumbing industry is for ever changing with new legislation and practices implemented every year, plumbers need to run very flexible companies that are able to react and adapt with each change. This latest development has given power back to the plumber and increased the competition against the solar companies once again. This article just looks at the past 12 months and how the goal posts have changed for the plumbers.

Plumbers are on the frontline of the hot water market and the changes in legislation, rebates and general practice that occur in this industry. Whether it is a new course or legislation plumbers need to learn to adopt or face fines and/ or lose customers. They are governed by strict laws and often have very little power when it comes to drawing up the industries guidelines. The government introduce new ideas and incentives with aims and goals but these often overlook key factors and market dynamics. When the government first introduced the rebates and electric phase out it generated new competition for the plumbers with solar installers appearing on every corner and cashing in on thousands of dollars worth of rebates. People no longer just called their local plumber when their hot water system broke down. Plumbers had to get re-educated, complete solar courses and also focus on other areas of business as the market became saturated with sellers. Plumbers were losing customers to cheap cowboys installing electrics and not completing courses or losing them to the full service solar sellers that can offer an array of energy saving products. It was a difficult time for the plumbers. However, now all the legislation and rebates have been reversed the industry is back to the cheap and easy electrics. The solar dealers are struggling and the plumber is regaining the edge, installing cheap produce with speed and efficiency. No delivery issues with like for like replacements and a simple install. Solar installers are unable to compete on price and the pay back periods are too great to become a significant factor. There is still a market for solar but it has been dramatically reduced as cheap alternatives are now available. Solar is once again a premium product for the minority, but this is not the case for heat pumps. There is still great potential for the heat pump market through the plumbers. They are still the key channel to market as they are able to look at every individual case and identify which unit is ideally suited to that scenario. A large number of plumbers will recommend a like for like replacement, keeping the install price and unit price down for the customer and ensuring the sale. However, this may not be the best solution for the customer with regards accumulated running costs over the years. Also with new products and channels to market the heat pump pricing is a lot more competitive. On average the heat pump is only $500 more and with rising costs of electricity, the savings will cover that capital outlay within 2 years. It is important to have these options as every home and budget is different. The heat pump is still a very viable option for many and makes a lot of monetary sense. This gives the plumber the opportunity to offer several products and differentiate their business. The heat pump will not be ideal for all homes but many are missing out on making that choice, losing out on $800 of government funding, years of savings and having the education to make that decision. Give the customer the option and expand your portfolio of products. #JOINtheREVOLUTION

By Simon Baird 

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