The credit crunch and subsequent recession, which is by no means over, have affected most types of business in the UK. The housing market suffered particularly badly, not least because the global financial collapse emanated from sub-prime mortgage lending in the US. Amid the economic turmoil, however, the UK’s domestic heating industry has shown encouraging signs of recovery.
According to the UK Domestic Central Heating Market Development, a survey published by MBD, the central heating business has enjoyed several successive years of annual growth. Although the UK’s domestic central heating sector has contracted by 8 per cent from 2006, a one per cent rise was recorded in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The MBD report predicts that the industry would have grown to a value of £1.63 billion by the end of this year.
Whilst news of the central heating sector’s recovery is undoubtedly promising, expectations ought to be managed carefully ahead of 2011. A downturn in the heating market had been anticipated by industry experts but a prolonged slump was largely averted, at least according to the MBD publication, by an increased demand for energy efficient products and services.
Projects devised by the former Labour Government, such as the immensely popular boiler scrappage scheme, helped to bolster the industry. It is unclear what impact the coalition Government will have on the domestic heating industry, however, amid widespread public spending cuts, the availability of grants and loans is at very best unlikely to increase under the current administration.
The MBD report has adopted a positive outlook, however, by predicting a sustained growth in the sector. The report estimates that the UK’s domestic heating industry will reach a value of around £2.05 billion by 2015, with annual growth in the region of 3 per cent and 6 per cent. The sale of boilers in the UK is also expected to increase. The MBD report anticipates annual growth to range from 4 per cent and 7 per cent over the coming years, with overall growth over the five year period ending 2015 expected to reach 30 per cent – a rise that would value the boiler sales sector at £1.05 billion.