The Hyde Group establishes industry-first training programme
Published by Hyde Group for The Hyde Group in Environment and also in Education, Housing
Registered Social Landlord, The Hyde Group owns or manages more than 49,000 homes across the south and east of England. Almost 3,000 of its homes have been built using advanced low carbon heating technology. However, Hyde research found that residents living in identical homes can have drastically different bills, often because of a misunderstanding about how modern homes work.
Jack Skinner, Environmental Sustainability Manager, with The Hyde Group explains: “It seemed that residents were in urgent need of more guidance on how to use renewable energy systems properly, especially as the seasons change, but Hyde’s front line staff were not confident they could provide this. Many staff had never heard of an air source heat pump, let alone how to set one for maximum efficiency, so there was an urgent need for them to learn the principles behind new heating technologies, so that they were able to pass this information on to the end user.”
Having established there was no suitable training of this nature on the market, the Hyde Group worked in partnership with Senquo Ltd to create a classroom training programme for front line staff aimed at raising understanding of modern low carbon heating systems. The course had to meet the needs of the wide range of frontline staff who deal with residents including customer services/call centre staff, housing officers, accounts and billing personnel, development and delivery teams, technical and property services staff. As such, an interactive learning style was adopted, linking technical content to examples taken from real life situations.
To date, 120 staff have attended classes and learnt all about ground and air source heat pumps, exhaust air units, solar thermal hot water, community heating schemes, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, and solar photovoltaics. Attendee feedback has been extraordinarily positive. Most people indicated the training increased their confidence in advising residents about their heating and that they would highly recommended the programme to their peers.
Jack Skinner, concludes: “To help residents get the best performance out of our newer homes and heating systems, means getting to know them ourselves. The days of having the same boiler in every property are gone. The Code for Sustainable Homes drives us to deliver bespoke solutions for each situation. Each has great potential for lower end user bills, but only if used correctly – that’s why this training was vital for both Hyde and its residents.”