Heating, Plumbing and the Economic Downturn

Heating, Plumbing and the Economic Downturn
by Tal Potishman

The American economic crisis has been making headlines all over the world for a few months but the US is not alone when it comes to financial difficulties. Various countries around the world have suffered severe economic meltdowns (Iceland and Ukraine just to name a few). The UK has also been having serious economic troubles as well, especially in the housing industry. There has been a twelve percent drop in the price of homes in the UK in the last twelve months. We ask – has the heating and plumbing industry been affected by this?

Initial evidence shows that the economic downturn hasn’t slowed down business for the plumbing and heating industry as much as it has for other industries. There are a few companies that have reported a drop in billable hours, but for the most part, business has remained steady. The real change has been in the kind of work that the heating and plumbing engineers are being hired to do.

While the housing market was on an upswing, many heating and plumbing professionals were enlisted for the installation of new systems. While the trend was towards home buying, it led to many new systems designed and installed. Professionals would be hired to design systems with a long term view of house prices increasing forever. Once the housing market lost momentum, home owners became more interested in making sure their current systems last as long as possible, and keep the costs down.

Emergency Plumbing Repair

Heating and plumbing engineers are now being hired to repair and renovate systems in homes. Heating and cooling systems are being retooled and cleaned instead of being replaced. Professionals are finding that their billable hours are going toward boiler replacement and hot water cylinder repairs and inspecting vents and drains to ensure that they are working correctly and cost efficiently.

Heating and plumbing engineers are happy to book their hours, and they do not necessarily look for a redesign project with new built homes. Repairs and replacements provide dependable work and they ensure that these professional engineers are able to pay their bills.

Some heating engineers have discovered that diversifying their business and learning how to practice “green” methods of plumbing and heating can remarkably improve their number of billable hours, as recently clients have shown interest in making sure their homes are environmentally friendly. Solar thermal panels, under floor heating systems and environmentally friendly sewer systems are becoming more popular.

It is clear that the UK economy is having a rough ride right now but the professional heating and plumbing industry should remain fairly stable thanks to repair and renovation requests. Plumbers and heating specialists will also do well if they are ready to take on clients who want “green” technologies to heat their houses and their domestic water. Flexibility and ability to adjust to the circumstances guarantee that professionals will be able to get through the current economic crisis.

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