Education, Collaboration and Innovation- 3 key things for the future of hot water storage

18th May 2017


The Hot Water Association, HWA are very fortunate to have some of the most experienced and recognised people within the industry in membership. The role of chairperson for the association is highly sought after, as it enables you to be at the forefront of the industry and have the opportunity influence the future.

Geoff Egginton HWA’s outgoing commercial group chair certainly made his mark during his tenure “During my tenure, with the resources of EUA we were able to launch the Charter and bring all the members on board with that.  We also increased PR exposure, with much support from the centre, and we ran our first consumer campaign.”  

The work of the HWA is incredibly important and covers everything from product development, encouraging best practice and innovation to Government policy. Members give up their time to share their expertise to help shape the future of the industry.

Stuart Elsy, Managing Director at OSO Hotwater UK Ltd is the incoming chair of HWA commercial group and has some big plans for his tenure.

Congratulations on being voted in as the 2017/18 chair of the Commercial group for HWA, were you pleasantly surprised to be nominated?

 Yes I was. I have been a director of the Association for a few years but this the first time I have taken a specific role. I hope I can make a difference.

 What are the 3 key things that you would like HWA commercial group to focus on during your tenure?

  1. We are in a constant battle against ineffective system design. For example Combination boilers being fitted in large busy households with multiple demands for hot water at the same time. Combination boilers are great in their place but not suitable for every installation. We need to further engage with the installation and merchant communities as well as the wider public, via trade and general press, social media etc to educate them on the pressure, flow rate and other benefits of hot water storage.
  1. We want to educate the public and trade on the benefits of hot water storage linked to all forms of renewable energy. In particular, approximately 1 million UK homeowners now have Solar PV roof panels producing electricity. Consumers can divert the excess electricity (which they will be paid for regardless) - via an additional product- to power the immersion heater and store the energy in the form of hot water in a cylinder, which can then be used to meet the hot water demands of the house later in the day.

In these instances the cylinder can be heated free of charge from the solar PV system. It’s a no brainer – but we need to get the message out.

  1. We are developing the HWA charter which I will discuss later

Why are trade associations such as HWA so influential to the industry?

Trade associations allow key players in the particular industry to work together for the good of the entire industry. All industries operate within a regulatory framework. A trade association allows an industry to discuss and negotiate with government to ensure that rules benefit society.

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry over the coming 12-18 months?

The updated version of the ErP regulations which goes live in September is actually a much bigger deal for the manufacturers than the original rules from 2015, because the minimum standard of efficiency has been raised. All manufacturers have engaged in a lot of Research and Development to provide the best efficiency advantages to their customers.

All industries are also watching the political situation very closely to see how the UK’s relationship will be in the future with the European Union because there are going to be both opportunities and challenges that can arise from the eventual deal.

OSO Hotwater UK Ltd are HWA Charter members, can you tell us a bit more about the charter and what it means for OSO? 

The HWA charter shows that the company is ‘playing by the rules’ and is not seeking to misinform the public in the way that has been seen in the motor industry. The charter has strict rules about product testing and will act as a guarantor of credibility to a manufacturer’s claims.

OSO have always operated at the quality end of the market. Our products are never the cheapest but we have won many international awards for our innovation and environmental credentials. 

Beyond your tenure and 3 key ambitions what do you see for the long term future of the domestic and commercial hot water industry?

I think the future will be healthy for our industry in the long term. Use of renewable energy is only going to grow, and all forms of renewable energy need hot water storage to provide fast filling baths and multiple showers.

As an industry in the medium term we also need to keep educating the installation community, particularly those who have recently qualified, of the benefits and advantages of hot water storage in houses with multiple bathrooms.